Family Literacy: A Multi-Generational Approach

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
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In New Mexico, 16% of adults are illiterate and another 46% read at a fifth grade level or below. Those stats have serious impacts on New Mexico’s economy and families around the state. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the most significant predictor of a child’s literacy is a mother’s literacy.

Children thrive when parents thrive. Also, when parents become more literate or pursue more education, they become role models. But there’s shame and stigma surrounding illiteracy. Also, adults seeking more education often have fears about entering institutions where they feel they don’t belong.

How do we ensure more adults, and their children, reach their potential?

In this episode, PUBLIC SQUARE talks with adult learners, community groups and literacy experts.

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and American Graduate.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“Education is a family issue, and a mother’s education is the best indicator of whether a child is going to be successful or not.”
– Katharine Winograd, Central New Mexico Community College

“It takes incredible skill to get through our daily life without being able to read and write.”
– Margaret Barker, Reading Works Inc.

“It’s not that people don’t want to learn to read or go back to school. They do. How do we support that?”
– Enrique Cardiel, Bernalillo County CINCH Program

“It’s a skill, and for whatever reason, these adults don’t have that skill, or they could improve on it.”
– Heather Heunermund, New Mexico Coalition for Literacy

“It’s the best feeling in the world, to actually sit down and look at a piece of paper and actually be able to read what it says.”
– Daniel Schnieders, Student at ReadWest

Community Panel:

Margaret Barker
Reading Works Founder

Enrique Cardiel
Urban Health Extension Coordinator

Lea Gallegos
APS Title 1, Even Start Resource Teacher

Muncie Hansen
Executive Director, ReadWest Inc.

Jose Jaime Reyes
ESL-HSE Teacher, Adult Education, Catholic Charities

Daniel Schnieders
ReadWest Student

Roberta Ricci
Director of Development, CNM Foundation

Leadership Panel:

Katherine Freeman
CEO, United Way of Santa Fe Co.

Heather Heunermund
Executive Director, New Mexico Coalition for Literacy

Dr. Kathie Winograd
Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)

How to Improve Literacy in New Mexico

Did you know that 46% of New Mexico’s population is functionally illiterate? About 900,000 adults are in need of literacy services, according to the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy. Searching “literacy” in SHARE’s Resource Directory returns a list of more than 100 organizations that support literacy efforts for adults and children. One of these is the Imagination Library of Grant County.

Learn More

1 thought on “Family Literacy: A Multi-Generational Approach

  1. I just watched your program on literacy and wanted to encourage the organizations involved to advertise their services, not just through flyers, but also by radio and television public service announcements. PSA announcements are free for organizations to submit to radio stations for disc jockeys to read. A PSA for television obviously must be produced, even though the airtime is free. But these are two ways to reach the public so that anyone listening to the radio or watching television might learn about the opportunities available to them without having to read a flyer to find out.

    And I would also say, don’t be discouraged by having people on a waiting list for the services. If you have a waiting list it gives the folks on the list something to look forward to and it gives funders, politicians and the public the chance to see the need for the expansion of programs and services. Congratulations on everything that everyone is doing. A very inspiring program, despite some seemingly daunting statistics.

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