Cardin, Sarbanes, Ruppersberger to Celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Efforts 

Federal lawmakers join to highlight regional effort to better prepare workers with the literacy skills needed for today’s jobs

Wednesday, October 22 at 10:00AM, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Representatives John Sarbanes and Dutch Ruppersberger (All D-Md.), and state and city officials will join with the South Baltimore Learning Center and theMaryland Association for Adult, Community and Continuing Education to spotlight important efforts to improve adult education and family literacy in Maryland and nationwide. All three lawmakers were supporters of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that was signed into law earlier this year. Its workforce programs are helping Americans develop the skills necessary to participate and excel in today’s knowledge-based economy, particularly basic and technical literacy. Adult and family literacy programs are important components of long-term human capital development that is vital to building and sustaining a vibrant middle class.

WHAT:          Press Conference on Adult Education and Family Literacy 

WHO:            U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

U.S. Representative John Sarbanes

U.S. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger

Leonard J. Howie III, Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Patricia Tyler, director, DLLR Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning

Karen Sitnick, director, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development

Jeff Carter, president, National Coalition of Literacy

Heather Ritchie, board president, Maryland Association for Adult Community and Continuing Education

Sonia Socha, executive director, South Baltimore Learning Center

WHEN:          Wednesday, October 22 at 10:00 AM

WHERE:        South Baltimore Learning Center

                        28 E. Ostend St., Baltimore, MD 21230

                        Parking for media in lot behind building.

HOW:            For more information and to RSVP, media should contacttim_zink@cardin.senate.gov

“It’s easy to take reading for granted when you can do it, but a tremendous obstacle in daily life for those who cannot read. Fortunately, it is an obstacle that is completely surmountable, thanks to the hard work that gets done at places like the South Baltimore Learning Center,” said Senator Cardin. “The students that come here often find their skills dramatically improved by the time they leave, strengthening their own prospects and our community at the same time.”

“As our country’s economy continues to recover, it is more important than ever to help educate and train adults who never finished school or who have been out of the workforce for years,” said Congressman Ruppersberger. “Adult literacy is also key to breaking the cycles of poverty and social injustice.”

“South Baltimore Learning Center is a tremendous asset to Baltimoreans looking to further their education and secure better employment opportunities,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “By providing adults with basic education services and programs – such as literacy and computer classes, career counseling and the ability to earn a high school diploma – SBLC is helping thousands of Baltimoreans achieve their educational dreams and career aspirations, which bolsters the local economy and strengthens our communities.”

The South Baltimore Learning Center is a community based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the self-sufficiency of educationally disadvantaged adults.  At the Center and off-site, adult learners can attend classes in Adult Basic Education (ABE), Pre-GED and GED instruction, or — for beginning readers — weekly one-to-one tutoring sessions.  SBLC also provides computer classes, career counseling, and academic counseling, as well as an opportunity to earn a high school diploma through the External Diploma Program (EDP). SBLC is the sole authorized provider of the EDP program for Baltimore City. 

The Maryland Association for Adult, Community and Continuing Education (MAACCE) 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.