Sunday, December 30, 2007

Escondido Library - Library offers labs to help with reading, writing skills

Library offers labs to help with reading, writing skillsUnion Tribrune: December 26, 2007 by Pat Sherman

Anita Ornelas concentrated on the image before her, chin resting in her palm as she considered a single letter on the computer screen: B.

“This word has a 'bah' sound,” a computerized voice chimed.

Although she was born in the United States and speaks fluent English, Ornelas never learned to read or write, for decades relying on her husband to convey directions and instructions.

The longtime Escondido resident dropped out of high school in her junior year to raise her first child. When her husband died three years ago, routine tasks became exceedingly difficult.

“Now, here I am all by myself,” Ornelas, 54, said. “Everything was on him.”

Ornelas is one of many North County residents taking advantage of the Escondido Public Library's literacy services program, which expanded last month to include three computer-based literacy labs at its East Valley branch. The labs are designed to encourage adults and families to work independently on literacy-based activities.

The adult lab is equipped with software that assists with keyboarding, reading and writing skills. Two children's labs are geared to help preschool-age children prepare for school; they have worksheets and exercises to study at home.

Ornelas discovered the program this year out of frustration. Unable to read bus schedules to get around town, she walked into the Escondido Public Library's main branch, pleading for help.
. . . . . . .
The skills that Rodriguez is learning in the lab and through the ESL course also allow her to help her second-grader with her homework, she said. Rodriguez hopes to use her newfound skills to study nursing. She plans to start a certified nursing assistant training program next month.

Robin Parker, the library's Families for Literacy coordinator, said the labs allow people who can't take adult education courses because of work schedules or parenting obligations to squeeze in study time when it is convenient.

“Learners come to us from very different backgrounds,” Parker said. “(Some) can have a very good conversation with you in English, but they would have a hard time with job applications or writing a résumé.

The labs include a section where textbooks and study guides can be checked out for up to two months.

Tutors and staff members also are trying to dispel misconceptions about the way children grasp language concepts.

“Parents get a lot of mixed messages,” Parker said. “Some of them think that reading to your child is literally sitting there and reading the book and then that's it. They don't really know how to engage the children. Some parents (who) . . . can't read in English don't read to their children because they don't want to mess up their ability to learn English.”

However, reading to children in any language is valuable, Parker said.

“They're instilling a love for reading and reading books in any language,” she said. READ ON
Escondido library literacy labs
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.Tuesdays and Thursdays
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
East Valley Community Center, 2245 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido
Information: (760) 839-4272

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Orange Co Library - Reading, writing and bonding

Reading, writing and bondingTwo Aliso Viejo residents volunteer as literacy tutors for READ Orange County. Orange Co. Register: Dec 20, 07 by Amanda Pazornik
Jennifer Wood knows the difficulties of learning a second language.

Five years ago, she flew more than 5,000 miles to attend University of Aix-en-Provence in France to immerse herself in French culture and master a language she had been studying since her days at Aliso Niguel High School.

Now the 24-year-old has the opportunity to teach others how to read, write and understand English as a volunteer literacy tutor with READ of Orange County.

Wood and fellow Aliso Viejo resident Sandra Leone recently completed a 23-hour training course as part of their tutor certification and are working with ESL (English as a Second Language) "learners." Their commitment is 50 hours of tutoring over a one-year period.

Learners must be at least 16 years old and be able to speak with and understand English-speaking staff and tutors.

Leone, 51, meets once a week with her learner, a mother of two from Korea, at the Aliso Viejo Library. The match is ideal for Leone who has a 13-year-old daughter and tutors while she is in school.

Leone is helping her learner, who speaks Korean with her husband, to better understand her English-speaking children.

"As her kids get older, it's harder for her to communicate with them," Leone said. "She writes well, reads OK but her confidence when speaking was low. After three meetings, her confidence is building. It's truly amazing."

Nationwide one in five adults is "functionally illiterate," a term used to define adults who have not mastered basic reading, writing and speaking skills, according to Bob West, outreach coordinator for READ Orange County.

That equates to roughly 400,000 adults in Orange County alone, he added.

Wood, now finishing up her French degree at UC Irvine, was matched with another student. The two can be found at the Laguna Niguel Library working on word patterns, phonics and spelling.

"Tutoring is such a positive experience for me," Wood said. "I've only been tutoring for three or four weeks, and I would totally recommend it to anyone."
Watch READ/OC's Video @

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With Just a Click of a Button !

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Huntington Beach Library - founded by Linda D. Light in 1984

Literacy Volunteers - HBPL

was founded by Linda D. Light in 1984. This group of outstanding people is the volunteer arm of the Huntington Beach Library Adult Literacy Program. The library staff trains volunteers to tutor adults in reading and writing: helping adults become citizens, get jobs and read to their children.

