Monday, December 29, 2008

Rancho Cucamonga Library - Conquering Illiteracy: One Man's Fight

Conquering Illiteracy: One Man's Fight
A Grandfather Reads His First Christmas Story
Good Morning America (ABC): Dec 27, 2008 by Lisa Fletcher, Nicole Young & Michael Milberger

Two years ago, reading a holiday book to his 3-year-old grandson Chip would have been impossible for Charles Goolsby. But this year, after countless hours of hard work, Goolsby is finally able to read a holiday story -- something he was never able to do for his own son and daughter.

One California man conquers a decades-long battle with reading."I was totally humiliated, a grown man with reading and writing skills that are not up to par," said Goolsby, 56, of Fontana, Calif. "I had nothing to lose, because I was at my bottom, my lowest point."

Recently divorced and recovering from heart surgery, Goolsby was entering a new phase of his life. Fixing car transmissions was his specialty. He even owned his own business with the help of his son, but facing retirement, his safety net was disappearing.

"If I needed something, I'd always say, 'Well, give me the paper, I'll go home and fill it out,' or I'd take my wife with me," said Goolsby. "People with the same disability that I have, you know how to get around stuff, you learn the shortcut for someone to help you."

It's not uncommon to find adults headed for retirement who do not have sufficient reading skills. Goolsby began as one of 30 million American adults who cannot read beyond a simple sentence and the 7 million who can't read at all, according to the National Institute for Literacy.

Rosie Manela, adult literacy program director at the Rancho Cucamonga Library, where Goolsby takes literacy lessons, said fear of embarrassment often prevents adults from seeking help.

"It is sad, because in this fast-paced technology, this competitive global economy, our country is going to suffer if we don't do anything about that," she said. READ MORE

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

San Bernardino Co Library - Give the gift of literacy at Yucaipa Branch Library

Give the gift of literacy at Yucaipa Branch Library
SB Sun: December 19, 2008 by Bob Otto

YUCAIPA - There are the tangible gifts that people give during the holiday season. They may last a day, a week, maybe a year - or be forgotten as soon as the wrapping paper is ripped off.

But the gift that keeps on giving, now that's the gift that really matters. And the Yucaipa Branch Library has such a gift: The gift a tutor gives a student when they help them learn how to read.

Debbie Seawright, Literacy Specialist at the library says that tutors are special and very giving people. "Our literacy tutors have the desire and willingness to give of their time," she said.

For the tutor, the reward comes in helping a student grow in confidence and reading ability. And Seawright has seen friendships and bonds form that last for years.

"We have some tutors and students who have built a strong rapport and have been together for years," Seawright said. "Tutors help students better themselves; some go on to college, and for grandparents who have never learned to read, they can now read to their grandchildren." READ MORE !

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

At 70, the joy of writing holiday letters for first time

At 70, the joy of writing holiday letters for first timeRecordNet: Dec 20, 2008 by Tony Sauro

Joe Valles already has received a joyful Christmas gift. The 70-year-old Stockton resident finally was able to write a letter to his 9-year-old granddaughter in Crawley, Texas.

"It feels great," said Valles, a retired longshoreman who was able to achieve his goal after being tutored weekly since June in the Stockton-San Joaquin County Library's adult literacy program. "I'm confident in my writing."

Valles proudly is sending Christmas cards to all nine of his grandchildren. "Our goal was for him to write his first letter by Christmas," said Christina Cordova, 42, a Stockton mother of four who was Valles' tutor at Cesar Chavez Central Library. "It's the first letter he's ever written. It's so awesome. My kids think it's awesome, too. We wanted him to be able to read his own prescription labels, checks and mail."

"She gave me lots of homework," said Valles, whose wife of 42 years, Angelina, an Edison High School graduate, also encouraged him.

"It's funny," he said. "I kidded around, saying I was gonna write a book as soon as I learn to write."

Valles met Cordova when he took his 8-year-old granddaughter, Isabella, to a swimming lesson.

Valles, a father of three who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, moved to Stockton with his migrant farm worker family when he was four. He only finished the third grade.

"I could read, more or less a little bit, but I couldn't write," Valles said. "Now I can read the newspaper, but I've still got a lot to learn. I thought I could never do this."

He's an inspiring example of what such literacy programs can achieve.

