Thursday, March 22, 2007

Glendora Public Library

Glendora Trivia Challenge
San Gabriel Valley Tribune: March 21, 2007

Will Mike and Marcia Conway's team repeat or will we crown a new champion at the 15th annual Great Trivia Challenge set for March 23 at APU's Upper Turner Campus Center?

About 300 people are expected to watch and see.

This is the 15th year the Glendora Public Library Friends Foundation has held the Great Trivia Challenge.

Local businesses and service clubs have fun competing in a friendly competition. Thom Hill returns as master of ceremonies for the 15th year.

It is a fun event for the community and a wonderful way for the community to give to the Glendora Public Library, said Chris Cravens, Foundation office manager.

Vying for bragging rights as trivia champs are Certified Auto; Glendora Lions Club, last year's second-place winners; Glendora Rotary Club; Kiwanis Club of Glendora; Hughes Homes, Inc.; Glendora Kiwaniannes; Oakdale Memorial Park Mortuary; In-N-Out Burger; Antoine Sayegh, DDS; Littlepage Photography; White House Real Estate; Foundation for Glendora Unified School District; Azusa/Glendora Soroptimists; Heartland Mortgage; Southland Properties; Jan's Towing; Foothill Presbyterian Hospital; and Social Model Recovery Systems.

Teams have to come prepared to answer questions on any category: sports, movies, medicine, science, literature and current events. Judges are Clay Hess, Karen Babineau and Doris Blum.

Tickets are $10 if purchased at the Glendora Library Friends Book Loft or at the checkout desk (during regular library hours) and $12 if purchased at the door.

The ticket includes an extensive food buffet and the trivia challenge event. The food is provided by local restaurants.

Spaghetti Eddie's provides a tear-off coupon for either $7 or $10 on the ticket (which makes the ticket practically free and you get to support the library to boot.)

The goal is to raise $20,000, which will go to support library programs such as the adult literacy program, outreach programs to expectant and teen parents, summer reading clubs for children, teens and adults, author visits, book discussions and other cultural events.

The organizers would like to extend special thanks not only to the hard-working trivia challenge committee but also Spaghetti Eddie's, and all of the restaurants who donated food and all of their sponsors including Athens Services; Suncraft Development; Crestwood Communities; Pacific Western Bank; Monrovia Growers; Rain Bird Corporation; Candlelight Pavilion and Glendora Auto Centre Association.

Special thanks to the committee: Judi Rudd, Debbie Deal, Lynda Siminske, Debbie Schmidt and Pam Richards. These ladies have worked extremely hard to get sponsors, organize the food donors and get door prizes for the event.

For information call (626) 852-4894

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Carlsbad City Library

Learning program's volunteer tutors help adults learn to read
San Diego Union-Tribune: March 15, 2007 by Angela Holman

Sergio Morales struggled while trying to read the word "allergic." It was the first time he had ever seen the word, but he wasn't discouraged.

Volunteer tutor Lee Shamblee asked Morales what sounds the letter "g" can make, enabling him to sound out the correct pronunciation.

A year ago, Morales, 19, wouldn't have been able to accomplish such a task.

"Now he's learned enough that, in many cases, he can spell words he's never seen before," Shamblee said. "When we first started reading, these words would have been out of the question."

Morales and Shamblee, both Carlsbad residents, were paired up six months ago through the Carlsbad City Library Adult Learning Program. They meet for 90 minutes twice a week at the program's headquarters on Carlsbad Village Drive.

The two have developed quite a rapport.

They have created a game whereby every time Morales makes a mistake that he knows he shouldn't have, it costs him $100.

He currently owes Shamblee $4,100.

"I told him, 'If I die, then I will pay,'" Morales said with a laugh.

The pair joke around and share laughs, but they also work on improving Morales' English reading and writing skills.

During their sessions, Shamblee helps Morales complete writing exercises, such as identifying misspelled words and correctly filling in the letters missing from words such as pr--st and gr--se.

Shamblee also gives Morales homework at the end of each meeting.

"I make him work hard," Shamblee said.

"I go home and go to sleep and have nightmares," Morales joked.

Morales said he's now able to read books, which is something he couldn't do before he started working with Shamblee. He just finished a book about Komodo dragons.

"It has been very helpful, because when I was little and I wanted to read to the class, people would make fun of me and I was kind of sad," Morales said. "Since I've been here, I've been able to read more each day."

Morales, who moved to the United States from Mexico when he was 3, said he has always had trouble writing and speaking, both in Spanish and in English. Shamblee explained that Morales has a normal vocabulary but has some processing difficulties.

Before graduating from Carlsbad High School last year, Morales was in one of the school's four special-education classes.

Students in those classes visit the learning center a few days a week to work on their reading and writing skills with their teacher, Judy Gaitan, and volunteer tutors.

Carrie Scott, the learning program's interim coordinator, was the first person to volunteer with the high school program when Gaitan created it in 1998.

Scott said the high school program has grown from one class with seven students and one volunteer tutor to four classes with 34 students and 18 volunteers.

The adult program, established in 1984, has really taken off, Scott said. She said the free program has served more than 1,200 people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

The program currently has 63 learner-volunteer pairs.

"We always need volunteers," Scott said. "At any one time we have between 10 and 20 learners waiting for a volunteer."

She said the pairs work on "plugging the holes" in the learner's education and meeting literacy goals.

"What I've learned is everyone has a different story of why they didn't learn," Scott said. "Some have vision impairments that weren't diagnosed. Some have processing problems. Others are from abusive backgrounds, and life issues prevented them from learning. Some moved constantly."

The program operates on $225,000 it receives from the city each year, as well as a small state grant, Scott said.

"Everyone is here because they are trying to improve their life, either at work or at home," she said.

"Literacy is essential to being able to participate in their lives, their children's lives, their jobs."