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Partner in Adult Education Excellence Award

Patricia Lawson-North

Vision Literacy has a 15 year history of collaborating with adult education entities: libraries, agencies, adult schools, school districts, and community colleges in projects to provide outreach and services to difficult to serve second language learners.Currently, Vision Literacy is working with the Gavilan Region Academic and Career Education Services (ACES) to design a collaborative service delivery system with Gilroy Unified School District, Gilroy Adult School, Gilroy Library, Morgan Hill Adult School, Gavilan College, and San Benito Adult School. Vision Literacy will serve as the intake and assessment doorway with referrals of adult learners to the best educational placement.The project is calling this "no wrong door".

Vision Literacy works with learners in small groups or one-on-one with volunteer tutors. Orientations are held to find out what learner goals are and small groups are established with learners with similar goals. Whenever possible, times learners can meet, goals, and other needs such as child care are addressed to help learners sustain their participation. When learners complete Vision Literacy's programs and goals have been met, Vision Literacy assists learners to set new goals and points them to new services in the community to help them meet these new goals.

Leadership is important and Executive Director, Pat Lawson-North brings her skills and vision to the Vision Literacy program. Pat's variety of experiences in the world of adult learners contributes to the success of the Vision Literacy organization. Her experiences include being a supervisor of adult education programs, CCAE Bay Section President in the mid-1980s, part of the first class of CCAE/ACSA Adult Education Leadership Training Program, serving on the Board of the San Luis Obispo County Literacy Council and then moving on to be Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo Literacy Council, Director of Special Events and Donor Relations at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Program Manager of Professional Development at San Jose State University. Pat's experiences, networking, and understanding of adult education has provided many projects that have served the needs of adult learners. These projects with other agencies and school districts serve to strengthen the literacy of parents so they can better help their children (First Five Santa Clara County, Franklin-McKinley School District, Vision Literacy); contracts with a senior living center to further the literacy of residents; work with the county libraries (Mt. View, Morgan Hill, Gilroy)to collaboratively serve the adult learners in those locations. Vision Literacy is affiliated with ProLiteracy organization and has made significant contributions to a ProLiteracy National Study on Persistence. Vision Literacy is also a member organization of Allies which gathers education and other agencies who focus on literacy.