| By Gale Staff |
When we plan for special days in April, most of us think of Easter, Earth Day, or maybe even April Fool’s Day. But April is also Second Chance Month, a time when all of us are encouraged to consider ways we can better support formerly incarcerated people. According to last year’s White House Proclamation on Second Chance Month, state and federal prisons release more than 640,000 individuals annually. However, Americans with a prior criminal record face all kinds of barriers when trying to create a new life for themselves. Housing, jobs, and even voting opportunities can be severely limited.
Second Chance Month is focused on helping formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into society and develop new skills to better their lives. When given access to resources that provide education and the ability to grow professionally, communities can be enriched. Public libraries that subscribe to Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test and Career Prep are vital to achieving that goal.
Libraries are integral to improving low-cost access to training and technology, and librarians work hard to provide guidance in a stigma-free environment. Peterson’s Test and Career Prep helps elevate their work, providing flow chart pathways that walk users through the different tools at their disposal. Training and webinars designed to help public librarians leverage this valuable content are also available.
Share Helpful Resources
Second Chance Month is a time to welcome back individuals who have missed out on being part of your community. To achieve this, consider making your library’s career advancement and educational resources as accessible as possible. Start by showcasing what products are available and how users might benefit from them.
Peterson’s Career Prep
Peterson’s Career Prep is designed for those seeking a variety of basic skills essential to successful employment. Ask your patrons if they have a specific career goal. If not, this resource includes valuable career exploration tools to help them narrow down a path forward. If they have prior employment experience or special skills, Peterson’s Career Prep features important expertise on resume-building and interview prep that can help them find a job. Securing gainful employment is a critical step toward building a life post-incarceration, and yet nearly 75% of this population remains unemployed a year after their release. Help give them a second chance with guidance from Peterson’s Career Prep that helps even the job-search playing field.
Peterson’s Test Prep
Testing can be a major barrier, especially for individuals who haven’t received a traditional education or who struggle with learning disabilities. Peterson’s Test Prep features practice tests meant to help further education or a career. Users will have access to standardized tests, credentialing exams, and even licensure assessments. These tools help users gain the confidence and skills they need to successfully overcome testing barriers.
Assist Users with Step-by-Step Flow Charts
Gale’s collections of Content Specific Training Materials house lessons and activities that librarians can easily print and use within their own learning spaces. We have organized a collection specific to Second Chance Month where users can find flow charts for each product within Peterson’s Test and Career Suite. The cover page for each includes a brief product overview followed by snapshots of that resource’s assets, including job boards and career advice.
The flow chart for Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test Prep features three aspirations: take practice tests, prepare for vocational tests, or pursue education. Each goal is then further broken down into simple steps, helping users better understand the path to achieving them.second-chance-month-personal-inventory-and-flow-chart-test-prep
Those who have been incarcerated may not have had the opportunity to learn valuable information about things like scholarships and financial aid or even tips for negotiating a salary. And asking for assistance isn’t always easy, especially for those who have not been part of a community for some time. Peterson’s Test and Career Suite helps users obtain fundamental skills in a judgment-free environment.