Literacy Council of Alaska
KTVF has learned that the Literacy Council of Alaska is trying to change a process for Fairbanks residents seeking U.S. citizenship. Currently, students need to drive to Anchorage for the oath ceremony. They want a USCIS official to come to the city quarterly instead of every year. This organization promotes adult education, family literacy and school age literacy.
Adult Education Programs
The adult education programs are a gateway to higher learning, career development, cultural preservation and community life. The program provides adult students with the tools they need to achieve their literacy goals and become productive citizens.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) offers free services and materials to eligible adult students preparing for the GED exams in four subjects: math, reading, science and social studies. After passing the tests, the student receives a Diploma of High School Equivalency issued by the State of Alaska and can start college, vocational school or work.
Many adult students are preparing to take their GED, while others are studying for an English as a Second Language test called BEST or TABE 11. Students can study in person at the Fairbanks headquarters or by phone/Email/Zoom/postal services in remote villages. The programs are funded by the Department of Labor and administered locally by the Literacy Council of Alaska. Students can take the tests in English or Spanish.
Family Literacy Programs
Programs are structured for parents and children to learn together, strengthen bonds and create families that are empowered to achieve their goals. These programs are based on the belief that parents are children’s first teachers and can play a critical role in their literacy development. These programs combine adult education classes in GED preparation or ESL, early childhood education and parenting education into unified family literacy programs.
The most successful family literacy programs recognize the importance of the cultural context within which learning takes place and incorporate a holistic approach to teaching that is grounded in social change theory. They maintain participant control, invoke dialogue as a key pedagogical process and develop content that centers on critical social issues from participants’ lives, thus building pathways for action and social change. These programs are a reflection of the empowerment philosophy that informs the national Family Literacy Model. (Auerbach, 1995; Neuman, 1995). These are the programs that are able to reach beyond traditional classroom boundaries and transform lives through multigenerational learning.
School Age Literacy Programs
Literacy Council of Alaska is a non-profit organization that promotes literacy for people of all ages in Fairbanks and the Interior of Alaska. The organization provides adult education programs, family literacy programs and school age literacy programs. It also offers computer literacy programs. The organization’s programs include phonics, sight words and reading skills for kindergarten students as well as vocabulary, comprehension, textbook strategies and writing skills for older children.
Its Parent Literacy Together program helps parents develop their own literacy skills so they can be the “first teacher” of their kids. It connects parents who are at low reading levels to existing family and child literacy programs. Its Native Student Literacy program provides culturally responsive language and literacy instruction to American Indian/Alaska Native children in grades K-12.
Book Recycling Program
Two years ago, Alys Culhane was working at a recycling center in Mat-Su, where she saw boxes of books bound for the shredder. That’s when she started her nonprofit, Bright Lights Book Project.
Her mission is to rescue used books from the trash and get them back into the hands of people who want to read. Her team ships books around Alaska, and she has installed bookshelves stocked with free reading material throughout Palmer.
Many charities, schools, and libraries accept paperback books for donation. They can also be donated to prisons and detention centers, which have libraries that inmates can use. Alternatively, you can donate your books to Better World Books, which sends them to people who need them most.
You can also recycle paperback books through curbside recycling programs. Just be sure to remove the hard cover. Some recycling programs don’t accept hardcover books because the binding is difficult to process. You can also try putting them in the paper bin, but be sure to check with your program first.
Rachael L. Ware
Rachael L. Ware is an author, humanitarian, and advocate known for her tireless efforts in building bridges of hope and fostering positive change in communities worldwide. Her journey, shaped by compassion and a steadfast commitment to making the world a better place, has left an indelible mark on countless lives. With a background in international relations and a heart full of empathy, Rachael's work spans a variety of fields, from education and healthcare to social justice and environmental sustainability.