The week of April 12th is National Volunteer Week, and the Literacy Volunteers of Illinois will wrap up the week by honoring their volunteer tutors at an Awards Presentation on Saturday, April 18th at the Opening Session of their Annual On the Road to Literacy Conference being held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Joining the Literacy Volunteers in presenting the awards will be Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
Dorothy Miaso, the executive director of the Literacy Volunteers, stated – “Volunteers are an integral part of adult literacy programming in our state. Each year thousands of volunteers serving as literacy tutors provide one-to-one and small group instruction to some 20,000 adults in English as a Second Language and basic skills development. Our volunteers make important quality of life contributions and we are excited to have the Governor recognize their efforts.”
The On the Road to Literacy Conference is a day-long event that is co-sponsored by the Center for Literacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and held on the UIC campus at 1040 W. Harrison Street. The conference begins at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude at 2 p.m. with a keynote address from Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dean of the UIC College of Education. Dr. Tatum is a highly recognized authority on literacy development and the author of three books on the subject of literacy development of African-American adolescents.
In Illinois, as well as in Chicago, over one-quarter of our residents age 18 and over lack basic literacy skills which means they can perform no more than the most simple and concrete tasks. Low literacy levels negatively affect unemployment rates, the number of men and women in prison, and rates of violent crime. Support for Volunteer Literacy Day and the On the Road to Literacy Conference will help to raise awareness for the issue of low adult literacy rates.
In addition to the Opening and Closing sessions, 24 workshops covering a broad range of topics of interest to tutors, teachers, adult learners and program staff will be offered including – Financial Literacy, the GED 2015 Test, Strategies for Developing Studying Skills, Maximizing Instructional Time, and more. In addition to providing valuable training and resources, the conference will also serve as a discussion forum for agencies to examine effective means of fighting low literacy.
In honor of the conference and the work being done by adult literacy programs throughout Chicago, Saturday April 18th has been proclaimed Volunteer Literacy Day by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.
Anyone can register to attend the conference, whether you are a tutor, a student, or simply interested in the critical work that we do and what else needs to be done. Register at www.lvillinois.org under the link On The Road to Literacy.