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New Orleans Community Literacy Coalition to celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8, 2001

Loyola press release - August 20, 2001

(New Orleans)--On September 8, 2001 the New Orleans Area Literacy Coalition is participating in International Literacy Day, an event that has been celebrated throughout the world since 1966. This coalition consists of representatives from Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. John, St. James, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, Washington and Plaquemines parishes who have joined together to help improve literacy services in Southeast Louisiana.

The Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy, housed at Loyola University New Orleans, is a member of the coalition. In May, the coalition, made of approximately 40 institutions and groups, received a grant from a local private foundation to encourage members to forge a plan to address adult literacy requirements in the five-parish area. The Boggs Center is charged to act as a catalyst for the group, encouraging the formation of the collaboration.

Members of the coalition have planned events to raise awareness of local literacy issues. The schedule of events for Saturday, September 8, 2001 follows:

9:00 a.m. ľ 2:00 p.m.
International Literacy Day Fair
Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue

  • Storytelling (9-11 a.m.)
  • Literacy student poetry and story readings
  • Parenting and health information
  • Local literacy provider information

3:00 p.m. ľ 5 p.m.
YMCA Education Services Celebration of Literacy
Trinity Church ľ 1329 Jackson Avenue

  • Student and volunteer awards
  • Student performances
  • Great food and music

Level 1 literacy means a person can sign their name, locate a piece of information in a short newspaper article, locate the expiration date information on a driverĺs license and total a bank entry. They typically however cannot locate an intersection on a map, locate two pieces of information in a short newspaper article or calculate total costs of purchase from an order form.

The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey report contains disturbing statistics about literacy:

In the United States, percentage of population at Level 1 Literacy: 23%
In Louisiana, 28%
In Orleans Parish, 39%
In Jefferson Parish, 21%
In Plaquemines Parish, 28%
In St. Bernard Parish, 18%

The Boggs Center seeks to nurture collaborative partnerships between Loyola and its surrounding metropolitan community. Located in the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library at Loyola, the Boggs Center is dedicated to promoting adult literacy as a vehicle for personal, economic and community empowerment.

For more information, contact Rachel B. Nicolosi, 864-7012, at the Boggs Center.

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