The New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL) is comprised of adult literacy teachers, managers, students, and allies from community -based organizations, CUNY campuses, and library programs across NYC.
Like the Philadelphia Adult Literacy Alliance (The Alliance), NYCCAL also advocates for an adult literacy system that provides quality, comprehensive and accessible educational services to the over 1.7 million adults (aged 18-64) in NYC who need them. NYCCAL believes that being able to read and write, learn English, obtain a High School Equivalency, and enter training and post secondary education are the rights of every New Yorker, and the cornerstone to an equitable and just society.
In June 2016 NYCCAL helped to win $12 million in new adult literacy funding in the New York City budget. During the next quarterly meeting we will discuss how they manage to secure the funding and what lessons we can learn from them. The meeting will feature guest speakers Ira Yankwitt, Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) and Venu Thelakkat, Director of ASISTS (student information management system for New York State) and Data Analysis at the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City.
Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC)
LAC is a nonprofit professional development and technical assistance organization dedicated to strengthening and expanding adult basic education, high school equivalency and English language programs in educationally disadvantaged and economically marginalized communities. Ira has worked in the field of adult literacy since 1993. Before LAC, Ira served as the Executive Director of Program Initiatives for the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education, where he oversaw curriculum, instruction and professional development for a citywide program that served over 30,000 adult students annually. Ira has taught high school equivalency, managed a community-based adult literacy program, and trained teachers and program administrators. He served as the Director of the New York City Regional Adult Education Network from 2004 through 2007.
Director of ASISTS (student information management system for New York State)
Data Analysis at the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City
Over the past two decades, Venu has overseen the creation and implementation of data systems in New York that have allowed the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and all publicly funded adult education programs to track all adult learners and their outcomes. The current system, ASISTS, tracks nearly 200,000 students from nearly 170 adult education programs across New York State. As ASISTS Director Venu has been an integral part of the implementation of the National Reporting System guidelines in New York State and was one of the co-authors of the NRS data tables submitted by NYSED as part of its annual report to the OCTAE division at the US Department of Education. Venu was also part of the team that designed the Adult Education Report Cards, used by NYSED to evaluate adult education programs and target technical assistance.
Not a member of the Philadelphia Adult Literacy Alliance? Become a member to access opportunities offered to network, lend your voice and expertise, learn about new resources, and stay updated on trends and standards in adult literacy. Membership is free.
The Mission of the Philadelphia Adult Literacy Alliance is: “To support the delivery of quality services to Philadelphia’s adult learners by offering professional development, encouraging collaboration and connectedness, and sharing information.” For more information click here.