Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition Wins Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition

 Last week, I wrote about the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition and their efforts to drive both digital and healthcare literacy in the city. In my previous post, I mentioned that the CCLC focuses on digital literacy as well as workforce development and healthcare literacy. As I mentioned in last week’s post, technology is at the forefront of their activities.

... the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition uses a blended model of community-based centers using technology. Although the CCLC does use apps to assist learners in developing their skills, providing a social/interactive environment not only allows those users to thrive but provides them with the support and motivation to stay on track.

The Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition demonstrates a strong determination to integrate technology, community, and literacy in their work. It was that determination to make an impact that led the CCLC to apply for - and win a milestone award in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communites Competition.

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As a global leader in designing and operating innovative competition models, XPRIZE focuses on efforts to make a positive impact on the world. With its focus on reaching the underserved adult learner community (only 2 million of the 36 million adults in need are served by existing adult literacy programs[1]), the CCLC thought the Communities Competition would be a method to increase its capacity. Although the CLCC believes it is only reaching ten percent of its total capacity, it also sees huge potential in integrating technology solutions for adult learning and encouraging the development of mobile apps to allow people to improve their skills independently. As a result of being a competitor in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition, next week CCLC will give individuals a code to download and use the Learning Upgrade mobile app to use for building their literacy skills.

With three million adults in Illinois lacking education beyond high school, the economic and social benefits of the CCLC’s work cannot be understated. It is expected that more than 67% of jobs in Illinois will require postsecondary education or training by 2020. Adult literacy and education can provide $2.50 in return for every $1.00 of Illinois tax money spent, saving the state millions and reducing the need for state-funded programs like Medicaid, corrections, housing unemployment, SNAP, and public aid.

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[1] Source: Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. 2018, August 15

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