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  February 11, 2015

I joined Literacy Connexus . . .  


My career has been varied over the last 35 years. I had plans to be a high school counselor but never made it down that path. Being a military spouse meant moving and changing jobs every two to three years. Regardless of the jobs I have had, adult literacy has always had an impact. I taught high school, middle school, and preschool where I saw the effects of parental low literacy on children. I also provided training and professional development for early childhood teachers on military bases in Germany and in north Texas, where once again the low literacy skills of many teachers had an impact on the classroom environment and the language activities provided for the preschool children.


Sue Matkin with Steve Murdock, founding director of Rice University's Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, at yesterday's United Way 2015 Economic Summit in Fort Worth. At the summit, Dr. Murdock reminded participants that 40% of Texans over 25 lack high school or GED completion.


Once I actually provided ESL and GED classes for the parents at my 21st Century Community Learning Center Afterschool Programs for Fort Worth ISD, I knew I had found the answer to help our at risk students. Watching parents coming in for adult education classes two times a week for three hours in the evening after working all day, was so inspiring. I often heard them talk about how they could now talk with their child's teacher, help their children with homework, or had gotten better jobs. Watching the students whose parents were involved in ESL and GED programs improve their grades and attendance at higher rates than their peers, only reinforced my respect for the programs.

When I started at United Way, we were in the process of selecting new impact areas to focus on. Adult literacy was identified as a great need with limited resources available in Tarrant County. Literacy Connexus quickly came to the surface as a leader in Tarrant County. As I researched resources of adult literacy and identified leaders to help develop a plan to address the issue, Lester and Literacy Connexus kept coming up. Lester then introduced me to leaders in adult literacy locally as well as nationally.  


I worked with over 75 community leaders to plan and launch the Tarrant Literacy Coalition. I continue to fund ESL and GED in my current work to move low income working families to financial stability. Every GED graduation or ESL class completion ceremony I attend reminds me of how important this work is.


Sue Matkin with Lori Donley, former Executive Director of Literacy Texas, and Ronnie Hagerty, Asstistant Vice President of Community Relations of United Way of Greater Houston.


After eight years on the Literacy Texas board I decided it was time to contribute to local efforts. I am thrilled to serve on the board of Literacy Connexus. I look forward to new experiences with an old friend.


Sue Matkin  

Duncanville, TX       

Adult Literacy . . .

When adults improve their literacy skills, their children reap benefits that may last a lifetime.

Please take a moment to read ProLiteracy's education fact sheet, Making the Case:  Linking Adult Literacy with K-12 Literacy for United Way's Education Campaign.


Register now . . .
Saturday, February 28, 2015 
at Dallas Baptist University

Lester Meriwether, Executive Director 

Offices at Henderson Hall - Agape Baptist Church

3954 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth, TX  76116


Mailing/shipping address:

3020 S. Cherry Lane, #123168

Fort Worth, TX  76121

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Pam Moore, Editor   

Trivia Challenge 
1. On Valentine's Day in Japan, women present chocolate to the men in their lives. The favor is returned one month later on White Day, following the Sanbai Gaeshi rule. The term means:


a) thrice the return


b) honoring mother first


c) a poem and a gift


d) white roses and dark chocolate 


2. Only one U.S. president learned to speak English as a second language. Growing up in the state of New York, Martin Van Buren learned English in school. Van Buren's first language was: 


a) German


b) Yiddish


c) Dutch


d) Norwegian 



3. When sperm whales communicate on or near the sea surface, they use clicking sounds known as codas. When they dive down to hunt for their primary food source, they switch to echolocation. What is the primary food source they are hunting?  


a) giant squid


b) shrimp


c) anemone fish


d) lanternfish



Problem accessing  the answers? Reply to this email and we'll shoot them your way.  

These instructional links may help: 


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