Literacy Buzz

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Secrets of the World's Best School Systems - Newsweek

All over the world, your chances of success in school and life depend more on your family circumstances than on any other factor. By age three, kids with professional parents are already a full year ahead of their poorer peers. They know twice as many words and score 40 points higher on IQ tests. By age 10, the gap is three years. By then, some poor children have not mastered basic reading and math skills, and many never will: this is the age at which failure starts to become irreversible.

"How to Close the Achievement Gap" High-quality preschooling does more for a child’s chance for success than any other educational intervention. However, education starts at home, parent involvement means more to children than most parents understand. "The home is the child's first school, the parent in the child's first teacher, and reading in the child's first subject." ~ Barbara Bush What's your take?

Posted via email from FreshStart Literacy

Monday, August 9, 2010

Room To Read Celebrates Year of Tens

Wow! Connect with something larger you! Literacy for all!

Posted via email from FreshStart Literacy

Literacy Fact of the Day!

Fact of the day - If you read 20 minutes a day you will learn 4,000 - 12,000 new vocabulary words each year.

Posted via email from FreshStart Literacy

Enrollment in Adult ESL Classes Rises in Southern States - Learning the Language - Education Week


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Enrollment in Adult ESL Classes Rises in Southern States

By Mary Ann Zehr on August 4, 2010 11:00 AM --> | No Comments

The enrollment of adults in English-as-a-second-language classes rose modestly in Southern states from 2005 to 2008, the Southern Regional Education Board says in a report released today. In the same time period, enrollment in adult basic education programs (which teach content for grades 1-8) decreased very slightly, and adult secondary education (which covers the content of grades 9-12) decreased by 6 percent, the report says.

The report, "A Smart Move in Tough Times: How SREB States Can Strengthen Adult Learning and the Work Force," urges Southern states to enroll larger numbers of adults in adult-learning programs, including ESL classes. The report contends that more programs need to be available for "undereducated adults" in the South who left high school prematurely and took jobs in factories or agriculture.

Participation of adults in ESL classes in 16 Southern states increased from 207,011 to 210,237, or 2 percent, from 2005 to 2008, according to the report. Florida serves more students than any other state in all three kinds of adult-learning programs featured in the report. It enrolls 41 percent of the Southern region's adults participating in ESL classes.




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While enrollment in Adult ESL classes are on a rise, Adult literacy classes have slightly decreased. We need all Adult literacy class attendance to increase. Do your part advocate education especially adult literacy within your community and within you spectrum of influence. The government's 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy estimated that 30 million Americans lack basic literacy skills.

Posted via email from FreshStart Literacy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dyslexia defined and warning signs!

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002).


In Preschool

• delayed speech

• mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words

• chronic ear infections

• severe reactions to childhood illnesses

• constant confusion of left versus right

• late establishing a dominant hand

• difficulty learning to tie shoes

• trouble memorizing their address, phone

number, or the alphabet

• can’t create words that rhyme

• a close relative with dyslexia


In Adults

Education history similar to above, plus:

• slow reader

• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to

understand it

• terrible speller

• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper

- dreads writing memos or letters

• still has difficulty with right versus left

• often gets lost, even in a familiar city

• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when

tired or sick


Posted via email from FreshStart Literacy

How Family Literacy Helps! Education is the key out of poverty!

In 1997, the poverty rate among children under age 6 whose best-educated parent had:
less than a high school degree was 62.5%; 
a high school degree was 29.2%; 
some college was 15.2%; and 
a college degree was 2.8%.

Even in 1997 statistics report that poverty and literacy rates are closely related.  A family that obtains a college degree has positioned him/herself to provide a legacy of education within their family structure. Parents [Families] must place a high value on education and the privileges that acquiring it brings.  The privilege of opportunity, self-sufficiency, can you think of others?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Consider The Whole Child!

The critical years for developing attitudes of self-worth are best enhanced by a learning environment that offers such opportunities in the home as well as in the school. Each child needs to progress at his own pace and style of learning through various stages. Encourage, but do not pressure, learning. Respect childhood and know that achievement must be met before a child will be ready to move ahead. Because all aspect of growth are interrelated, consider his intellectual, physical, emotional and social development. ~Author Unknown~

Posted via email from FreshStart Literacy

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Things Literacy!

Learning is Freedom!
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Literacy = Access to books

"Reluctant" readers are often those who have little access to books.  How do you develop a love for something with little or no access?  Is this why our nations's literacy rates are poor?  Start today building a home library for your children, nieces and nephew, or grandchildren.  Need help getting started go FreshStart Literacy on Facebook to find out more!

