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PCC launches Emmy-winning adult literacy program
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College’s PCC 27 will partner with TV 411 this fall to launch a new season of adult educational programming. The Emmy-award winning public television series, now in its third season, is one of the few programs of its kind to provide adults with practical reading, writing, and math episodes so that they can better manage their money, families and careers. TV 411 is a project of the Adult Literacy Media Alliance (ALMA), which will add six more cable markets to its lineup of programming this fall, bringing the total to 26 U.S. cities. The program will air on PCC 27 – The Higher Education Channel on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 7:30 to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 to noon."There is a sizeable pool of potential students who are waiting to get into traditional pre-college language courses. There simply are not enough of these courses available,"said John Sneed, director of Distance Learning at PCC. "Existing survival English courses, which have absorbed some of these students, have been cut back in response to declining budgets. This programming will help those adults who cannot access adult basic education and English as a Second Language classes at the college."Programs that teach basic reading, writing and math skills to adults, specifically those who do not have a high school diploma or GED, are scarce on television, despite the fact that 70 million American adults are in need of literacy education, said Marian Lapsley Schwarz, executive director of ALMA, which produces the series. Each half-hour episode consists of segments that revolve around a theme, such as family, work or health. The segments are either dramatic narratives or profiles of various artists, athletes and other personalities and professionals who demonstrate how reading, writing and math apply to their lives and careers. Contributors include Olympic medalist Marian Jones, TV chef Curtis Aikens, the Harlem Globetrotters, hip-hop star Doug E. Fresh, the Bernie Mac show and Mets pitcher Al Leiter.For more information at PCC about the new programming on PCC 27, call 503-788-6255.