The Macon Community is joining forces to promote the importance of reading. Do you remember the magic of books when you were a kid? Most children in low income communities will not have that memory because they do not have age-appropriate books in their homes. When they arrive at kindergarten, they are developmentally behind and have one-fourth the vocabulary of their mid-income peers by first grade.
• Access to printed materials has been found to be the “critical variable affecting reading acquisition.” On average, children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age-appropriate books in their homes. Children in middle-income communities have an average of 54.
• The home environment – specifically the availability of reading material – is a stronger predictor of later academic achievement than socioeconomic status.
• Current research overwhelmingly supports the importance of facilitating early and emerging literacy skills in preschool-age children as a critical foundation for literacy development.
This is a problem that touches everyone in our community because it has a dramatic effect on attracting businesses and sustaining our economy.
The Adult Education Program of Central Georgia Technical College serves seven counties; of which 17.7 percent live below the poverty level; 18.9 percent have not finished high school, and 35.4 percent have completed high-school, but have not continued with a post secondary education program. This means that over 54 percent of the population we serve do not have the education needed to live a quality standard of living.
On September 8, the world will hold its annual observance of International Literacy Day. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. “Despite many and varied efforts, literacy remains an elusive target: some 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 72.1 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out” (UNESCO). In Georgia, over 1.3 million adults are without a high school diploma or GED.
Jumpstart’s Read for the Record will take place on Thursday, October 2, with readers of all ages joining together to break the world record for the most children reading the same book with an adult on the same day. Parents throughout Central Georgia will be asked to support this effort and volunteer to read at their child’s school. A collaborative of agencies throughout our community are working together to support this effort.
About the Adult Education Program
For adult learners looking to obtain their GED and the improved opportunities that follow, then the State of Georgia’s adult education programs can help to prove that “it’s a new day” for you. In fact, last year, we enrolled some 100,000 students in adult education programs and 18,000 of those Georgians proudly obtained their GED, opening doors to increased earning potential, higher education, and better lives. Another 36,000 men and women enrolled in our English language programs.
The Technical College System of Georgia is a unified system of technical education, custom business and industry training and adult education. Our programs use the best available technology and offer easy access to lifelong learning for all Georgians. This system is part of a seamless education process for Georgia in which students can transfer credits efficiently as they advance from secondary schools to technical colleges and to the university system.