The Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening and expanding the adult education system, and to advancing adult literacy as a core value in our society and a foundation for equal opportunity and social justice. Since 1983, the LAC has been working to build the capacity and improve the quality of the basic education, high school equivalency, and English language programs that serve New York’s most educationally and economically marginalized adults and out-of-school youth. Our primary services include teacher training, instructional coaching, curriculum development support, data management and data analysis, and leadership support for adult education practitioners in community-based organizations (CBOs), libraries, community colleges, public school systems, and union-based training funds. Read More About the LAC
Literacy & Justice Initiative
Visions of the Possible
The Forum includes three other articles:
Numeracy, Digital Resiliency, and Habits of Mind
Strengthening Adult Literacy Education: Results from the NYC Pilot Project Fiscal Year 2022
Digital Resilience in the American Workforce
practitioners who support learners that struggle to fully engage in tasks that demand the use of digital technologies.
This initiative includes a number of components including a landscape scan (read the report here) and flexible, evidence-based, and piloted strategies and materials that help teachers build the digital literacy skills and digital resilience of adult learners. We will share more as resources become available.
Listen Up for Literacy & Justice!
Each story is an audio recording of a student responding to 3 questions, with the option to add photos. You can listen to the emerging collection on the Listen Up stories page and read more here about how to participate. We hope that many students will contribute their stories and raise their voices for the right to an education!
The Chicago Chinese Mutual Aid Association Interviews Ira Yankwitt
For a Better Democracy, Invest in Adult Literacy Education
Report: The Impact of COVID-19 on NYC Adult Literacy Programs & Students
Literacy and Justice: A Message to Our Field
Ira Yankwitt, Executive Director, Literacy Assistance Center
June 15, 2020
Providing Instruction from a Distance
On our Coronavirus Times page we include tips for making your lessons distance friendly as well as a list of sites and apps with ready made content you can suggest for your students.
Census 2020 Resources Available
LAC is Grow with Google NYC's Small Business of the Week
Congratulations to Students of the Year
Although it had been twenty years since Andre had been in a school setting, he enrolled in TASC preparation courses and attended every class, even when a member of his family became seriously ill. Balancing class, work, and family was not easy but the results were worth the struggle. He is now enrolled at Kingsborough Community College and is on his way to a career as an accountant.
Phillip Rucker had not been to school in 50 years—dropping out in the tenth grade—when, in 2016, he came to the Adult Learning Center at Central Library to obtain his high school equivalency diploma. He wanted to be a role model for his children and grandchildren.
Working through medical and family issues, he completed a series of adult basic education courses and moved on to the pre-high school equivalency preparation classes. Rucker successfully completed the TASC exam on the first attempt last July. He encourages and motivates classmates and is an inspiration to younger students. Rucker hopes to attend college and give back to the Library by becoming a tutor.
Brooklyn Public Library is delighted to see Andre and Phillip recognized and to provide a welcoming space for anyone wishing to pursue a career, learn something new or explore the world around them.
Susan Gaer to Present Two Part Workshop at the LAC
Read more on our Public Workshop Calendar
New ALE-Funded Program Highlights Section on the NYC STAC website
Digital Literacy: Consume, Create, Curate!
The Great Thanksgiving Listen
The Literacy Assistance Center is pleased to be partnering with StoryCorps this year for The Great Thanksgiving Listen.
The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national project that empowers people to create an oral history of the contemporary U.S. by recording a conversation with someone special over the Thanksgiving holidays using the free StoryCorps App. Interviews become part of the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where they will serve as an invaluable resource for future historians.
Learn more and how to participate
Register now for the Meeting Challenges Exploring Solutions in the Adult ESOL Classroom Conference
Join us for this one-day conference that provides English Language Teaching professionals with a space to learn from one another, share ideas, and network.
The day features the plenary "Learning Challenges: Assessment Solutions" by Anne Katz., workshops exploring techniques and ideas to support classroom practice, and presentations focusing on current challenges facing ESOL teachers.
Both The New School and the Literacy Assistance Center have a long tradition of excellence in the training of teachers of English to speakers of other languages. We welcome participation by professionals who seek to address critical issues in the field and hone their own craft.
**PLEASE NOTE on-the-day payments can only be made via credit or debit card. Pre-purchase via Eventbrite is strongly preferred**
$25 per participant (until 10/20/17)
$15 for New School students, faculty, staff, alumni (until 10/20/17)
$15 for current and former TESLA certificate students at the Literacy Assistance Center (until 10/20/17)
$30 for at the door registration (10/21/17)
LAC Staff Member Joins NYACCE Board
The LAC is happy to announce that at the New York Association of Continuing and Community Education (NYACCE) Conference on April 26, 2017, a member of our staff, Nell Eckersley, became a member of the NYACCE Board. NYACCE is the state-wide association that provides information, and support for professionals serving the needs of life-long learners.
