August 20, 2009

Elyse D. Moskowitz Joins LnP to Make Social Change A Reality

I must start this, my first blog entry, with an admission. I am far from an expert in adult literacy. I came across Literacy ‘n' Poverty Project on while searching for volunteer opportunities where I could contribute my law degree and graduate-level career counseling experience. My goal is to help adults in underserved communities through the use of my research skills and career training.

I intend to become more knowledgeable about literacy programs and resources around the country and to share this information here. To that end, I have begun researching and learning of new and existing literacy programs in our communities. One website I am exploring that I think you should check out if you have not already is the National Institute for Literacy. According to the site, its goals are to support, disseminate, and provide access to research, resources and information related to adult and youth literacy to families, educators and administrators.

With a sigh of relief and that admitted, I'll add that I am, and have long been, deeply committed to promoting literacy through education as a way to reduce poverty and address social issues. In addition, as a member of faculty and administration in graduate-level education, I have focused on developing the best practical training and career development programs and resources for adult students. My experiences have shown me invaluable insights into the development of successful adult literacy programs and resources. I have found that:

* Many successful graduate education skills programs are organized for our students through their institution or affiliated organizations. Likewise, I suspect that most successful literacy programs come to underserved communities and individuals through their own community centers, libraries, and places of worship.

* The best programs are typically led or supported by faculty, alumni and others connected to our students. I suspect that most successful literacy programs are led or endorsed by trusted members of the communities in which they are offered.

* Finally, and perhaps most importantly, many successful career development initiatives provide students with clear and specific steps for students to follow in setting objectives and reaching them. I have found that successful literacy programs must present concrete suggestions and small steps to be taken on the road to literacy, training and social change.

So, this is where I hope to make a contribution to the Literacy ‘n' Poverty Project. I hope to share resources and offer concrete suggestions that inspire people to develop, implement and follow the path to increasing literacy and social well being. I look forward to this opportunity.

This post was written by Elyse D. Moskowitz. Elyse works as a law school career development counselor and advisor in New York. She is a former practicing attorney, law school adjunct faculty member, and instructor of legal writing and practice skills. She is also a volunteer blogger with Literacy ‘n' Poverty Project. Please leave your comments or email with your questions.

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