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Date: Wed Mar 30 2005 - 17:32:31 EST

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Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1033] The "Summer of Why" Campaign
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Hello all -
Something else you may find interesting...please see the message from VALUE 
(Voice for Adult Literacy United for Education) below...

Jackie Taylor, List Moderator, NIFL-AALPD
March 29, 2005

The "Summer of Why" Campaign

What is the Summer of Why campaign?

It is time that we, the adult learner, our families, our friends, volunteer 
tutors, and teachers, explain in our own words why adult basic education and 
literacy is important.

Why the Summer of Why campaign?

Adult learners can and must help shape adult education’s uncertain future. 
Adult learner successes validate their program’s importance. Adult learners’ 
belief in adult basic education and literacy make them compelling 
spokespersons. The adult education field needs to show funders that adult 
learners are hard-working Americans striving to better themselves – changing 
the stereotype from their being a drain on society’s resources to a vast 
resource of under-realized human potential to better themselves, their 
employer, their families, and their communities. We as adult learners must 
step up and answer the question: “Why is adult education important?” Summer is 
the best time for this campaign because programs have more time then and the 
summer is when adult education has its weakest public voice.

How will the Summer of Why work?

During April and May we would like adult learners to get together with each 
other, their families, friends, and teachers to discuss why adult education is 
important to them. We know that is something that is hard to talk about, so we 
would like them to discuss it in a safe environment with people they are 
comfortable with. Then we would like them to send a handwritten letter 
including their name and address to VALUE’s National Office by June 1st 
explaining to us why adult education is important to them. Then at the 
beginning of the summer, VALUE will hold a press conference where we will be 
reading some of these testimonials. We will also release some of them to the 
press. In addition, VALUE will hand deliver these testimonials to legislators, 
so they can learn how important adult basic education is in the communities 
they represent. Then all summer long we are asking adult learners to get out 
into the public – on the radio or television, or in the newspapers – educating 
the public to why adult basic education is so important. Suggestions include 
asking their program to host an event, such as a town talk or fundraiser, 
where the press can meet adult learners to help to get the message out.

How can a local program help?

You can encourage your students to talk about this topic. You will find that 
your students want to, but are sometimes afraid to talk. Develop a safe 
environment for them to talk with each other. Encourage them to write to us. 
We know that writing is not fun for an adult learner. Maybe you could do it as 
part of a lesson. Gather the letters from your program and send them to us. 
This is not just for adult learners; the Summer of Why is also their families, 
friends, and volunteer tutors/teachers.

How can a state organization help?

You can encourage programs in your state to participate in the Summer of Why. 
Help to gather up the letters from throughout your state, and help to 
coordinate getting press for the adult learners in your state. You could also 
hold events at the state level to keep the press aware of this issue.

How can a national organization help?

You can encourage your members to discuss this issue and to reach out to the 
press all summer long. You can join us for the press conference in Washington 
in early June and help get adult learners to this event.
Contact the VALUE National Office for more information:

Tel: (610) 876-7625
Fax: (610) 876-1996

2217 Providence Ave., Second Floor
Chester, PA 19013

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