DCLC News & Notes
September 2020............. In this issue...
  • Meet a DCLC Student and her Volunteer Tutor
  • Literacy Is Essential Telethon Draws Big Stars
  • Lack of Literacy is a Drain on the Economy
DCLC Profile: Tutor Joyce Meyers & Student Emma Zhang
Inside a Tutor and Student Learning Pair
by Sally Sapega

When Emma Zhang moved to the United States from China in 2016, she already had a solid education—an undergraduate degree in engineering and a master’s degree in business. But she knew that in order to truly “make it” in her new country—which included a desire to start an IT consulting business with her husband—she needed to take her education to a new level.
Thanks to her excellent schooling in China, Emma had a good foundation in reading English, but she needed to sharpen her ability to speak and write in English. And she also wanted to learn as much as she could about her new country—the history, the culture, the politics. Volunteer Tutor Joyce Meyers and the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) have been helping her every step of the way.
Joyce and Emma started working together in January of this year and not even the pandemic proved to be an obstacle. They now meet virtually twice a week (one of their sessions on Skype is shown above). Lessons focus on improving Emma's language fluency, reading comprehension, written expression, and conversation, as well as learning about life—past and present—in the United States. Joyce, who’s a former lawyer and English teacher, adapts her lessons to Emma’s interests and progress. “I come up with things useful to her that will help her develop skills,” explains Joyce. For example, they discuss articles in the New York Times or the Philadelphia Inquirer as a way for Emma to expand her English vocabulary and better understand her new country.
Read the full article here.
DCLC News: Oct. 21st Literacy Is Essential Telethon
Features Lineup of Delco-based Stars
What do Tina Fey, Cheri Oteri, Jahlil Beats, and Vince Papale have in common? They all hail from Delaware County originally, AND they all will be contributing their talent and star power to the first-ever Literacy Is Essential Telethon on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at 8 PM EDT, in support of the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC). Clearly these Delco luminaries understand that helping adults improve their literacy skills, learn English, earn GEDs, and get family-sustaining jobs is needed now more than ever.

Join us for an innovative online celebration of adult literacy! This fun-filled evening will feature the presentation of the 2020 Champions of Adult Literacy awards, performances by Delco special guests, video messages from stars and community leaders, and more! To get all the details, including the ever-growing list of Delco celebrities who will be participating, check out the Literacy Is Essential Telethon web page. If you'd like to receive weekly updates about the Telethon, sign up here. (The link for viewing the event will be available closer to October 21.)
Facts to Share: Low Literacy Levels among U.S. Adults Could Be Costing the Economy $2.2 Trillion a Year
A new study by Gallup on behalf of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy finds that low levels of adult literacy could be costing the U.S. as much $2.2 trillion a year. And, according to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years oldabout 130 million peoplelack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.
The study also found that the nation’s largest metropolitan areasincluding New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallaswould all gain at or just above 10% of their GDP by bringing all adults to a sixth-grade reading level. Funding adult education programs is evidently a worthwhile investment, one that is all the more important in light of this research and the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) for sharing this vital information.

Reverse this trend by supporting adult literacy programs! COABE, Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education (PAACE), and other literacy organizations are celebrating Adult Education and Family Literacy Week this week by letting the U.S. Congress and the PA General Assembly know that literacy counts and needs to be fully funded. Join local and nationwide supporters of adult literacy to share messages via email and on social media. This is a great opportunity to let your voice be heard in support of programs like DCLC that are helping adults improve their skills so that these valuable community members can thrive in the workplace and in society!