Posted via web from FreshStart Literacy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dad and Son flip tassels together!

It's never to late!

At FreshStart Literacy we talk about leaving a Legacy of Education; this Father and Son duo do just that.  The son Mark (pictured above), a father of four himself, says education has been a sensitive subject at home. "It's hard to preach to them, when I don't have one,"... read more @


FreshStart Literacy, Inc.

Posted via web from FreshStart Literacy

Friday, June 4, 2010

To Be or Not to Be Literate? What does it all mean?

Let us look at the facts, facts that we have possibly read or heard before:


  • The U.S. Census Bureau reports that “adults 18 and older with a master’s, professional or doctoral degree earned an average of $79,946, while those with less than a high school diploma earned about $19,915.” Adults with a “bachelor’s degree earned an average of $54,689 in 2005 while those with a high school diploma earned $29,448.” (Census Bureau, 2007)
  • One in three adults cannot read this sentence.(National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)
  • Low health literacy was the top predictor of mortality after smoking, also surpassing income and years of education, the study showed. Most of the difference in mortality among people with inadequate literacy was due to higher rates of death from cardiovascular disease.” (Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, 2007)
  • 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)
  • Today one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women while 75 million children are out of school. Since its founding in 1946, UNESCO has been at the forefront of global literacy efforts and is dedicated to keeping literacy high on national, regional and international agendas. However, with some 776 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all remains an elusive target.
  • Literacy programs in Texas are only serving 3.6% of the 3.8 million in need of adult basic education services. (Texas LEARNS, April 2005)


How do we foster within society a need for education/literacy?  How do fund remediation programs for families? We have the facts, we see the manifestation of the facts daily in reports about an aging society that lacks basic skills. Is there a solution?  Yes!  Advocacy.  We must become advocates for Education - for Literacy;  the power of self-sufficiency, the garden of opportunities yet to be grown within communities, literacy changes lives and inspires communities.


First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

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Posted via web from FreshStart Literacy

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What is Family Literacy?

What is family literacy? An educational solution to address the social foundation of poverty: poverty due to low literacy rates. Family literacy is a program that offers literacy instruction for the whole family versus adults only with separate instruction/tutoring for children.

Family literacy offers educational opportunities for each family member to improve literacy levels, life skills, increase self-esteem and provide hope for self-sufficiency.  This is based on idea that parents and children learn optimally when educationally engaged together.  Family literacy inspires families and communities!

Family literacy helps to limit some barriers to success, such as un/underemployment, poverty, poor health and inadequate housing. When parents battle with literacy and basic life skills, the children often have restricted opportunities for success. Family literacy is “education’s intervention” attempting to eradicate this destructive cycle giving families the tools they need to leave a legacy of education for generations to come!

Parents are typically eager to assist in the terms of their children's educational development however due to the lack of time in double-income households, deficient parental literacy, and familial financial constraints many are neither able to teach nor able to finance their children’s supplemental educational endeavors. This is where the FreshStart Literacy meets the need by providing its services made available by sliding scale payments, government and foundational grants as well as other funding options.

Posted via web from FreshStart Literacy

Monday, May 10, 2010

Preventing the “Summer Slide”

Are you interested in Summer Enrichment for your children? Do you have children who are struggling readers?  Perhaps they are marginally reading on level.  FreshStart Literacy offers tutoring for grades kinder- 4th grade in the Fort Worth, TX area.  For more information about how to get your son/daughter involved leave your name and child's grade level in the discussion tab (FreshStart Literacy: Summer Bridge) along with any area of concern that we can address.  Avoid the "Academic Slide" that happens during the summer months; sign- up today to keep your child on track for academic success.  The "Academic slide" for educator’s means that for the first two months or so of the fall semester, teachers are spending precious hours of instruction with remedial work, assisting students in getting back on track and ready to receive new instruction.  These first four to six week are pivotal even for students who are already performing on level at the end of June.   However, if your student has become frustrated due to this summer achievement gap, it could result in poor classroom behavior; reductions in your student’s confidence and further demonstrate itself in low self-esteem.   A study done in the Grand Rapids Public Schools from 2003 and 2004 showed the summer learning loss reached almost 40 percent for some of their students.  Let’s have One Crazy Summer and prevent the “Summer Slide” by turning our attention to books instead of hours of video games, and keeping some type of educational focus/structure throughout the summer months.  If you know a neighbor or a friend that may need assistance, share this information with them the bottom line is to help student’s with academic success eradicating illiteracy making All Things Bright and Beautiful!

