Sunday, September 30, 2007

READ/OC - Read for the Record


Read for the Record was an incredible “record-breaking” event throughout Orange County. The impact within the community, OCPL branches as well as our tutors and learners was amazing! This effort was coordinated by Carol Marshall, Americorps Member of the READ/Orange County Team.

Below are some highlights - More Highlites @ Flickr

At Buena Clinton Family Resource Center, one of our volunteers was speaking with a mother in Spanish about the importance of reading to her children. Her 5-year-old child popped up and asked in English “can I grow up and be a doctor?” Our volunteer then went on to excitedly encourage the mother to continue reading to her child so that he can realize his dream of becoming a doctor.

A little boy, he couldn’t have been more than 3 years old proudly showed me his brand new library card at Irvine University Park. Comments from the librarian “The patrons were very happy with the whole thing. …Everyone brought home something to read of their very own.”

At Stanton Family Resource Center, it was one activity at their semi-annual “Family Fun Friday Night,” which included games, food, entertainment as well as community resources. It was exciting to see families come in listen to The Story of Ferdinand and create a small craft; 38 families came with 81 children. This event lasted for about 3 hours during which time, we read the story continuously.

At Mesa Verde Library, we held the event in the Children’s section. We sang songs, read the story and had a follow-up craft activity. Following the story many parents stopped me to say how much they enjoyed the story. Comments from the librarian “one of the parents said to another parent, who had not been to the library before, that a program like this is why they love to come to the library.”

We distributed books and craft materials for staff at OCPL headquarters to share with their children at home. Nineteen employees stopped by during their lunch time, not only for the book, but also the play with the craft items.

At a family reading time at Irvine Heritage Park Library, 8 families with 10 children were in attendance. One of the families included grandma, dad, mom and daughter. They all enjoyed the story as well as the follow-up crafts; each family member got involved in creating with the craft materials! They were new to this and were excited to learn we hold a monthly family literacy class at that branch. The Grandma told me that she had not heard this story since she was a small girl.

The Final Numbers:

14 Branches including OCPL Headquarters
3 Community Family Resource Centers hosted 4 events
2 Elementary School Class rooms
1 Boys & Girls Club joined with Stanton Branch

279 families
563 Children
54 Volunteers
5 READ/OC staff

Includes 23 READ volunteers, 10 teens volunteers and 3 staff from Buena Clinton Neighborhood Center in Garden Grove, 7 Children’s Librarians, 2 staff from Stanton Family Resource Center, 2 classroom teachers, and 7 volunteers from Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Garden Grove Police Department, and Housing With Heart/Jamboree Housing Corp.

Friday, September 28, 2007

National Literacy Month

September is National Literacy Month:

Time to get involved
Make sure that members of your community
Learn to Read !


Questia’s Top 10 Literacy Books for National Literacy Month

Literacy in the New Media Age by Gunther Kress - Routledge

The Power of the Written Word: The Role of Literacy in the History of Western Civilization by Alfred Burns - Peter Lang

The Browser's Ecstasy: A Meditation on Reading
by Geoffrey O'Brien - Counterpoint

Read On @ Your Local Library: CalCat or WorldCat

Questia is the first online library that provides 24/7 access to the world's largest online collection of books and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences, plus magazine and newspaper articles. You can search each and every word of all of the books and journal articles in the collection. You can read every title cover to cover. $99.95 per year subscription

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Downey Public Library

More on Literacy Month: Donna's update: I spent Monday evening at the Downey Public Library talking about My California with a very enthusiastic group that included many of the city's volunteer reading tutors.

Librarian Claudia Dailey mentioned a surprising statistic: that 27 percent of adults in Los Angeles County are not fully literate. So Claudia and her wonderful band of volunteers spend countless hours all year long helping other adults improve their reading skills.

I'm delighted that the library's tutors and their students are all diving into the narrative travel stories in the My California anthology. And I can't think of a better way to inspire people to read than sharing the work of these 27 great writers.

CaliforniaAuthors.com blog: Sep 19, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Newport Beach Public Library

Man proves it’s never too late to learn
Daily Pilot: 9.06.07: By Joseph Serna

For most of his adult life, Donnie Madril has had to watch opportunities pass him by. His parents could afford to send him to college, but the 48-year-old Irvine man chose manufacturing after high school.

Every time an opportunity for advancement arose in the company, Madril could only stand by, immobilized by his inability to write.

After 20 years, when his company relocated and many of them were laid off, Madril’s choices were limited — find a job with little writing. Something repetitious that did not require elaboration was about as far as he could go.

“For most of my adult life I’ve mostly been well-read and spoke fairly well,” Madril said. “But I was never able to transfer my thoughts to paper. It was real simple stuff, simple, small words. A sentence did not have a beginning or an end. Fragments every place, no punctuation at all.”

