Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading and Writing Are Tools for Life -01/26/2010

Thanks to everyone who attending the first meeting of the new year for the North Alabama Chapter of ASTD this week. For those of you who may be visiting this one-time post but didn't attend, you'll also find great resources for understanding our topics:

The importance of reading and writing in the workplace for employees and for trainers AND
Children's literacy as an economic issue.

All of the references listed are in this blog are national except for the local resources listed as "local" (those relate specifically to our communities in Madison County, AL).

As you read this blog, feel free to make comments on the presentation (if you attended), add tidbits you've learned that make your business writing and reading successful and, in general, join the conversation! Also, if you find these resources valuable, please feel free to share

Secrets for Readers and Writers in the Workplace

Typos or grammatical mistakes, even in informal communication such as emails, reflects negatively on you as a person and on your company. One of the most common mistakes made in correspondence is the confusion between "their", "there" and "they're". Here's a quick tip to help you remember the proper use:

If you are referring to a place or symbolic location, use this test: when you cover the "t", is the remaining word still a place/does it still make sense? ("there" becomes "here").An example: There are two important points to remember. You can take away the "T" in "There" and the sentence still makes sense.

If you use a contraction (a shortened version of a word) as the subject and verb, choose the word with the apostrophe (i.e. They're going to meet us for lunch tomorrow to discuss the proposal.)

If you are using the possessive (their idea, ask whose idea?, showing that the idea belongs to someone) select the remaining choice or the word with an "i" just like "mine" (another possessive term).

2. Those who read get ahead - ideas from Lifehacker on ways to find time for reading.

3. Two easy to use resources for writing: The Purdue Writing Lab - Simple, no nonsense, but make sense information about writing for both students and business people and Lynn Gaertner's Business Writing Blog.

Additional Resources relating to

communicating and 

2009 Trends in Review (from the National ASTD website: scroll down to latest news)

Resources for improving your own presentation skills

Recent article on Adult Illiteracy

Leading organization supporting Adult Literacy in U.S.: ProLiteracy

TLA's Website - family and children's literacy

The website for The Nation's Report Card/National Assessment of Educational Progress (Grades 4, 8)

Article on importance of positive environment for young children as it relates to reading from WAAY-TV website

Powerpoint from Alabama School Readiness Alliance Presentation in Huntsville, AL (Chamber of Commerce)

Bottom line impact of preschool over past 15 years in Michigan in taxpayer savings and increased revenue

Local Adult Literacy Programs for Madison County AL

Calhoun Community College: GED Program and Remedial instruction in reading or writing: Call 306-2830

Drake Technical has both GED, basic ed and workforce improvement classes