FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - OCT. 16, 2009
INA, Ill. - Rend Lake College and the National Coalition for Literacy invite you to join them in celebrating National Adult Education and Family Literacy week, Oct 18 - 24, 2009. This Congressional declaration is the culmination of literacy advocacy and outreach resulting in 26 co-signers in the House. Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), the author of the resolution, spoke in support of its passage, as did Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The National Coalition for Literacy is a national adult education leadership organization comprised of member organizations and adult education professionals, committed to promoting adult education and literacy, family literacy, and English development in the United States.
Adult education and family literacy programs serve adult students who need to improve their basic literacy and math skills, improve their oral and written English, practice for the GED test to attain a high school equivalence degree, and prepare for community college or vocational training. According to the latest national survey of adults, over 93 million American adults have basic or below basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance at work and in education, help their children with school work, interact with health care professionals, and participate in their communities. More than 1.4 million Illinois adults, or 15 percent of the adult population 18 years and older, do not possess a high school diploma or equivalent (1).
While Illinois' Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) program, sponsored through the Illinois Community College Board, ranks fourth nationally in the number of individuals enrolled in adult basic and secondary education and English as a Second Language programs, with nearly 110,000 adult learners, the state is still only reaching approximately 8 percent of the target population annually. Within the Rend Lake College district, 22 percent, or 20,550 individuals age 16 and above, have less than a 12th grade education (2). In FY09 Rend Lake College's AEFL program served 274 students. Of these students, 45 percent gained in their educational functioning levels and 49 students were reported to have achieved a GED certificate (3).
Educational attainment, training, and skills are more vital than ever in today's competitive job market. Workers can no longer expect to hold a family-sustaining job without a high school diploma or equivalent. The significant number of undereducated adults in the Rend Lake College communities indicates the need for strong educational and skill-building programs. Rend Lake College's AEFL program offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to integrate instruction in reading, writing, and math with life and workforce preparation skills.
The program serves students 16 years and older who are not enrolled in high school and who lack a secondary school diploma or equivalent. Free classes are schedule throughout the Rend Lake College district in Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Perry counties. Day, evening and online classes are available and new students can register any time during the semester. An eight-week Fast Track GED class is available for students needing a quick brush-up on skills before taking the GED tests. English as a Second Language classes are offered to assist individuals whose primary language is not English.
The Adult Volunteer Literacy program also helps adults gain skills to they need to function in today's society by recruiting and training tutors. To learn more about the program, call Rend Lake College at 618-437-5321 Ext. 1241 or visit the web page atwww.rlc.edu/aca/sc.
(1) US Census Bureau. 2005-2007 American Community Survey. Sex by Age by Educational Attainment Data Set.
(2) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. School of Business, Economics and Finance Department. 2008 Population and Ethnic Origin and Index of Need tables.
(3) Data and Information System Illinois. Illinois Community College Board Performance Report. RLC 4th Quarter.