(L-R): MAACCE Board Members/Advocacy & Communications Co-Chairs Cynthia Campbell and Sonia Socha, and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford display their Go Green for Adult Literacy wristbands.
BALTIMORE – As part of its first annual statewide “GO GREEN” for Adult Literacy Campaign, the Maryland Association of Adult, Community and Continuing Education(MAACCE) inspired learners, educators, volunteers and elected officials to wear green LITERACY wristbands.
The Association distributed over 6,000 wristbands to 25 adult education programs, state agencies, foundations and the offices of
- U. S. Senator Barbara Mikulski,
- U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin,
- U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (3rd District),
- U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (2nd District),
- U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (7thDistrict),
- Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.,
- Maryland Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch,
- Maryland State Senator Thomas "Mac" Middleton(District 28 -Charles County),
- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer (District 12 - Howard County),
- Maryland Senator Bill Ferguson(District 46 - Baltimore City),
- State Delegate Peter Hammen (District 46 - Baltimore City),
- State Delegate Nicholaus Kipke (District 31B - Anne Arundel County),
- State Delegate Edith J. Patterson (District 28 - Charles County),
- DLLR Department of Adult Education and Workforce officials,
- Governor Larry Hogan, and
- Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, who presented a state proclamation declaring Maryland’s Adult Education and Family Literacy Week
"Newton D. Baker, an American politician from the early 1900s, once said, 'the man or woman who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after,’” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “Mr. Baker was right--education should be a lifelong journey. I want to thank MAACCE for their work in highlighting the importance of continuing and adult education in our state, and helping to create a more skilled workforce."
Throughout the Go GREEN campaign, learners, staff and volunteers wore green and decorated classrooms and offices with green banners and signs to celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (NAEFLW).
The MAACCE website, Facebook and Twitter pages now feature 125 photos of students in green from such programs as: Strong City Baltimore, Baltimore City Community College, Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Howard County Project Literacy, Community College of Baltimore County, South Baltimore Learning Center, Calvert County Adult Education, Charles County Public Schools Adult Education Program, Allegany County Adult Education and College of Southern Maryland.
MAACCE's Facebook campaign reached over 2,000 people, who posted 373 likes. The Association also distributed a manual to assist members in generating media interest in the importance of investing in adult literacy. These efforts resulted in coverage on the National Coalition for Literacy blog, a published letter to the editor and appearances on several public affairs shows.
“This was an excellent first effort for a statewide advocacy campaign that we would like to build on for years to come because the need is great with approximately 500,000 Maryland adults lacking a high school diploma, 250,000 needing better English language skills and 3,418remaining on adult education waiting lists,” said Heather Ritchie, MAACCE board president.
“Literacy helps families be healthier and safer and provides people sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work and ultimately contributing to the economic growth of Maryland and our country,” she added.
Call to Action
Marylanders wanting to help make a difference in adult learners’ lives are encouraged to volunteer for a local program or donate school supplies or appropriate books to a local program.
People also can refer individuals who need adult literacy services to the Maryland Literacy Hotline or to a program listed on the MAACCE online directory. Another way to assist is to donate to MAACCE or to a local adult education provider.
MAACCE also encourages people to contact their congressional and state representatives to support continued funding for adult education and family literacy programs throughout the state.
The recently implemented and rigorous Common Core/College and Career Readiness Standards have increased the time it takes to complete requirements for earning a Diploma. This has led to fewer seats in programs and increased waiting lists. Because of this, more funding is needed to increase capacity.
MAACCE is a statewide membership organization that works to increase awareness and funding for adult literacy and education, and provides professional development for adult literacy educators. Its 400 active professional members from across the state teach over 35,000 adult learners each year. The organization has worked at both the state and national levels for more than 25 years on behalf of adult literacy. Over the past 15 years, MAACCE has contributed to efforts which have increased funding at the state level. For more information, visit www.maaccemd.org.
Rep. John Sarbanes stands in between MAACCE Board Members/Advocacy & Communications Co-Chairs Cynthia Campbell (left) and Sonia Socha (right)
Del. Nicholaus Kipke displays his Go Green for Adult Literacy wristband on the statehouse steps
GED Exam Preparation Class at Baltimore City Community College, Harbor Campus in Baltimore
Back Row: Krystal Wonson, Darrel Johnson, Lenear Pryor, Ronald Chandler; Middle Row: Gary Walls, Kimberly Simmons, Jean White, Larry Doyle (hidden) Shantell Langston; Front Row: Sade Willi mans, Shirley, McKay, Vanessa Singleton, Darryl Shaw
Calvert County Adult Education, GED/Adult Basic Skills class held at Patuxent High School
L to r standing: Jennifer Youngerman, Ja'Quan Wills, Amanda Douglass and Dana Gray. Seated: Reginald Holland.
Adult learners are holding up books that were special to them as children or now. The background is a bulletin board with green & a vine symbolizing how reading helps us to grow. They discussed how we are nurtured by what we have read. Continuing reading continues the growth.
Charles County Public Schools Adult Education Program: English as a Second Language conversation class held at Peace Lutheran Church, Waldorf, Maryland.
L to r: Marceline Amayene, Peggy Wong, Eleonora Bianco, Carlo Danieli, Arminda Medina, Juana Caero, Anuree Pongvaramitchai, Yvette Dahl (instructor), Yan Li
Lots of wristbands