Counting steps raises literacy fitness

Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota is asking people to take steps for literacy here in southwestern Minnesota in order to raise awareness about literacy needs locally and globally.

Day 1 trek Comm Serv

Cam Bailey, City of Marshall Rec Coordinator, with Candace Thomas, LV*SW*MN Director

Cam graciously agreed to a photo when we stopped by the Marshall Community Services office on our walk to literacy and lifelong learning sites near downtown Marshall on 8/12/16. Cam knows as much about the need for lifelong physical activity and fitness as anyone I have ever met, and he and his staff work hard to provide opportunities for all ages. We at LiteracySWMN want people (as they are able) to walk and run over the next few weeks to promote their health and well-being. But we also want to encourage them to raise their awareness about literacy needs locally and globally and to check out their own literacy fitness levels. Most of us need to grow our own health, financial, or tech literacy skills, for example. Our volunteers who tutor support others in meeting their literacy fitness goals.

Walk with us and share your steps. We will update them on the website every day. You can use social media to note them using #litswmnsteps or text or call them in to 507-401-7337 or email them to

Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota is joining the International Literacy Association (ILA) in its 2016 “Steps to Advance Literacy” initiative because awareness is important and advocating for literacy is part of our mission. The initiative’s theme connects with International Literacy Day on September 8, 2016. ILA wants to raise awareness about the number of children worldwide who must walk long distances to reach a school. A child’s location and lack of safe physical access to a school is one of the major barriers to education in developing nations. As part of this initiative, ILA is asking individuals, classroom teachers, schools, and community organizations to count their steps as an awareness activity during some period from now through the end of 2016.

During the next few weeks leading up to International Literacy Day on September 8, 2016, we will share information about literacy locally and globally  via this website and on Facebook and Twitter @LiteracySWMN

Where else did we go on our walk? The Adult Community Center, the Marshall Independent, and SW Adult Basic Education’s Marshall Adult Learning Center. We finished up our walk at the Marshall-Lyon County Library in time to offer Tech Tutors on Friday afternoon. We will share more information about these and other community literacy and lifelong learning resources in the days to come.

Day 1 trek ABE

Pat Thomas, Marshall ABE Director, and Will Thomas (no relation), Literacy Volunteer, at the Marshall Adult Learning Center in the Lyon County Government Center.

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