"The program is going good," said Anne Turner, a library assistant in the literacy and outreach department at Cesar Chavez. "It's evolving. We're seeing progress. It's been great. We're getting more students and tutors, but we would like more volunteers." READ MORE

Give A Gift of reading and writing to adult learners in
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Orange Co Library - A Warm Goodbye from Marcia Tungate

A Warm Goodbye from Marcia Tungate
Read Writes Newsletter: Dec 08/Jan 09

Wasn’t I the lucky one?

For the past 26 years I have had the privilege to work with some of the most courageous, dedicated, committed, and fun people that ever gathered for a purpose. I am talking about all of you.

You, the learners, who faced your difficulties and stepped forward to improve your lives, and the lives of your families, by improving your literacy skills. You have allowed the rest of us an opportunity to share in your successes by your bravery, your hard work, and your (sometimes) stubborn commitment. You teach all of us how to face our fears and step into a new way of living. I thank you so much.

You, the tutors, who sat through the long days of intense training so you could make the tutoring experience a joyful and successful one for the learners. You have been willing to work in the branches, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and jails to serve your community. I know you each feel such a bond with your learners, and would face down dragons if necessary.

READ MORE @ READ/OC's Newsletter !

Personal notes may be Sent to Marcia @

Give A Gift of reading and writing to adult learners in
California library literacy programs from Santa Barbara to San Diego

What Works Clearinghouse - WWC

What Works Clearinghouse - WWC

Established in 2002, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education. An initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences:

~ Produces user-friendly practice guides for educators that address instructional challenges with research-based recommendations for schools and classrooms

~ Assesses the rigor of research evidence on the effectiveness of interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies), giving educators the tools to make informed decisions

~ Develops and implements standards for reviewing and synthesizing education research

~ Provides a public and easily accessible registry of education evaluation researchers to assist schools, school districts, and program developers with designing and carrying out rigorous evaluations.

What’s New

Houghton Mifflin: Invitations to Literacy Intervention Report Released (Dec 16)
This new Beginning Reading report looks at "Houghton Mifflin: Invitations to Literacy", an integrated K–8 reading and language arts program that is structured around themes and aims to stimulate, teach, and extend communication and thinking skills.

Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS) Report Released (Dec 16)
The "Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS)", formerly called the "Auditory Discrimination in Depth [ADD]" program, has been updated to include reviews of 12 studies that have been released since 2005.

Great Holiday Gift IdeaGive the Gift of reading and writing to adult learners in
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Friday, December 19, 2008

National City Library - The WOWmobile (Words on Wheels)

The WOWmobile (Words on Wheels)

The WOWmobile Literacy Program delivers family literacy services to hard to reach families & care providers with children ages 0-5 years old. Books and materials for children and parents are available as well as crafts; games; puppet shows; stories; health referral services; and family literacy workshops.

Project Partners

National City Collaborative
National School District
Children's Hospital
San Diego County Children and Families Commission
San Diego County Health and Human Services

Project Highlights

Workshops have been presented on parenting skills, lead poisoning, immunization requirements, school readiness preparation, health care enrollment and asthma.

Workshop presenters have included Parents As Teachers educators, Children's Hospital Nurse Practitioners, County Health Nurse Practitioners and Community Outreach Workers, American Lung Association Health Educators, and National School District staff.

Great Holiday Gift Idea !Give the gift of reading and writing to adult learners in
California library literacy programs from Santa Barbara to San Diego

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Newport Beach Library - Literacy Services Celebrates with Holiday Potluck and Annual Meeting

Literacy Services Celebrates
with Holiday Potluck and Annual Meeting
Literally Speaking-NBPL Literacy Services: Winter 2008

Saturday, December 6th, was a day of celebration for many tutors, learners, and volunteers along with their friends and families. It was a full morning that began with a “Getting to Know You” mixer and an efficiently conducted annual meeting where bylaws were amended and five new board members were voted in. (Welcome to Kristi Chezum-Dougherty, Nancy Englebrecht, Tara Netherton, Amy Tan, and Nancy Thompson.)

Cherall Weiss, Literacy Coordinator for the program, spoke inspirationally about the many accomplishments of our learners, such as voting for the first time, improving their current employment, and reading aloud to their children or grandchildren. All this would not be possible without the generosity of all the tutors and volunteers who give so freely of their energy and time, more than 7000 hours in the 2007/8 fiscal year.

