Literacy Programs More Accessible in Oklahoma

By Page, David | THE JOURNAL RECORD, May 29, 2009 | Go to article overview

Literacy Programs More Accessible in Oklahoma


Page, David, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Early this year, officials at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation started discussing adult literacy programs.

The foundation has long awarded grants to groups providing literacy programs, but officials discovered a common barrier often blocked efforts to teach basic literacy skills to adults.

"We realized access was an issue with many people participating in the programs," said Nancy Anthony, executive director of the foundation.

Access issues include transportation, child care, scheduling time around jobs and just sticking with the programs after a participant starts.

After focusing on the accessibility issue, Anthony and other Oklahoma City Community Foundation staff members began organizing a coalition, and on Monday, a statewide literacy program for adults - Get Reading Oklahoma - will launch.

"Many adults in our state read at levels too low to function independently and their inability to read impacts their economic well-being and the lives of their families," Anthony said.

Get Reading Oklahoma includes two television programs created for adults who want to improve basic reading, writing and math skills or to study for the GED - General Education Development - examination.

GED Connection includes a 39-episode series created through the PBS Literacy Link project to help adults prepare for the GED exam.

TV411 is a 30-episode series for adults seeking to improve literacy skills.

Grants approved in May by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation board of trustees include $30,000 to support the two programs.

The grant was provided through Literacy is for Everyone, one of the funds managed by the foundation. Literacy is for Everyone provides support for new or existing literacy programs for training, materials and administrative support.

Get Reading Oklahoma partners include the Oklahoma Education Television Authority and Cox Communications.

"We met with OETA and Cox and said 'if we buy these programs will you work with us,'" Anthony said. …

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