Flagstaff issues proclamation for adult education, literacy


Debra Goldenstein, left, lead instructor for CCC Adult Education, and Sara Haghighi, Refugee Education Program Coordinator at Pima Community College, hold a proclamation issued by the Flagstaff mayor and council, declaring Sept. 19-25 "Adult Education and Literacy Week."



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Imagine looking for work and not being able to feel comfortable crafting a cover letter, or even filling out the application.


Imagine the difficulty finding a job to support your family because you didn’t finish high school. Imagine not being able to speak, read and write English well enough to get a job in your field of study, or to fit into your community well.


According to the National Coalition on Adult Basic Education, there are more than 51 million people in the United States with low literacy skills. Additionally, it has been proved time and time again that as literacy skills increase, quality of life for individuals and their families increases.


In order to bring more awareness to the issue of adult education and literacy, Coconino Community College teamed up with Pima Community College to request the city of Flagstaff formally recognize Sept. 19-25 as “Adult Education and Literacy Week.” Mayor Paul Deasy issued a proclamation during the most recent Flagstaff City Council meeting, with the support of the City Council.


“We raise awareness at a national level because our programs are primarily federally funded,” said Debra Goldenstein, Lead Instructor for CCC Adult Education. “It is important for our legislators to know how important these programs are, not only for our students but also the communities they live in.”


Also according to COABE, more than 43 million working-age Americans lack the skills needed for many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs.


“It is also good to raise awareness of our programs to help learners know what we provide and the variety of ways we can help them achieve their goals,” Goldenstein said.


Sara Haghighi, Refugee Education Program Coordinator at Pima Community College, said, “The proclamation is to acknowledge Flagstaff’s adult learners’ resilience and accomplishments in literacy education, second-language learning, and post-secondary education and training.”


She added that adult education greatly impacts individual lives and the lives of their families – with better salaries, better jobs, improved working conditions and more. Additionally, adult education helps increase tax revenues and business productivity while decreasing the need for public assistance.


At Coconino Community College, the Adult Education program focuses on literacy skills, English language learning, and helping individuals achieve high school education equivalency. Additionally, CCC helps students, once they achieve their literacy and language goals, to get the skills they need in job fields that will help them improve the quality of their lives.


Both Goldenstein and Haghighi state that the pandemic has put additional burdens on adult education and literacy programs across the country; therefore, it is imperative that funding continue to grow for the benefit of the nation’s families and the economy.


According to a report in Forbes magazine, a study commissioned by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy determined that “low levels of adult literacy could be costing the U.S. as much as $2.2 trillion a year.” To improve the country’s economic outlook, it is imperative to continue to support adult education and literacy programs.


The proclamation from the city of Flagstaff helps bring much needed awareness to the issue.


Haghighi said, “This is the first time that a mayor from Flastaff has issued a citywide proclamation for AEFL week. As we express our deepest gratitude to Mayor Deasy for recognizing AEFL week in Flagstaff, we are hoping that this acknowledgement raises awareness toward adult education and assists adults in need of literacy services.”


For more information about CCC’s Adult Education program, visit  https://www.coconino.edu/adult-education .



Friday, 24th September 2021 12:00 AM

All Dates

  • Friday, 24th September 2021 12:00 AM