DCLC News & Notes

November/December 2022............. In this issue...

  • DCLC News: Student Achievements Celebrated
  • DCLC News: Faces of Literacy Highlights Champions & Students
  • Insights to Share: Digital Inclusion Important to Literacy Programs

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Student Achievers, GED Grads

Celebrated at Fall Ceremony

DCLC GED graduates were congratulated by Delaware County elected officials. Shown here, from left to right, are PA Senator John Kane, PA Representative Gina Curry, GED Graduate Nicole Zampitella, GED Graduate Larissa Reason, GED Graduate Adrian Buffalo, and PA Representative Mike Zabel. 

In September, Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) held a special Student Recognition Ceremony to honor DCLC students who earned their GED, as well as DCLC students who became U.S. citizens, who completed Home Health Aide training, and who won essay contests in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Melis May Sagay (third from left in photo at right) recently became a U.S. citizen. She addressed the guests, saying, “I immigrated to America in 2016. I was a green card winner. My son was 2 years old, I was 39, my husband was 40. We spent more than half of our lives in another country. I made a choice; it was not easy; it still is not. But I have never regretted making this choice.”

She went on to explain, “America gave us hope that we can do anything, it supported us. …This change made me stronger.”

DCLC students were honored for their achievements.

Shown left to right are PA Representative Mike Zabel, PA Senator John Kane, DCLC Student Melis May Sagay, DCLC Student Most Bilkis Sultana, DCLC Student Dulce Zelaya, DCLC Student Sonia Bermeo-Talbot, and PA Representative Gina Curry.

Kate McGeever, Executive Director of the Delaware County Workforce Development Board, delivered the keynote address, which focused on gratitude. She told the honored students, “I am going to thank you for that first day you walked through those doors at the Literacy Council and said out loud ‘I have a goal.’ "

Pat Gunnin, Executive Director of DCLC, acknowledged the students’ dedication—even through the pandemic—by declaring, “You can’t stop a dream!”

Several elected officials representing Delaware County or their staff members attended the celebration, including PA Senator John Kane, Sarah McCullough of PA Senator Tim Kearney’s office, Dana Carter of PA Senator Anthony Williams’ office, PA Representative Gina Curry, and PA Representative Mike Zabel.

The celebration was held at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit on September 26, 2022. It was the first in-person celebration of DCLC student success since 2019. Kudos to all of these amazing students!

Faces of Literacy Focuses on Students & Champions

DCLC's annual Champions of Adult Literacy fundraising event returned to an in-person format for the first time since 2019, with an exciting celebration of students called "Faces of Literacy."

Guests heard the inspiring story of 2022 Student Champion Theresa Green through a video profile and through Theresa's remarks from the podium. "I am thankful for my tutor Maureen and everyone at the Literacy Council for helping me improve my reading. It is such a gift, and it gives me the confidence to do so much more!” she declared. Theresa came to DCLC to improve her reading so she could pass the ServSafe exam and work as a chef. She currently works as a line cook at Maris Grove retirement community.

A group of DCLC Student Ambassadors attended the event, with a student seated at every table. These students graciously shared their stories with other guests and played Quizzo team trivia as part of their table's team. In the end, the "Better Home Runners" team emerged victorious, and student Marcela Ñañez enjoyed being part of the winning Quizzo team!

Other impressive Champions were honored during the event, including Monica Horan Rosenthal, the 2022 Hometown Hero Champion of Adult Literacy. A native of Delaware County and an accomplished actor, Monica is best known for her role as Amy McDougall/Barone on the TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Monica has supported DCLC by appearing in 2020 and 2021 online Telethons and by providing financial support to DCLC's programs through the Rosenthal Family Foundation.

Sun East Federal Credit Union was recognized as the 2022 Community Champion of Adult Literacy. Sun East has been a dedicated partner of Delaware County Literacy Council over the years, providing financial support and inviting DCLC's adult students to participate in community programs such as the “People Helping People” essay contest.

Thanks to all who helped make Faces of Literacy a tremendous success! See photos of the exciting evening here.

Digital Inclusion Important Focus

for Adult Literacy Programs


A recent study on "Advancing Access and Digital Equity" reviewed the field of adult education to identify effective approaches and existing resources supporting digital skills development in adult education.

This study arose from the Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE).

One recommendation in the report is to offer "digital inclusion supports" to help students as they are onboarding to adult literacy classes. "Since the pandemic, many adult education programs have started providing individualized support for learners upon enrollment. This could include a digital inclusion needs assessment and personalized digital inclusion onboarding supports."

DCLC has added a Digital Literacy Support specialist to offer students individualized technical support. Also, DCLC Student Support Services provides students with a brief introduction to the digital tools they will need to participate in online classes.

"We set them up in Google Classroom and teach them the basics of Zoom before they attend their first class," explains Director of Student Support Chandra Waters. She sees this focused assistance as an important step in increasing students' digital literacy, saying, "Digital Literacy is an indispensable skill for adult learners in today's technology-driven society. We at DCLC are committed to assisting our learners with acquiring the digital literacy skills they need to thrive in our programs and in life."

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