What are Foundational Skills / Adult Basic Education (ABE)?
Foundational Skills refer to the basic abilities or competencies required for adults to fully participate in life experiences. These skills include reasoning, critical thinking, memory and concept application. Foundational skills are the initial learning from which all higher learning evolves. Well-functioning adults should be contributing members of the community, obtain economically empowering employment and demonstrate the ability to further pursue learning. Adult Basic Education (ABE) provides teaching and training opportunities that develop these Foundational Skills, thus improving the ability to read, write and compute basic math.
Why are Foundation Skills/Adult Basic Education important?
“The ability to read fluently and for understanding—to be able to learn from text—is perhaps the most important foundational skill for U.S. adult citizens’ health, well-being, and social and economic advancement. It is a gateway to lifelong learning, education, and training. With the emergence of the Internet and social networking (which operate primarily through the written word), reading literacy provides control over an immeasurable, readily accessible library of the world’s knowledge, as well as the ability to communicate with friends, family, and employers. While the digital revolution has increased the prevalence of and, access to, visual/aural media, written text—whether on paper or screen—continues to be an omnipresent currency of communication and commerce, except for adults who continue to struggle to read.”
“Adults who have trouble reading, using mathematics, solving problems, and using technology are at a disadvantage when competing for jobs in the 21st-century workforce. The situation is perhaps most dire for those at the lowest level of reading literacy skills, because limited literacy skill reduces their access to print-based training and educational opportunities that could be used to enhance their social and workforce skills. Low literacy adults are not necessarily isolated, thanks to the ever-present visual media and communications available. However, their potential is limited because they cannot use printed media to learn, grow their knowledge, and seek opportunities. Interpersonally, it is often painfully obvious to adults when they cannot read well, as it also is to the casual observer. When confronted with text and a task, they can be observed puzzling and lingering for longer than proficient readers do when performing the same literacy activity.” (Courtesy of LINCS – Literacy Information and Communication System is a national leadership initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education)
Reading with comprehension and application provides opportunities to lifelong learning, education and employability training. Adequate reading skills are needed to communicate with friends, family and employers. While the digital revolution has increased the presence and access to visual/aural media written text, whether on paper or screen, continues to be necessary for communication and employment. Effective reading is more important than ever.
In Metro Detroit, there are large numbers of adults who operate at low literacy levels. As a result, they are unable to maneuver effectively through daily life. The simple activities of securing self-sustaining employment, reading a prescription bottle, interpreting transportation directions, filling out a job application or helping their child with homework are difficult tasks. There is a need for educational opportunities, purposeful experiences, relevant equipment and focused support services to develop the adult’s knowledge and skill levels.
What does the SVSF Center offer to meet this need?
SVSF Center offers a Foundational Skills/ABE Program that provides a full continuum of services to all adults who want to empower themselves through education. The program goal is to meet the student at their current skill level and help them to achieve their personal goals. The program is available to adults 18 years of age and older and are free, personalized, one-on-one tutoring and online course studies. The staff and volunteers identify academic challenges and assign content studies that augment personal experiences and enhances literacy levels. Students are encouraged to work privately and at their own pace. Students do not have to be a Detroit resident to participate. SVSF Center understands that many students may be embarrassed or fearful to expose their limitations. This program is designed to guide learning, provide support and deliver success. We are here to help in a manner that ensures the student feels comfortable and safe.
How to Begin?
A phone call. If you or someone you know is in need of adult education services, please call Audrean Williams, Manager of Adult Basic Education at (313) 400 – 5718. We are ready to help you get started.
An equal opportunity employer/program. Supported by the State of Michigan, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities.1-800-285-WORK. TTY: 711.