OLC Participates in Adult Ed Open House

OLC Participates in Adult Ed Open House

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13% of adult Arkansans have no high school diploma. Over 40,000 Arkansans can’t speak English with confidence. Of those who don’t speak English well, 69% have no high school diploma, according to the Department of Education. This adds up to a serious need for adult education. Arkansas Adult Education, a division of the Department of Career Education, held their second annual statewide open house this week to help make sure that those who need adult ed are aware of their options. Trenia Miles, deputy director of Arkansas Adult Education, told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, “We felt we weren’t really reaching as many people as we probably could or should be. So we want to give people an opportunity to come and learn about the services we offer.” OLC’s open house Ozark Literacy Council, along with Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) and Northwest Technical Institute (NTI) took part in the open

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OLC Partners with Tyson’s Upward Academy

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Chief Learning Officer tells the story of how Tyson Foods developed their Upward Academy learning program. They suspected that ESL classes would be helpful to their Springdale plant’s workers. They decided to give it a shot, expecting 10 or 15 people to show up for free English classes. 128 came on the first night — out of a workforce of 300. Deciding they were onto something, Kevin Scherer, senior manager of the team, got permission to offer classes at a second plant. 250 showed up at the larger plant. “It wasn’t a fluke,” Scherer told Chief Learning Officer. “The rest is history.” Tyson looked for community partners to work with to offer English as a Second Language classes at their facilities. They also wanted to help their workers with some of the areas of work and daily life that can be hard to manage with limited English literacy. Workplace literacy

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Tutor and Student Pair in the News!

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KUAF recently interviewed one of our student-tutor pairs, Innocent and Michael! Michael and Innocent have both worked incredibly hard, making admirable progress as a team. Their collaboration exemplifies the great impact that the Ozark Literacy Council has in our community! You can listen to the interview here.

 

Our Student, Ghadir, is in the News!

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Our local radio station, KUAF, did an interview with one of our students! Ghadir Goodarzy is an immigrant from Iran who came to the U.S. about a year ago. Since then, he has been learning both linguistically and culturally at OLC. You can listen to his amazing story here!

In Memory of Paul Johnson

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Paul Johnson, our longtime Ozark Literacy Council volunteer and board member, died Monday, June 25, 2018. He is an irreplaceable member of the Ozark Literacy Council community. Our staff, students, tutors, teachers, board members and his legions of former students mourn his loss.

Paul was a gifted teacher, sharing his creativity and love of language with his many students. He was a dedicated volunteer, working daily at Ozark Literacy for the last 10 years, since September, 2008. He served as our tutor trainer and mentor. His great joy was connecting students with the arts, and he served as our Crystal Bridges emissary since the inception of our Crystal Bridges student program in 2012.

Named the 2011 Arkansas Bar Association Tutor of the Year and 2008 Ozark Literacy Council Volunteer of the Year, Paul’s passion and mission were to help adult students from around the world learn more about American culture and our language. We continue to remember and celebrate his life—one full of teaching, service, and friendships.

Student Couple in the News!

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Dr. Fuquan Ding and Dr. Limin Zhang, husband and wife, have been taking classes at OLC for the last few years after emigrating from China! KUAF interviewed them about their inspiring life journeys as part of their continuing series of profiles on OLC students. You can listen to their story here!

Cooking Class in the News!

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The Ozark Literacy Council offers classes in reading, writing, speaking, and other linguistic skills. But that’s not the end of the story. OLC also gives instruction in areas such as history, the arts, and even cooking! KUAF reported on the activities of our cooking class, showing how much our students can gain from more unconventional ways of learning. You can listen to this story, part of an ongoing series of OLC profiles, at this link.

All About our Bike Rack!

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OLC students get to our building in a variety of ways, including driving, public transport, walking, and biking. Thankfully, OLC received a free bike rack, helping us to increase our accessibility to the community! You can listen to the KUAF story detailing the generous donation here.

Student Story: Esther del Castillo Labrador

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Imagine moving to a country where you don’t speak the language.  That’s the situation Esther del Castillo Labrador found herself in when she moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2016.  Although she already spoke Spanish, German, and French, she struggled with her English language skills. “I studied English grammar in school,” she explained, “but I couldn’t speak very well.” And that’s when luck intervened.  Shortly after moving to Fayetteville, Esther opened her front door to find a Spanish language newspaper on her doorstep. “It was good chance,” Esther said, especially since she’d never received a Spanish paper before.  As she started flipping through the pages, she stumbled across an advertisement for Ozark Literacy Council.  “I didn’t know anyone, so no one could tell me about OLC. When I saw the advertisement, I knew I wanted to go to class there.” Because Esther had arrived in the U.S. just a month before,

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New AmeriCorps Positions Available for 2014-15

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OLC is beyond excited to announce we have been awarded 3 AmeriCorps service positions through the Arkansas Reads program for 2014-15. Each position includes teaching ESL classes, recruiting and training volunteers, and helping with fundraising. Members receive a living allowance of $6254 per year and an education award of $2775 if they complete their service. Call 479-521-8250 for more information or email your resume to mina@ozarkliteracy.org to apply. AmeriCorps members get things done!

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