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Representatives from MAACCE, the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE), state associations, and adult learners will be meeting with congressional representatives on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept. 27 to urge them to fund adult education at the previously approved amount of $664 million needed to fulfill the goals of the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
The "Capitol Hill Day" visit is part of the Educate and Elevate Campaign – a collaboration of COABE AND NCSDAE – and it also dovetails with efforts for Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (AEFL) 2018 (Sept. 23-29), sponsored by the National Coalition for Literacy, to increase the public's understanding and awareness of the need to support adult literacy, increase federal funding, and leverage local funds.
"Our goal is to ensure that our leaders know the facts and stories about the Marylanders struggling to advance in their careers and provide for their families due to their need for adult education services," said Melanie Chapman, president of MAACCE. "Of the 36 million Americans with low literacy levels, hundreds of thousands live right here in Maryland. Furthermore, 60 million Americans lack the credentials and skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education. Investing in adult education programming is essential to these citizens' success in the workforce."
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MAACCE is also a strong supporter of the student voice in its efforts to create awareness of the success of state and local programs through its Student Ambassador program. Student Ambassadors are those who volunteer to share their personal success stories to highlight the role that adult education plays in their ability to earn a secondary educational credential, gain English language skills, work toward a work readiness credential, or develop literacy skills in order to help their children with homework. Maryland adult learner fact sheets are available by county.
Research shows that increasing investments in adult basic skills programs contributes to a healthy economy, increased employment, reduced public assistance, and lower health care costs. In Maryland alone, there are 500,000 adults lacking a high school diploma, which costs the state approximately $3.6 billion per year in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity.
During AEFL week, Sept. 23-29, MAACCE is asking Maryland constituents to reach out to their local congressional representatives through phone calls, emails, and written letters. MAACCE has compiled several tools to assist Marylanders in these efforts:
· Locate your congressional representatives and their contact information www.house.gov/htbin/findrep.
· Send an email message by visiting www.educateandelevate.org. Follow the instructions listed on the homepage under the "Email Outreach" section.
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· See MAACCE's fact sheets, for various Maryland counties and regions, to provide specifics while talking to leaders in your area: www.maaccemd.org/2018-aefl-week/.
· Follow MAACCE's Facebook and Twitter pages for updates at www.facebook.com/MAACCE/ and twitter.com/maaccemd (http://www.twitter.com/maaccemd).
Maryland supporters of adult education are also encouraged to help raise awareness by participating in MAACCE's GO GREEN for LITERACY Campaign by wearing green wristbands and/or the color green during AEFL week, and attending the "Adult Education Heroes" celebration & networking event on September 26 hosted by Elevation Educational Consulting Group. A portion of the proceeds from this event's raffle will benefit MAACCE. Register for the free event here: http://bit.ly/AEFLHeroes. Participants will be posting pictures on Facebook or Twitter using #InvestInMarylandAdultEdu , #MAACCEgreen, and #AEFLWeek.
Those interested in obtaining the green wristbands can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request them. Additional details may be found at www.maaccemd.org and www.educateandelevate.org/maryland.
The Maryland Association for Adult, Community and Continuing Education is a non-profit organization providing leadership in Maryland for those interested in advancing education as a lifelong process. MAACCE provides a central forum for a wide variety of adult, community and continuing education groups and encourages organizations and agencies in Maryland to cooperate in a broad spectrum of educational programs and activities in support of the lifelong learning concept.
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