SANTA FE — The New Mexico Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Adult Education Association celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, recognizing the many accomplishments of adult and family educators, students, and programs across New Mexico.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 17-23 “Adult Education and Family Literacy Week,” in honor of the remarkable work state-funded adult education and family literacy programs do year-round to improve outcomes for adults and their families.
“Adult education and literacy programs are essential to New Mexico’s leading work on educational equity and community wellbeing. Thanks to these programs and the work of hundreds of dedicated educators, New Mexicans of all ages have a pathway to continuing their education and entering rewarding careers, no matter where they start,” said Acting Higher Education Secretary Patricia Trujillo, Ph.D.
The New Mexico Higher Education Department funds 26 adult education programs statewide and 18 adult and family literacy programs in rural and urban communities and correctional facilities statewide. These programs served 11,455 New Mexicans during the 2022-2023 program year with basic skills instruction, literacy, numeracy, English as a second language instruction, and preparation for High School Equivalency credential exams.
“Sometimes, there is an idea that there is only one right way to get an education, but it is important to recognize that there are many valid reasons individuals take different paths or pursue education later in life. During Adult and Family Literacy Week, I am proud to celebrate the programs, teachers, and students who make it possible for all New Mexicans to access the education they deserve,” said Amber Gallup, Adult Education Director at the New Mexico Higher Education Department.
“Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is an opportunity to learn about the powerful work of adult education and literacy programs throughout the state and nation. Adult education and literacy services play a crucial role in helping adults attain the skills needed to enter careers with family-sustaining wages, breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty, preventing recidivism, increasing equity, and uplifting economies,” said Jamie Trujillo, Executive Director of the New Mexico Adult Education Association.
New Mexico has made significant progress in increasing the number of adults earning a high school equivalency credential. Last year, state-funded adult education programs increased the number of adults earning a High School Equivalency (HSE) credential by 17 percent. Last month, the Corrections and Higher Education Departments announced that programs based at New Mexico correctional facilities surpassed benchmarks the Legislative Finance Committee set by more than 20 percent.
The National Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) also recognized two New Mexico leaders for their role in advancing adult education. U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández and State Rep. Joy Garratt received the coalition’s Legislative Champion Award for their distinguished leadership and support for adult education. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez received awards in 2022.
For more information about New Mexico adult education and literacy programs, visit hed.nm.gov.