Nearly 10 years into his second career, now as a truck driver, Madril seized a life-changing opportunity with Newport Beach Public Library’s Literacy Services program. He did better than learn how to write. He won the program’s Rochelle Hoffman Award Thursday.

The Newport Beach library’s literacy program can be reached at (949) 717-3874. READ ON

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hemet Public Library

Hemet Library Raises Funds for Literacy
Press-Enterprise: 9.12.07 by Diane A Rhodes

Download story podcast
Some came in strollers, some in wheelchairs and many in sneakers to participate in the second annual Walk-A-Mile for Literacy on Saturday.

Hosted by Hemet Public Library Adult Literacy Services, AmeriCorps and Hemet Adult Literacy Advocates, the event was intended to raise awareness and funds.

According to Adult Literacy Services Program Director Lori Eastman, nearly one in five adult residents of the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley is functionally illiterate.

About 250 supporters who participated in Saturday's Walk-A-Mile for Literacy gather for a raffle at the Hemet Public Library.

The Walk-A-Mile route, which measures out to be closer to two miles, contained 15 checkpoints for about 250 walkers to stop and learn about the importance of reading. Each table provided tickets for prizes that were raffled off after everyone met upstairs at the library. READ ON

Monday, September 17, 2007

Santa Maria Public Library

Spellers Aid Literacy With Contest
Lompoc Record: 9.9.07 by Luis Ernesto Gomez

No eight letters had eased so much tension as the word "zeppelin" did Saturday when two members of the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary Club snatched first place at the 15th Annual Adult Spelling Bee.

"We've never made it this far," said Mike Gibson, who had paired with Mike Tolbert for nearly 18 rounds. "We usually make it up to the third or fourth round."

The pair finished first over St. Joseph High School students Natalie Favorite and Bianca Davis, both 17 years old, in a six-round tie-breaker. Susan and Robert Rees of the Noontime Rotary Club of Santa Maria finished in third place.

Some 33 two-person teams squared off in the often frustrating competition, which raises thousands of dollars for the Central Coast Literacy Council and was sponsored by the Santa Maria Times. Proceeds pay for materials and programs aimed to improve the reading and writing skills of adults. READ ON

Friday, September 14, 2007

Santa Paula Blanchard Library

International Literacy Day September 8
Santa Paula News: 9.5.07

If you can read this, CELEBRATE International Literacy Day, September 8, 2007.

Since 1985, Santa Paula’s Blanchard Library FLAIR literacy program has been providing one-to-one volunteer tutors to help adults with reading, writing and math. Hundreds of adults have achieved success in reaching their literacy goals, ranging from being able to read a children’s book to earning a college degree. Meet a few of them:

“Before I came to FLAIR I couldn’t understand English. Now I speak, read and write it.” – Maria

“I was nervous at first but I took the ESL classes and then got a tutor. I’m learning grammar and cursive penmanship. I’m learning more and more.” – Francisco

“I read to my daughter.” – Luis

“FLAIR has been one of the most important things that has come into our lives. My husband and I have experienced good job opportunities… my daughter and older son have now graduated college.” – Martha

“I appreciate my tutor. She helps me. I want to work in a hospital convalescent home. It’s a good program. I love my library.” – Rosa

“I want a better life for my kids.” – Victor

To help celebrate these (and many other) goals and accomplishments, you can:

• Publicize our literacy program with posters and flyers

• Become a volunteer tutor

• Make a donation, which will receive a match from the California State Library - $6 will bring us $2, $9 will bring us $3, $12 will bring us $4, etc.

Call FLAIR at 525-2384. Happy reading!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

International Literacy Day: September 8

In 2006:

5,586 Volunteer Tutors at libraries in the
Southern California Library Literacy Network provided
358,604 Hours of FREE tutoring to
8,870 Adult Learners


In our Families For Literacy programs:
7,015 children under 5 and
8,844 children over 5 received
103,709 Free Books


Celebrate International Literacy Day
Volunteer to tutor an adult or a child at your local library
Donate to SCLLN

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Palmdale City Library

Literacy tutors sought: Library helps more Valley adults read
Antelope Valley Press: 9.06.2007 by Lindsay Hymas

An estimated 17,500 adults in the Antelope Valley are illiterate, according to the Palmdale Library Adult Literacy Program.

The Palmdale Library is looking for volunteers to help reduce those numbers through its free program available to any English-speaking adult.

Since its inception in February 2002, the Palmdale Library Adult Literacy Program has trained approximately 150 volunteers who have worked with more than 300 adults, teaching them basic reading and writing.

The National Literacy Act of 1991, defines literacy as an individual's ability to read, write and speak in English; compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society; to achieve one's goals and to develop one's knowledge and potential.

Being illiterate does not mean a person is stupid, said Rod Williams, literacy coordinator for the Palmdale Library Literacy Program.

"It is important to look past the problem and see the person. Illiteracy is correctable.

