Tuesday, September 10, 2013

International Literacy Day Conference!

Creative Team Members Outside the Whittemore House
On Monday, September 9th, creative team members Garrett Cline, Ricardo Huerta, Julianne Berg, and Travis Gilbert attended the International Literacy Association's International Literacy Day Conference with Hood College VISTA Coordinator Elaheh Eghbal.

Held at the historic Whittemore House in Dupont Circle, headquarters for the Democratic Women's Club, the conference focused on career-ready literacy within our education system. The group listened to the nation's educational leaders who articulated how employers and schools can work together to prepare students with the literacy skills needed for today's workforce.

The conference featured an address from Mrs. Alma Powell, chair of America's Promise Alliance, acclaimed children's author, and spouse of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Mrs. Powell spoke about the economic consequences of an illiterate citizenry, informing us that nearly 600,000 job openings exist in today's marketplace, however, there are no skilled workers to fill these openings.

Creative Team Members with Dr. Maureen McLaughlin
Dr. Maureen McLaughlin, International Reading Association President and chair of the Reading Department at East Stoudsburg University of Pennsylvania, defined career ready literacy for the group following Mrs. Powell's address.

Rich Long, from the International Reading Association, moderated a panel discussion including Glenn Marshall of the National Association for Manufacturing Excellence, Dr. Ann Kennedy from Arlington Mill High School, Rich Carson from Rotary International, and Jaimie Mathews from the u.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Kennedy enlightened conference attendees that 98% of her Arlington, Virginia high school students work at least 30 hours per week during the academic year, yet, only 12% are at a career-ready fluency level. Continuing, the panel discussed how Rotary International and the business community have been adopting schools and partnering with students to provide technical and literacy training for high school students, preparing them for the workforce.

Creative Team Members at the 2013 International
Literacy Conference
Our group ended the afternoon by networking with conference attendees at a coffee reception held following the panel.

International Literacy Day began on September 8, 1965 as part of an effort to focus worldwide attention on literacy needs. The event is facilitated by the International Reading Association, a nonprofit, global network of 600,000 members dedicated to developing a literate society.

Hood College Student Musical Theatre would like to thank the International Reading Association for being gracious hosts and for sharing their knowledge on worldwide literacy. Also, the organization would like to thank Hood College VISTA coordinator Elaheh Eghbal for organizing HCSMT's participation at the event.

Be sure to to check the blog on Thursday with a special update regarding HCSMT's 2013 Flash Mob!

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