A local champion of adult education and literacy (AEL) is shining on the national stage. Delia Watley, Irving ISD AEL program manager, was selected for the Dyer Pearl Literacy Award. 

Awarded by the Barbara Bush Foundation, the honor recognizes organizations and individuals who exemplify strong and successful community collaborations; successful and/or scalable programs in family, adult and/or child literacy; and best practices in adult literacy.

“Irving ISD’s Adult Education Program, under Delia’s leadership, certainly fits the bill,” says Lauren Sproll, vice president of communications for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. “The program not only meets the criteria above, but Delia has shown a commitment to partnership and innovation.”

In addition to her work with Irving ISD adult education, Watley has partnered with the Barbara Bush Foundation to pilot an app-based readers course, served as an expert reviewer on resource guides and is scheduled to participate in a usability study for a mobile adult literacy learning app.

“This award for me represents ‘community,’” says Watley. 

The award was presented to Watley during the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s National Summit on Adult Literacy held this week in Washington, D.C., during which First Lady Jill Biden was a keynote speaker.

At the Summit, Watley will take an action plan developed for the city of Houston to increase adult literacy and look at ways to implement it nationally.

“To say that Irving ISD is contributing to this national call for action is amazing,” says Watley. “We’ll be sharing ideas, brainstorming and working to solve the problems of literacy.”

Locally, the Irving ISD Adult Education Program is dedicated to increasing the literacy levels of community members and parents in an effort to help them gain access to better opportunities and support their child’s education. The robust program of classes includes English, civics and citizenship, computer literacy, family literacy and GED preparation skills. 

To learn more about Irving ISD’s Adult Education and Literacy program, visit IrvingISD.net/AEL.