"Illiterate adults should know they are not alone and that the program exists to help," Williams said. "There's a lot people can get out of a literacy program."

A five-year grant from the California Library Literacy Service provided funding for the volunteer-based program where tutors meet with students for one to 1½ hours once or twice a week for six months, Williams said.

Once a month, Williams conducts a six-hour training session for volunteer tutors, he said. During the training Williams screens volunteers, gives them an orientation to the program and introduces them to different teaching techniques, he said.

Each volunteer receives a teaching manual along with a copy of "The Voyage," a series of nine books representing varying levels of comprehension.

"My main objective in training is to get people to feel comfortable working one-on-one with other people. What I'm really looking for is people with patience and a sense of humor," Williams said.

Tutors should understand that literacy doesn't happen overnight; it takes time, William said. "I tell them, 'You're getting to impact someone's life.' That's a time commitment."

Each student receives a copy of "The Voyage" for his or her literacy level, and a copy of Litstart, a one-stop shop for the literacy program that includes techniques, phonics, word lists and more, Williams said.

Students also can bring their own material to tutoring sessions each week. "Anything is fair game," Williams said. "If they want to bring in comics or the newspaper, that's fine. Anything that helps them to read.

"Our long-term goal is that every student, by the time they leave, can function better in society," Williams said.

Palmdale City Librarian Nancy Quelland said the library's literacy program is a great service for the community. It "provides an opportunity for people to improve their reading and writing," she said, which "affects every aspect of their lives."

According to Quelland, the Adult Literacy Program is "very specialized because it's geared toward their needs, and they are able to set their own personal goals."

Not all students become truly engaged in the program, Williams said. While some students only meet their once-a-week minimum, others are yearning to learn more, he said.

So 1½ years ago, the literacy program introduced small classroom workshops for those who are really motivated, Williams said.

"We've found that having small classroom workshops in addition to the one-on-one tutoring provides supplemental instruction and extra social support for learning," he said.

The workshops help students hone basic math skills, reading and spelling skills, phonics and word family recognition skills.

California has about 100 literacy programs, but the Palmdale Library's literacy program is the only library program of its kind in the Valley, Williams said.

Other literacy resources in the community include remedial courses at Antelope Valley College, the AV Adult School, various church-run programs and private tutors.

Workshops for the Palmdale Library Literacy Program are conducted in the Palmdale Cultural Hall, but session meeting places are organized by the tutor and learner and can be conducted in any quiet public place, including the City Library and Palmdale Youth Library, Williams said.

Williams estimates one out of every five adults cannot read well enough "to fill out a simple application, read a food label or read a child a bedtime story."

According to the American Library Association, the impact of low literacy skills on society is enormous, correlating to income levels, unemployment rates, health care issues, crime statistics, remedial training and voter participation.

For details about the program, call Rod Williams at (661) 267-5682.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lompoc Public Library

Celebrate Literacy Day by becoming a volunteer
Lompoc Record: 9.04.07 - by Linda Warren

“International Literacy Day” is observed annually on Sept. 8 - this Saturday - to focus attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world's adults, (nearly two-thirds women) don't know how to read or write. Between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education. Even in one of the richest countries in the world, illiteracy is a very sad fact.

I recently became a tutor, after I retired from a long career, and have been richly blessed by my student. I was trained in a few short evenings and was surprised that I needed no formal education in teaching to become a tutor. I had a friend years before, whose mother had taught others to read in the evening at the library. I thought to myself that I could also become a volunteer someday, once I retired and had more time. I discovered that it only takes a couple of hours a week to be a tutor, meeting twice a week.

My first student is a woman originally from another country, who only completed eighth grade. She is very eager to learn and is an excellent student. She signed up for many reasons, one of which is to be able to communicate with others and advance at her job. We have become friends and enjoy the time that we spend together. Not only do I have an opportunity to teach her to improve her reading skills, but I have also gained a friend.

To address the problem of illiteracy in our community, the Lompoc Public Library established an Adult Reading Program in 1998. In 18 years, the program has assisted more than 1,200 adults with improved reading and writing skills. The program is partly funded by the state library and the City of Lompoc, but contributions from community organizations and individuals assure the program's services will continue.

To become a volunteer tutor or make a tax-free donation, simply call 735-READ or stop by the library during regular hours and check with someone at the desk for more information. The next tutor training workshop starts Sept. 19 in the evening. This is a wonderful opportunity that anyone can do who has the desire to help someone read. It's changed my life and I know that it will change yours as well. Be a tutor and become a friend to someone today. Give the gift of reading today.

Linda Warren is literacy tutor for the Lompoc Public Library.

Monday, September 3, 2007

READ/Orange County

National Literacy Month

katydiddys is offering Literary Cupcake Notecards!

5% of profits (and FREE shipping) will be donated to the Friends of READ Orange County, an organization that supports the adult literacy program of the Orange County Public Library.

Click here to order.