The Ardmore Literacy Leadership, a collection of literacy-based organizations in Ardmore, will bring in speaker KJ Jackson, of Tulsa, to speak at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Colvert Ministry Center in an event open to the public. The Ardmore Literacy Leadership has worked since its conception on community collaboration and a horizontal, and vertical, alignment amongst the groups. Since its creation, the group has budgeted funds to bring in a speaker to discuss the importance of literacy in the community.
Jackson, the executive director of TOUCHTulsa, a non-profit educational organization, works with after school programs and the parents of students in those programs in order to reach out and address literacy issues on a multilateral level. Leslie Kutz, Ardmore Family Literacy executive director, said the group wanted to bring in a speaker that would hit home with local business owners.
“We decided this year we wanted to focus on bringing someone in that would speak to business owners and employers about the need for, and how important it can be, to work with literacy organizations to help them improve their employee pool and make them more literate,” Kutz said.
Kutz said one of the issues employers face is finding employees who are literate. Literacy and literacy education is something Kutz said many employers have expressed interest in and the hope is Jackson can talk to business owners and employers about the benefits of working with literacy organizations and the available resources for them.
“It’s the constant cry,” she said of finding literate employees. “They say ‘we can’t get employees that are literate, especially these entry level jobs and even for that those that are qualified to move up.’”
Kutz said while several of the organizations and businesses in Ardmore have a relationship with one, or many, of the literacy organizations locally, she hopes more relationships can be established in order to actively approach the literacy issues locally.
“We want them to understand how broad our reach is and the impact that we’re actually having on literacy in children all the way to adults with all the different programs going on,” she said. “We’re here and we’re ready to partner.
“We all make sure we move in the same direction.”
Jackson will speak to attendees for 45 minutes, before opening the floor for a question and answer session. Kutz said the event will conclude by 7 p.m. There is no cost to attend and employers and business owners are highly encouraged to attend the event. Kutz said Jackson’s message should be very useful to business owners and said the Ardmore Literacy Leadership is “very excited” about providing a learning opportunity for those that attend.
“It’s not very far until the next generation is coming up,” Kutz said. “If they recognize the power of what these partnerships could be it could benefit this generation of workers and also the next generation coming up.”
For more information, call Ardmore Family Literacy at (580) 798-6176.