Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Ultimate Gift

Admit it - you like to see your name in print. Whether in a program, a list of supporters, even in the phone book (if you keep one around the house) and if you are REALLY honest, you have googled yourself at least once!

LIFT is going to offer to one lucky bidder the opportunity to see their name in print, courtesy of Deborah Crombie, world reknowned mystery author and keynote speaker for the 2009 Champions of Literacy Luncheon. Ms. Crombie has graciously agreed to allow LIFT to auction off a character name in her next novel (which by my count should be book #14.) Just think, you might be the dashing spy or whimsical aristocrat in the next Duncan Kincaid/Emma James novel. Talk about the perfect gift for the person who has everything!

The luncheon date is Thursday September 17, 2009, noon, at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Avenue (near Love Field). Gloria Campos of WFAA-TV is returning again as our Mistress of Ceremonies. Individual tickets are $95 each and can be purchased at the LIFT website or by calling 214.824.2000, ext 230. You will NOT want to miss this event and this thrilling live auction treat! Purchase your luncheon ticket today and come prepared for a bidding war!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Latest LIFT Stats

It is hot out, but hey it is summer in Texas. Despite the heat, things are moving along at LIFT. Just out - our newest stats - pretty impressive. LIFT is still reaching out to record numbers of adult learners in Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties.

From July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009 LIFT served 8, 325 adult learners. The only other group that teaches more adults to read than LIFT in North Texas is the DISD. Most literacy organizations in the US average serving 300 adult learners a year. So, how do LIFT stats drill down?
  • 31% (2,550) participated in Family Literacy Workshops. When you take into consideration that each parent participating averages 2.5 children, approximately 6,375 were reached by this program.
  • 18% are enrolled in Adult Literacy classes. 20% of this group read below the 2nd grade level, 50% read between the 2nd and the 4th grade level and 30% read above the 4th grade level.
  • 51% (4,296) participated in ESL classes.

During this time frame, 8,070 classes met for 121,182 class hours (including 1,507 computer lab hours). LIFT still maintains a 64% course completion rate among its adult learners, compared to the national average of 10%.

So how does LIFT manage to serve so many adult learners in a year? First thing that comes to my mind is determination and the passion to fulfill the mission of raising adult literacy rates in Texas. LIFT manages these goals with a staff of 9 full time employees.

Many literacy programs employ the one on one tutoring method. For many reasons, LIFT chooses to employ the classroom method. If we are one on one and you are the tutor and I am the adult learner, when do I get to be the smart one? Never - but in a classroom setting, Sam helps Marcia, Marcia can help Greg and so forth. Confidence is built, lessons are reinforced when adult learners help each other. A bond is built between our adult learners and there is an accountability factor. When an adult learner misses a class, his/her classmates notice. Sometimes they even call and urge that adult learner to return to class. A community is built and the community is committed to making sure its members succeed.

Next post we will explore why we think LIFT has such a great retention rate among its adult learners.

Monday, July 6, 2009

LIFT Wins Diversity Award

LIFT was recently named a winner of the Fourth Annual Celebration of Diversity Award last week. The award, given by Ernst & Young LLP and the Dallas Arboretum recognizes individuals, corporations and nonprofit organizations that lead the way in creating inclusive environments.

Finalists in the nonprofit organization category included: Bridge Breast Network, Dallas iMedia, Greenhill Schoool, Kids Net Foundation (Jonathan's Place), LIFT, Methodist Health System and The Family Place. You can see LIFT was in very good company.

Those of us who work and volunteer at LIFT have always known we are doing a good job. It is delightful when the community at large recognizes that work.

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made it possible for LIFT to receive this prestigious award.