All Things Bright and Beautiful                            One Crazy Summer                          The Kissing Hand 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tutoring Brought My Self Worth Back! |

Tutoring Brought My Self Worth Back! "Tutoring Brought My Self Worth Back! Tutoring came like a bright ray of hope in my academic life when all else failed and I was unsure of what to do with myself. On reflection, I feel how stupid I was not to have believed in myself and in my capabilities, which is probably why I was what I was. But that was then, and the present is absolutely different, since the arrival of my private tutor. She changed everything – seriously! She helped me change my perspective, my attitude, helped me believe in myself, and all this brought a high boost to my self worth. Well I am not still sure how she did that. But I really admire her skills and patience in handling me and moulding me into what I am now." Tutoring can change a persons life! The benefits of tutoring include: *an increase in the self-esteem of the individual receiving the service *promotes emotional support and creates positive role models *breaks down social barriers *also improves the indivdual outlook on Education (hopefully creating lifelong learners) these are just to name a few. Literacy provides indivuals with hope for their future. Become an Education Advocate! Help some see the hidden possibilites within!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What's it like to be Illiterate?
"Whether because of a learning disability or because of poor education, family situations or immigration, illiterate adults struggle to hold jobs, use computers, pay bills and accomplish other tasks that skilled readers take for granted." 

We FreshStart Literacy are an organization whose goal is to do our part to eradicate illiteracy within families and then on to communities! 

Home Library - Favorite Children's books

          What is your favorite children's book? Have you read this one? Good Night Moon

is a simple story packed with so  much opportunity for discussion with your child.  Reading this story allows you to share rich vocabulary exchanges.  This story has a great literary quality and would add value to any home library or classroom. Use Bloom's Taxonomy to develop and improve understanding, literary appreciation and to develop active readers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ACLU: Stop extremist takeover of textbooks.

ACLU: Stop extremist takeover of textbooks.

Here are some of the proposed rule changes:

Rule Section Number: §113.44(c)(1) Read about this section»

Concern: This rule is intended to promote the idea that there is no historical separation of church and state.

Rule Section Number: §113.41(c)(17) Read about this section»

Concern: This amendment is designed to portray social reforms as having unintended negative consequences.

Rule Section Number: §113.41(c)(9) Read about this section»

Concern: The Board wants to portray the historic efforts to extend rights to those who have been denied them as nothing more than a gift from the majority, while downplaying the social movements that truly caused these changes. In addition, the Board is attempting to portray the Democrats as the party of bigotry.

Rule Section Number: §113.20(b)(7) Read about this section»

Concern: The Board is trying to downplay the role slavery played as a contributing factor to the cause of the Civil War.

What Happened When Kindergarten Went Universal? : Education Next

What Happened When Kindergarten Went Universal? : Education Next: "What Happened When Kindergarten Went Universal?"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family Literacy! Education makes the difference.

Consider Family Literacy!  Most often children can not get the homework help the need at home because the parent's are not equipped to assist.

YouTube - Raising the Bar on College Completion

YouTube - Raising the Bar on College Completion: ""

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Home Library Key to Academic Success | Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. | Miller-McCune Online Magazine

"Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books." Who new the amount of books in your home could propel your children into the prestigious realm of higher education?
Home Library Key to Academic Success | Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. | Miller-McCune Online Magazine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Facebook | Texans for Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy is important for Adult and children as well let's leave a legacy of Education and Literacy for generations to come.
check out this reading list:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Texas Education Agency - STAAR debuts

Texas Education Agency - STAAR debuts State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, STAAR to replace TAKS This new test will be used beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. This test is said to be more vigorous than it's predecessor. The end-of-course testing requirements must be meet starting with the 2015 graduating class (as well as passing all classes) in order to graduate. Educators are we ready! Can we progressively and systematically prepare our students? The main difference in the two assessments (TAKS and the STAAR) is that the TAKS is during course testing and the STAAR in end of course testing. In other words TAKS is previous and some present grade level testing and STAAR is primarily present grade level testing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


What are you doing to make your city, community, neighborhood, or household more literate!

Volunteer at your local library...
Volunteer to read to a group of children...
Volunteer at a local group focused on Adult Literacy...
Add opportunities...

Obama's education plan

Obama's education plans include increasing Pell Grant amounts and exchanging community service hours for scholarship money. Do you feel confident in his plan to make college more accessible?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Facebook | Reading Tree

Facebook Reading Tree: "Interesting stats from the Depts of Education and Health & Human Services: (1) It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems, and (2) Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a ba...sic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether."
Did you know that readiness levels for kids entering school can be directly tied to income levels?   Education is the Key! Begin with the end in mind. Share the joy of reading with a child as often as possible.


Time to get back on track!  Are you ready!