National Literacy month
September is a big month for literacy. This month is designated as National Literacy Month with Gov. Deal signing the Proclamation for Adult Education and Family Literacy. This month highlights the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and society. A goal of the Troup County Certified Literate Community Program is to raise public awareness about the need for and value of adult education, early learning and family literacy for lifelong learning.
Low level literacy skills not only impact the individual but also have a significant effect on the community’s workforce and economic development. Adults without a high school diploma are more than twice as likely to be unemployed, working in low-wage jobs, living in poverty and relying on government aid programs as those with higher levels of education. Your help is needed to help promote the importance of education for everyone. According to statistics, we still have around 17 percent of our population that does not have a high school or GED diploma. Research shows that focusing on educating children without also addressing their parents’ needs for basic education and training will not solve the academic achievement gap. Children of low-literate parents are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates and will more than likely drop out of school.
In Troup County, we have resources to help our adult learners as well as focusing on our children. The Troup County CLCP encourages a love of reading as a foundation for lifelong learning and supports those programs with similar goals. CLCP promotes literacy awareness and programs to assist students in need of basic literacy education and also provides scholarship funds for the GED exams. West Georgia Technical College has adult education sites that offer free GED test prep course as well as instruction in skills geared toward helping adults become employed. Literacy Volunteers of Troup County provides free tutoring in reading and writing instruction for low literate adults, as well as providing tutoring in math and basic computer skills as well as ESL instruction.
For our babies and early learners, we have several programs that promote literacy awareness and resources. We have a new early childhood education initiative called Babies Learning On Course for Kindergarten Success. Success by Six a United Way program that provides parents and early childhood educators support and training to focus on cognitive skills and social and emotional development. Troup BELL is a program that provides early childhood parent education and family support covering from birth to kindergarten. WellStar West Georgia Medical Center has a First Steps Program that offers information, education and support for new parents.
And let’s not forget our public libraries. Books, computers, programs, story time, you will find it all at local libraries. September is also National Library Card Sign-Up Month.
Let’s celebrate Literacy month and make education the buzz word in Troup County. Tell someone about the resources available in our community to help everyone become lifelong learners.