Watch Huntington Beach's video:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa Maria Public Library

Rotary donates $50,000 to new library
Santa Maria Times: December 1, 2007

In an effort to create a top-notch literacy center at the brand new Santa Maria main public library, officials with the Santa Maria Noontime Rotary Club presented $50,000 to the city librarian.

Officials hope this initial offering will be part of a total $75,000 gift from all three Santa Maria Rotary Clubs to create the Rotary Literacy Center.

The money is earmarked for computers, equipment, furniture and supplies for the literacy center in the new library that will be run by the Central Coast Literacy Council, said City Librarian Francisco Pinneli.

Within the new 59,850-square-foot library, the Central Coast Literacy Center will have offices and access to all library resources, he said.

Allied with the Central Coast Literacy Council, the library will be able to expand its own literacy programming to serve not only native English-speaking adults but also those learning the language, Pinneli said.

"We very much appreciate that support (from the Rotary club) which will allow us to expand those services and provide more literacy programs for the community at large," Pinneli said.

Initially, the Noontime Rotary Club decided to adopt raising money for the library literacy center as the group's centennial project to celebrate the organization's 100th anniversary, said member Fred Pratt. However, eventually all three Rotary Clubs joined together with the city to create Rotary Centennial Park as a big centennial project, he said.

Since the library construction hadn't yet begun, the literacy center project was put on hold - though the noontime club continued to save money for the center that would be available when the project came online, Pratt said.

Now that the library construction is well under way, the first $50,000 was presented. The remainder is expected to be given soon by the other two clubs, Pratt said.

Library officials are trying to raise $1 million to help cover a shortfall in construction and furnishing costs for the $33-million project. So far, roughly $500,000 has been raised through various donations and fundraising events.

The fundraising effort is being spearheaded by the Santa Maria Library Board of Trustees, with help from the Friends of the Santa Maria Library, Pinnelli said.

The new library is expected to be completed in mid-2008. For more information on the project, see the city's Web site at
and click the Library Construction Update link.

To contribute to the new library call 805-925-0994.

Monday, December 3, 2007

SCLLN Tutor Workshop Calendar - December 2007

Southern California Library Literacy Network
Event Calendar: December 2007
- visit SCLLN for more events -
Dec 4: Tutor Training - Newport Beach Public Library
Also: Dec 6, 11 and 13 949 . 717 . 3875. Ticket Phone: 949.717.3875. Tuesday, December 4, 2007, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Central Library 1000 Avocado Ave. Newport Beach, CA 92660. For more info visit
Newport Beach PL Literacy

Dec 15: Tutor Training - Escondido Public Library
Volunteer - Help an adult improve reading and writing skills. 760 . 747 . 2233. Presenter: Escondido PL Literacy Services. Ticket Phone: 760.747.2233. Saturday, December 15, 2007, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM. Escondido Public Library Escondido CA. For more info visit

Dec 15: Tutor Training - Los Angeles Public Library
All Volunteers must be Interviewed First ! Contact: 213 . 228 . 7037. Ticket Phone: (213)228-7037. Contact: Literacy Office. Saturday, December 15, 2007, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Lincoln Heights Branch 2530 Workman St LA CA 90031. For more info visit
LAPL Literacy

Literacy program helps adults
Daily Press: Dec 2, 07: by Rachel Byrd

APPLE VALLEY — Alejandrina Roldan has been in the United States for 10 years, but it has taken years for her to gain the confidence to speak English.

Roldan, 31, born in Mexico, has been participating in the Hi-D.A.R.E. literacy program through the Apple Valley Newton T. Bass Branch Library for the past three years. With the help of tutor Margaret Goldman, Roldan has improved her reading and writing skills, and she recently was one of three winners in a statewide literacy contest.

Contestants read Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” and wrote a letter to Hemingway. Roldan received $150, a plaque and a journal for her submission.

“I’m more confident, especially with Margaret telling me that I just had to talk,” Roldan said. “I was extremely shy. The hardest thing has always been speaking.”

Hi-D.A.R.E. offers free one-on-one tutoring for adults in the Victor Valley. The program has been around since the mid-1980s, and right now there are 60 tutors and 75 learners, said Larry Weisz, literacy specialist for the Apple Valley Library.

Tutors help adults with reading, writing, math, basic computer skills, and to prepare for the GED, Weisz said. Most learners are English-speaking, and perform at a third- or fourth-grade level.

“Many people come in here in tears,” Weisz said.

Roldan has taken classes at Victor Valley College, but when her third child was born three years ago, she was too busy to enroll. She continued to study English on her own at home, until she visited the library and learned about the tutoring program.

Goldman told Roldan that she could bring her daughter with her to their sessions. The two have been meeting about twice a week for the past three years, and Roldan now plans on enrolling at VVC full-time for the Spring semester.

In her spare time, Roldan said that she likes to read and write poetry and short stories in English.

Roldan wants to be a teacher some day, to help others who are struggling as she has with the English language, and she is interested in tutoring for the GED. Roldan said that when she is ready, she would like to volunteer as a tutor in the Hi-D.A.R.E. program