Adult Student Essay Contest Book Cover

Organization Name:
Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
This creative piece has been used as a book cover compiling over 100 essays written by adult students trying to learn how to read, write, learn English, or obtain their GED. It has also been used as a flyer and poster. The focal point of this piece is innovative - a world created with typography (words) made possible through Literacy. We created the grunge background with the idea of graffiti in mind - an image the demographics we are reaching out to is familiar with & can relate to.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy estimates that one in seven adults in Palm Beach County is unable to read and understand the information found in books, newspapers, magazines, brochures and manuals. The Literacy Coalition collaborates with many literacy providers in the county to ensure that services are available for adults who want to improve their literacy skills. It is also critical to keep the adult learners engaged in their studies as they are embarrassed by their low literacy skills and have developed coping strategies that actually increase their sense of isolation and shame. The adult learners, who represent many cultures and nationalities, need to feel respected as they work to improve their reading, writing and English language skills.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
This piece was designed to encourage adult learners in all literacy programs to participate in the annual Adult Literacy Student Essay Contest. It was successful in engaging 705 adult learners from 34 different literacy programs to submit essays on the topic, “If you had a day to change the world, what would you do and why?” Ten adult learners were honored for their efforts at the Literacy Coalition’s annual Love of Literacy Luncheon. More than 275 students attended a reception that honored all contest participants. Five students read their essays to the large audience at the reception. For many of these adults, who as children had faced consistent failure in school, writing an essay and reading it aloud are achievements that had seemed beyond their reach a few years ago.