Jim Tracy, an Advisory Board member for 6 years, was named 2008 Volunteer of the Year. Among other things, Jim has used his time and talents to ensure regulato
ry compliance for the program as well as fiscal responsibility. He and the other outgoing board members will be missed. As usual, the food at the potluck was tremendous - many thanks to all who contributed.

Donate to SCLLNGive the gift of reading and writing to adult learners in
California library literacy programs from Santa Barbara to San Diego

Monday, December 15, 2008


Press-Enterprise: December 3, 2008 by Diane A Rhodes

For more than five years, the monthly Doing Literature program at the Hemet Public Library has attracted a steady stream of readers to its informal discussion series.

A few years ago, Raymond Rodgers was offered the group's hosting duties by the exiting Dr. Paul Obler.

"I accepted because it is so very important that we do what we can to preserve and promote literature in a world of waning interest in reading," said Rodgers, 78. "I have been reading since I was 4, and it is a major aspect of whatever it is that is me."

On Dec. 13, Rodgers, a part-time English and literature instructor at Mt. San Jacinto College, will offer "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens as the topic of discussion.

Although reading the book is not a requirement of participation, Rodgers said most attendees are avid readers who enjoy the selections.

There is no charge to attend the meetings, which are held on the second Saturday of each month from September through June. Meetings are from 10:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the downstairs conference room of the library at 300 E. Latham Ave., Hemet.

"The library provides the space and administrative support and the program is conducted by unpaid volunteers under the library's literacy program," Rodgers said.

The library tries to provide extra copies of the books for participants to check out. Information: 951-765-2440. READ MORE

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Economic Stimulus Package Must Provide Funds for Adult Literacy and Basic Education !

Economic Stimulus Package Must Provide Funds for Adult Literacy and Basic Education !
ProLiteracy - Action Alert: Dec 2008

Adult learners, especially those at the lowest literacy level, often struggle to make ends meet when the economy is strong. They are especially hard hit during times of economic recession.

Adult learners must have the necessary reading, writing, math, computer, and English-language skills to get jobs and keep them. Any economic stimulus bill that Congress considers must include money for programs that help adults gain these skills.

Tell your representatives and your Senators that there must be economic stimulus money for adult literacy and basic education programs !

Send an E-mail - Write a Letter - Call Your Representative Today !- sample letter from ProLiteracy - Check Out the 100 Day Plan @

I encourage you to target a minimum of $50 million to adult literacy and basic education programs as part of any economic stimulus package brought to Congress for action.

An estimated 30 million adults in the U.S. can barely read and write. There is a higher rate of unemployment in this group than in the general population. Many work in low-skill and low-paying jobs. Of the one million jobs lost this year, many were these low-skill jobs. For many of the unemployed, training for higher-skill jobs will require learning the fundamentals of reading, of writing, and of speaking English.

Local adult literacy and basic education programs are committed to preparing these adults for work. Many community-based programs offer workplace literacy services and partner with community groups to get people working. But thousands of adults are already on waiting lists for tutors and teachers, and demand is likely to grow as jobs become scarcer.

$50 million in funding for these programs is just a modest increase. It would support just 62,500 new learners at an estimated $800 per student for a year of literacy instruction. Failure to provide even this minimum level of extra funding will cost local, state, and federal governments more in unemployment and public assistance benefits, health care costs, and increased crime rates.

I applaud any action that helps individuals get back to work, but action that does not include funding to help adults gain the skills they need to access new jobs is woefully incomplete.


Find Your Representatives @ American Library Association
~ members of Congress, governors, state legislators, and more ~

photo: Southern California Library Literacy Network - SCLLN

Friday, December 5, 2008

Writer To Writer 2008 - Awards

7th Annual Writer To Writer Challenge

an inspiring celebration of letters written by adult learners in California Library Literacy programs to authors of books that have changed their lives.

