Adult Literacy Media Alliance (ALMA)

A Good Idea


ALMA creates innovative, educationally sound, and entertaining television-based teaching materials and cultivates community networks to support ALMA learners. TV411, ALMA’s magazine-format television series (with ancillary print materials and an instructional Web site) is aired on more than 100 stations nationwide.

TV411 serves adults who read at the pre-GED (5th to 8th grade) level and want to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. Typically, they are motivated by educational, career, and personal goals, such as earning a GED, qualifying for a better job, or effectively managing their family’s finances and healthcare. Of the 70 million Americans who fit this description, most cannot attend a class due to the demands of work and childcare. Just about all of them, however, have a television and, increasingly, have access to computers and the internet. Tapping the popularity of this medium, ALMA created TV411, the nationally broadcast television series which reaches adults in their homes. TV411 In Print and TV411 Online, as well as an array of teacher resources, such as lesson plans and thematic literacy kits, reinforce the skills and strategies covered in the television show.

ALMA cultivates service partners nationwide: state departments of education, union education funds, and a wide variety of community-based organizations such as health clinics, public schools, corrections agencies, workplace training programs, adult education programs, libraries, and community colleges.

Goal / Mission

ALMA’s mission is to help adults gain basic reading, writing, and math skills they need to achieve their educational, career, and personal goals.

Results / Accomplishments

*Since September 1999, TV411 has aired over 40,000 times on hundreds of public television and cable television stations and has been available to 65% of all households in the United States. TV411 has been viewed over 21 million times.

*20 states hold licenses to broadcast TV411. In each of those states, adult education, family literacy, and other community programs can acquire TV411 multimedia materials at a substantially reduced cost. In many of these states, ALMA has provided training and technical support on the use of TV411 materials for teachers and administrators, with far-reaching results.

*TV411 materials are used by thousands of community-based organizations throughout the country. These include public libraries, job training groups, health education centers, correctional facilities, multi-service organizations, and housing programs.

*The 30 issues of TV411 In Print feature 198 articles and lessons that teach the specific reading, writing, and math skills featured in the series. 700,000 copies of the magazine-style workbook are in distribution.

*TV411’s website features over 100 interactive lessons and activities (including six lessons in Spanish) that extend and deepen the reading, writing, and math featured in the video and print materials. In 2006, the site had over 17 million page views and nearly 500,000 unique visitors. In 2006 there were around 27,000 downloads of the teacher resource materials.

*ALMA has conducted a range of training sessions—from professional development workshops for adult education teachers to “train the trainer” workshops. The hundreds of organizations whose staff have been trained include public television stations, literacy providers, Even Start programs, healthcare facilities, social service organizations, and state departments of education.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014
(800) 304-1922
Education / Literacy
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
Education / Educational Attainment in Adult Population
Educational Development Center, Inc.
Date of implementation
For more details

Related Content