March 31, 2016 is the 10th anniversary of the Massachusetts Alliance for Adult Literacy’s (MassAAL) annual Adult Literacy Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House. At 11 am current students, graduates, and supporters of adult basic education (ABE), ESOL and HiSET programs will converge upon the Massachusetts State House in the Gardner Auditorium to rally and be recognized for their leadership and advocacy efforts. Then they will speak with their elected officials to tell their stories of how the field of ABE has transformed their lives.
The event acknowledges that ABE, ESOL and HiSET programs are among the few avenues of hope for some populations that would otherwise be left out along the margins of our society. These programs do more than just help a single individual. As the Executive Director for MassAAL, I can attest that these programs are a vehicle for positive socioeconomic change for entire communities – healing the problems that many face in our society regardless of race, class, or gender, leading to upward mobility for all.
ABE Advocacy: Why the Need?
In a state that is known for education, Massachusetts has more than its fair share of adults in need of ABE services. Nearly half of the adults who try to enroll in ABE services each year cannot because there aren’t adequate resources to fund needed programs in the state. (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, March 2012)
That means, depending on the year, somewhere between 18,000 to 20,000 prospective students are turned away or put on waiting lists in programs funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Why is ABE advocacy by adult learners especially effective?
Adult learner advocacy is especially effective because it is the actual student or graduate who speaks passionately about the great work that the ABE field has had in their lives. They are living testimonies—they can speak convincingly about the positive effects that ABE programs have on their communities in a way that cannot be denied.
RSVP for Adult Literacy Awareness Day 2016
Help make a difference in ABE education in Massachusetts by attending Adult Literacy Awareness Day 2016. For more information or to RSVP, contact Ernest Best, Executive Director of MassAAL.
Ernest Best, Executive Director
Massachusetts Alliance for Adult Literacy
117 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Boston, MA 02119
Phone: (617) 445-7225
Fax: (617) 445-5989