SCLLN - Winners & Runners Up

Beginning Level Winner:
Laurie H, Hemet Public Library
wrote to Laura Ingalls Wilder - On the Banks of Plum Creek
Runner Up:
~ Jorge S, Escondido Public Library, wrote to John Steinbeck - The Pearl

Intermediate Level Winner:Sandra G, Oceanside Public Library
wrote to Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man and the Sea

Runner Up:Runner Up:
~ Blanca M, Riverside County Library wrote to Cecil Murphy - 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life

Advanced Level Winner:
Juan “Johnny” S, San Diego Public Library
wrote to Nicholas Sparks - The Notebook

Runner Up:
~ Dorothy C, Los Angeles Public Library wrote to Toni Morrison - The Bluest Eye

SCLLN 2008 Writer to Writer Challenge Finalists:
(in alphabetical order by last name)

Beginning Level:Sarah Baek, San Diego Public Library
Jiyoung Kang, Newport Beach Public Library
Christine Kong, Alhambra Public Library
Tina Luu, San Diego Public Library
Jorge Sotelo, Escondido Public Library
Genoveva Torres, Escondido Public Library

Intermediate LevelAraceli Capilla, Escondido Public Library
Anonymous, National City Public Library
Blanca Martinez, Riverside Public Library
Kay Mitsuyo Haugrud, Hemet Public Library
Mikaba Sato, Newport Beach Public Library
Anonymous, Altadena Library District

Advanced LevelDorothy Carson, Los Angeles Public Library

2008 Statewide Writer to Writer Challenge
Winners & Runners Up

Emerging Level Winner:
Ferial Hanna, Santa Clara County Free Library, wrote to Chase Ferris-Remember the Ladies: A Story about Abigail Adams
Runners Up:
~ Angelita Olvera, Solano County Library, wrote to Lois Markham-Helen Keller
~ Michael Srey, Oakland Public Library, wrote to Edith Bajema-Trapped by Memory
Beginning Level Winner:
Laurie Heber, Hemet Public Library, wrote to Laura Ingalls Wilder-On the Banks of Plum CreekRunners Up:~ Jorge Sotelo, Escondido Public Library, wrote to John Steinbeck-The Pearl
~ Walter Woodley, Stanislaus County Free Library, wrote to Daniel G. Amen, M.D.-Change your Brain, Change your Life.

Intermediate Level Winner:
Sandra Galanes, Oceanside Public Library, wrote to Ernest Hemingway-The Old Man and the Sea
Runners Up:
~ Blanca Martinez, Riverside County Library, wrote to Cecil Murphy-90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life
~ Sharon Zhao, Contra Costa County Library, wrote to Gail Tsukiyama-The Samurai’s Garden

Advanced Level Winner:
Juan “Johnny” Santoyo, San Diego Public Library, wrote to Nicholas Sparks-The Notebook
Runners Up:~ Dorothy Carson, Los Angeles Public Library, wrote to Toni Morrison-The Bluest Eye
~ Anonymous, Santa Clara Public Library, wrote to Charlotte Bronte-Jane Eyre

Adult literacy program recognizedReporter: Dec 8, 2008

The Solano County Library Adult Literacy Program obtained special recognition recently for its participation in a statewide writing challenge sponsored by the California State Library. The award was presented in San Jose on November 15 during the California Library Association's annual conference.

The Mary Miller Inspirational Award was presented to Solano County Library literacy staff for encouraging the greatest number of adult learners from any one library system to participate in the Writer to Writer Challenge.

For the challenge, learners read a book, then wrote a letter to the author explaining why the book was significant to the learner's life.

Letters are judged by committees of fellow adult learners. Twenty-three Solano County Library learners submitted entries this year.

Mary Miller, literacy program coordinator of the Glendale Public Library, was the 2007 Writer to Writer chair and a member of the 2008 committee until her untimely death on September 1. READ MORE
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Monday, December 1, 2008

California Library Association Member of the Year - Carey Gross, Literacy Specialist Butte County Library

California Library Association
Member of the Year

Carey Gross, Butte County Library
CLA Weblog: Nov 25, 2008

Carey Gross, Literacy Specialist at the Butte County Library, is the recipient of the CLA Member of the Year Award for her tireless work promoting literacy services both in her own library and on behalf of all California libraries.

Long known to her colleagues as a passionate advocate for literacy services, Carey recently leaped to statewide attention in her valiant efforts to fight a legislative proposal that would have totally eliminated library literacy funding in California.

In her role as member of the CLA Legislative Committee, Carey sounded the alarm in a series of e-mails that delivered cogent, focused talking points mixed with impassioned pleas for the importance of literacy as a core library service. Inspired by her leadership, library advocates across the state took time out to contact their state legislators. These letters, e-mails and phone calls ultimately helped to defeat the proposal and save literacy funding. READ MORE

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Give the gift of reading and writing to adult learners in
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