Joan Peterson, executive director of the Rita Welsh Adult Literacy for Life Program, will be featured Wednesday on the radio show HearSay with Cathy Lewis. The interview will be aired on public radio channel WHRV July 14 between noon and 1 p.m. HearSay is broadcast on local public radio channel 89.5 FM. The broadcast will be available later on the show's website.
The HearSay panel will also include Jane Hugo, vice president of programs & professional services for ProLiteracy, national literacy advocate John Corcoran and Gay Ivey, professor and coordinator of reading education at James Madison University.
Peterson will discuss the issue of adult literacy and findings of a 2010 report on the economic impact of the Rita Welsh Program in the Williamsburg/James City County community. The study, conducted by William & Mary students in the college's Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, found strong correlations between literacy, economic development, health status and crime concluding that investment in adult literacy has a payoff for the individual learners and the community as a whole. Additionally, the study estimates that the Literacy for Life Program improves the weekly earnings of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners by 17.8%.
The Rita Welsh Adult Literacy for Life Program was established in 1975. It is the only program in the Greater Williamsburg Area that provides individualized, one-to-one tutoring for adults in reading, writing, and math, as well as English for speakers of other languages.