NY City Council Immigration Committee's Preliminary Budget Hearing
On March 22, 2017, LAC Executive Director, Ira Yankwitt, presented testimony at the City Council Immigration Committee's preliminary budget hearing on behalf of NYCCAL. You can read the transcript of the testimony here or view a video of the entire hearing here (the NYCCAL panel begins at 3:28:00). #LiteracyLiftsNewYork
Literacy Assistance Center's Spring Workshop Calendar Now Available
The Literacy Assistance Center announces the second annual MEETING CHALLENGES, EXPLORING SOLUTIONS IN THE ADULT ESOL CLASSROOM Conference
Literacy Assistance Center Announces Fall Workshop Calendar
FALL 2016 TESLA Offered at No Cost to Selected Participants
New York City Council Fiscal Year 2017 Preliminary Budget Hearing
New York City Council Committee on Immigration
Honorable Carlos Menchaca, Chair
The US Departments of Labor and Education have issued various Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in 2015 to guide the states in how to implement WIOA. State entities responsible for WIOA implementation are expected to draft and submit WIOA implementation plans by March 2016. Accordingly, the New York Department of Labor (NYSDOL) and New York State Department of Education (NYSED) collaborated to create a Combined State Plan and posted it for public comment in December 2015.
To see the LAC’s response to the NYS Combined State Plan go to this link http://bit.ly/LACWIOAResponse. It includes our recommendations on what to consider when developing the State plan, especially as it applies to the adult education system in New York State.
We have also gathered other WIOA related materials that might be helpful. You can find them at this link http://bit.ly/LACWIOA.
The latest New Yorker of the Week keeps her students inspired, disclipined and determined on their road to their American dream. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
Growing up, Laura Jimenez called two places home. Living at times in Mexico and the United States, she learned what new immigrants need.
"Everybody is important," Jimenez says. "No matter where you come from, no matter you know what your background is, you're a person. You deserve to be treated in a nice way."
Now, Laura is doing that and so much more. After fulfilling her dream of becoming a U.S. citizen, she's helping others.
Laura is the citizenship preparation instructor at the YMCA's New Americans Welcome Center on Staten Island. It's the borough she's lived in for almost 30 years.
"If you're a hard-working person, you can really achieve whatever you want," Jimenez says. "I have a lot of students who, after they became a citizen, they already set another goal, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and that doesn’t happen in another country." Read More...
A Call for Rigor in Adult Ed
by Robert Sheppard TESOL Blog
November 9, 2015
Last Saturday I took part in a welcome new addition to the conference circuit: Meeting Challenges, Exploring Solutions in the Adult ESL Classroom, presented by The New School and the Literacy Assistance Center. Set amid East Village foliage, catered with New York bagels like only New York can make New York bagels, intermingled with music by the Mannes School, and packed full of relevant sessions, it was a Saturday well spent.
The plenary was delivered by Betsy Parrish, author of Teaching Adult ESL, and at the heart of her address was a call for rigor in adult ESL. Taken on its own, such an appeal seems uncontroversial and even commonsense. But at a time when so many are so vocally railing against the new standards we find ourselves grappling with, for Parrish to make this case becomes something of a statement. But hers is a statement grounded in reason and research. Read more...
Conceptual Understanding in Instruction: It Really Works!
By Molley Bruce, Hennepin Cty. Corrections Instructor
October 27, 2015
LAC & New School Announce Meeting Challenges, Exploring Solutions in the Adult ESOL Classroom Conference
September 8, 2015
This is a one-day conference hosted by The New School in partnership with the Literacy Assistance Center to provide English language teaching professionals with a space to learn from one another, share ideas, and network. Both The New School and the Literacy Assistance Center have a long tradition of excellence in the training of teachers of English to speakers of other languages. The day will consist of a plenary by a leading researcher in the field, followed by hands-on workshops to support classroom practice. There will also be panel debates exploring current challenges within the various contexts in which adults learn English.
Open to the public
To register click on the appropriate link below
$25 per participant
$15 for New School students, faculty, and staff
$15 for current and former TESLA certificate and other Academy students at the Literacy Assistance Center
LAC and ETS HiSET® Announce Partnership
June 26, 2015
The Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) is proud to announce that it has partnered with the Educational Testing Service (ETS®) to provide professional development and technical assistance to adult educators in states that have adopted ETS’s HiSET® exam. The HiSET® is an alternative high school equivalency test currently offered in California, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming, along with U.S. territories Guam, Northern Marianas, American Samoa and The Republic of Palau.
The LAC’s programming will consist of webinars, workshops, on-site services, coaching for increasing instructor efficiency as well as technological integration into course instruction. The LAC's main goal is to cultivate a community of effective education professionals who are preparing students to earn their high school equivalency certificates and become better prepared for college and careers.
"At the LAC, we envision a future where everyone has the opportunity to actively participate in civic affairs, achieve economic security, support their children's schooling and more," said Ira Yankwitt, Executive Director of the LAC." By teaming up with ETS®, we can help more adults achieve this."
"This is a great opportunity for us to help those who are at the forefront of education - teachers," explains Jonn Oswald, Vice President & General Manager, K-12 Student Assessment Programs at ETS®. "We're looking forward to assisting the community in preparing their students for future success."
For more information about ETS's® HiSET® program, please visit http://hiset.ets.org/.
Library of Congress Literacy Awards
October 10, 2014
The LAC was honored to be recognized on October 8, 2014 by the Library of Congress as one of 14 US-based and international "Best Practices" organizations. Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program honors organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States or abroad.
The awards also encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for combating illiteracy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices. They are intended to draw public attention to the continuing need for literacy services and to increase awareness of the importance of literacy.
By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to inspire organizations, foundations, and other private sector groups to become involved in combating illiteracy.
Read more at this link: http://read.gov/documents/bestpractices2014.pdf (the LAC is on page 19)
Looking for an Adult Education Program?
Looking for a GED Test Seat?
Looking for Teacher Professional Development?
What We Do