Tag Archives: adult literacy

Advocating for Adult Literacy

Earlier today students from the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program attended a rally at City Hall to support funding for adult education programs in New York City.

From the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL):

Over 100 immigrants, adult learners, educators and their allies will gather for a press conference at City Hall on March 22nd at 9:30am to call attention to their plight. Thousands of students across the City are currently enrolled in adult literacy classes not scheduled for renewal in the Mayor’s budget. They say they need English classes more than ever, particularly as misinformation and fear about the President’s immigration orders and ICE raids permeates low-literacy immigrant communities.

The press conference is organized by the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), a citywide coalition of community based organizations, CUNY programs, libraries and union training programs. Students, teachers and allies will be joined by City Council supporters, including Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca.

2.2 million adult New Yorkers currently lacking English proficiency and/or a high school diploma – 1/3 of the entire adult population of the city – yet the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget did not renew $12m in funding included in last year’ budget, an investment advocates called historic at the time.

Literacy programs provide a pathway to economic mobility, social integration, parent-child engagement, improved health outcomes and improved community safety.  However, these programs are dramatically underfunded and less than 3% of those in need can access adult education programming. A 2015 survey by NYCCAL revealed at least 15,000 New Yorkers were waitlisted for adult literacy classes where they sometimes waited for over a year.

Here are more pictures:

To learn how you can take action, click here.

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Immigrant Poets in New York

This Tuesday, November 18th at 1:00PM, the Book Club Class will be sharing some of their stories and poems. This event will take place in Speyer Hall in 184 Eldridge Street. The event is open to everyone and FREE. Hope to see you there.


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Literacy Review Revisited

Above is a “greatest hits” video from last spring’s Literacy Review Celebration at NYU.  You will find the Adult Literacy Program’s own Tammie Tai at the 3:01 mark!

The Literacy Review is an annual journal of writing from adult literacy programs throughout New York City. Edited by NYU Gallatin students, the book is distributed at a celebration that includes readings by the newly published writers.

The faculty adviser for the Literacy Review is Professor June Foley, who teaches an advanced writing class here at University Settlement on Fridays. To learn more about the Literacy Review, click here.

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The Ways Our Sonnets Flow

poet reading

April was National Poetry Month. Our E3 class wrote a booklet of poems (sonnets). Here’s one by Leonardo Castillo:

Oh Money!

There are people that adore money
It is their honey
They are drunk on success
They don’t know the stress
They don’t feel any pain
If it isn’t related to their gain
They can work the whole day
Without ever hitting the hay
They want to own the water
To control the world better
They dream about how it would be sold
As a way to amass a lot of gold
And the most important issue, they think
Is to exhibit their wives wrapped in mink

Leonardo Castillo

Click on the picture below to read more. Comment and let us know which ones are your favorite – you can even write your own sonnet! Enjoy!


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 It is difficult (and rewarding) to learn a new language and students need all the help they can get. In the video below a man is working hard to learn English. He gets help from his school, library, friends and family. Watch the video and comment below. Tell us the special reason the man is learning English and let us know your goals and reasons as well.

There are about two months left of classes. Don’t let the spring weather distract you too much. Keep working hard so you can improve your skills, achieve your goals and celebrate with a nice drink.

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Idiom of the Week: Swallow Your Pride


Meaning: To admit when you are wrong. To accept a humiliating or embarrassing truth.


It’s OK if you made a mistake, just swallow your pride and admit it.

The students swallowed their pride when the teacher told them they would have to repeat the course.

My husband finally swallowed his pride and apologized about lying to me.

Pop Quiz:

When would someone swallow their pride?

A.  If they do poorly on a test.

B.  If they do very well on a test.

C.  If they get caught cheating on a test.

To see the answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Continue reading

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April 2013 Student of the Month

April’s Student of the Month is Lois Geng. She is from W4 and her teacher is Lynne Hayden-Findlay. Lois is a great writer and one of her writings has been chosen to appear in the Literacy Review (you can read more about the Literacy Review here). Below, Lois tells us a little about herself and then shares some of her writing. Enjoy and keep working hard, the next Student of the Month could be you.

My name is Lois Geng. I was born in China and immigrated to the United State of America.  I have been in New York City for more than ten years.  I love New York because of its fantastic lifestyle and that it’s full of opportunities.  I like to challenge myself even though I have a happy life.  I want to continue to work hard improving my language skills in order to better integrate into American life.

2013-04-21 16.26.00 copy



Water is the source of life. Water is the treasure of life.

In our lives, we cannot be separated from water. Water will always accompany us. During my childhood, I lived in my grandmother’s hometown which is in China’s Southern countryside. In front of the house, there is a big stream flowing down from the mountains. It is crystal clear and there is a lot of small fish hiding under the stones. We often went to catch the fish and played in the water. The water left me with the joy of childhood. But when I returned to my grandmother’s home a few years ago, I couldn’t recognize the stream I once knew. The stream is now a victim of pollution. It gave me a feeling of sadness.

Water is the best gift nature gives us. We should cherish it, protect it. If people do not cherish water resources, then the world’s last drop will be tears.

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