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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2009

ICCB celebrates National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

Springfield -- The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) joins the celebration recognizing October 18-24, 2009, as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.  This Congressional declaration is the culmination of literacy advocacy and outreach resulting in 26 co-signers in the U. S. House of Representatives, including Representative Phil Hare (D-IL).

Illinois Adult Education and Family Literacy programs funded through the ICCB serve adult students who need to improve their basic literacy and math skills, improve their oral and written English, practice for the GED Tests to attain a high school equivalence certificate, and prepare for postsecondary education or training and employment. More than 93 million American adults have basic or below basic literacy skills, according to national estimates. The lack of literacy skills limits their ability to advance at work and in education.  In Illinois, more than 1.8 million adults do not have a high school diploma and approximately 2.34 million immigrants speak a language other than English in their homes.

More than 100 programs in Illinois provide instruction to more than 118,000 adult education learners each year.

“A student’s ability to attain the skills necessary to move into community college is important” said Guy Alongi, ICCB Board Chairman.

Geoffrey Obrzut, president and chief executive officer of the ICCB, states that “there continues to be a growing need to provide more adult education services to more individuals.” 

To attain their high school completion, more than 26,000 adults in Illinois take the GED test annually.

“The success of the students is a major priority for the ICCB”, says Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, Vice President for Adult Education and Institutional Support. “We will continue our efforts in expanding services to reach more individuals in order to improve their basic skills and acquire the English language skills needed for educational and employment advancement.”
 
“This is an extreme honor and a great opportunity for Illinois as well as other states to showcase the success of the Adult Education System”, says Jennifer Foster, Senior Director for Adult Education and Family Literacy/State Director for GED Testing Administration.  “We need to keep the momentum going this week and beyond”.

For more information about Illinois Adult Education and national adult education facts, visit the following websites:
• Illinois Adult Education:  http://www.iccb.org/adulted.html
• National Coalition for Literacy:  http://www.national-coalition-literacy.org/litfacts.html



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