The Elder Literacy Initiative: Pre-literacy curriculum
Submitted by voglx010 on July 16, 2014 - 11:35am
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The Elder Literacy Initiative
Hello everyone! I have just completed a curriculum development project for low-literate elders, and I'm very interested in sharing this resource with as many organizations and educators as possible.
I coordinate Adult ELL Programs for CommonBond Communities, an affordable housing nonprofit in St Paul, Minnesota. When I began my position, I found that although we were not a traditional location for a school, we were reaching an underserved population of learners: elder refugees. Oftentimes, elders face the greatest challenges in attending schools off-site due to limited mobility, lack of transportation, or health issues. As a housing organization, we were in an ideal position to serve elders as our programs operate in the buildings where students live, but we simply did not have the right resources to deliver quality literacy instruction to elders who are pre-literate.
I collaborated with the Minnesota Literacy Council to develop curriculum guidelines for volunteers working 1:1 with low-literate elders. We went on to develop activities which practice the skills outlined in these guidelines-- activities which first focus on building students' vocabulary orally, then teach students to read those words they already know how to say.
This curriculum includes:
- 13 instructional themes that are relevant and authentic to adults of any age, with a special focus on learners who are 65+
- Guidelines informed by Massachusetts ABE Basic Literacy Standards, training materials from the Minnesota Literacy Council, and Transitions Integration Framework
- Materials that are easy to use with pre-literate learners 1:1, in small groups, or classroom settings
- Leveled activities with detailed instructions that are easy to follow