Monday, June 29, 2009

Literacy in Libraries Around California +

Martini Contest is Anything but Ordinary
Contra Costa Times: June 25, 2009

by Jonathan Morales-Lamorinda Sun

Jay Crabb tossed fresh strawberries and some basil into a glass and mashed them together before adding orange and lemon juice, vodka and just a drop of balsamic vinegar.

"Do you have plain martinis?" a woman asked as she approached his table.

Not here, Crabb replied. "Every table features a specialty cocktail."

This may be the only martini event James Bond would leave disappointed.

Crabb, from Bijou Restaurant and Bar in Hayward, was one of 14 East Bay mixmasters serving up unique recipes at the 10th annual Martini Tasting at the Lafayette Park Hotel and Spa on Monday. Proceeds from this year's contest will benefit Project Second Chance, an adult literacy program.

Traditional martinis were nowhere to be found Monday, but martinis made with shaved lemon peels, jalapeños or Godiva chocolate? Absolutely.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . >>>

Laura Seaholm, program director for Project Second Chance, estimated about 500 people attended the event and about $15,000 was raised for the program.

Project Second Chance is the county library's adult literacy program and was founded in 1984. The program offers free one-on-one literacy instruction to people 16 years or older to help them improve their reading, writing and spelling skills. 925 . 943 . 8048 READ MORE !

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Los Angeles Public Library

New City Librarian, New Call to Fight Illiteracy
Laist: June 24, 2009 by Zach Behrens


Martin J. Gomez was confirmed today as the new City Librarian, charging him with the duty to oversee a $129 million budget, 6 million books and 1,100 employees throughout the 71 branches. The UCLA grad started his 30-year career as branch librarian in San Diego, moving on to head up Oakland's system, then to work in Brooklyn and most recently San Mateo.

Taking advantage of the moment, Councilmember Richard Alarcon introduced a motion to fight illiteracy rates in the city. “We have one of the largest, and growing, illiterate populations in the nation in Los Angeles, and we must take proactive steps to strategically reduce this devastating trend,” said Alarcón in a statement citing that 3.8 million people in the metropolitan area cannot read. “My motion is the first step in re-thinking the role of the library system, so the Department can further expand its role in helping people of all ages receive a crucial tool for success - the ability to read.”

The motion calls for a report on current literacy levels, assessment of current literacy programs done through the City and in conjunction with private and non-profit partners, the inclusion of the goal of reducing literacy as part of the mission statement and also the formation of a Literacy Advisory Committee. The motion also calls for a possibly changing the name of the department from the Los Angeles Public Library to the City of Los Angeles Department of Literacy and Public Library.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Newport Beach Public Library


Author Gina Nahai Featured at May Fundraising Luncheon NBPL Literally Speaking: Summer 2009

Attendees at the May 1st Literacy Fundraising Luncheon were offered a glimpse into the life of author Gina Nahai. She told of her history as well as her journey toward learning to structure the writing down of all the stories that she had swirling in her head. Ms. Nahai’s colorful family and her upbringing in Iran provide characters and settings for her writings. Her novels highlight the “slow, excruciating march toward freedom and respect” for women in Iran.

Although Ms. Nahai’s stories are deep and serious, she spoke with great warmth and humor and graciously answered questions afterwards. She spent time both before and after lunch signing books. In addition, participants had the chance to bid on silent auction items donated by many generous local merchants. There were also balloon pops and opportunity drawings with the grand prize drawing for a fantastic gift basket donated by Wine Country Gift Baskets. Kudos to the committee and volunteers organizing the event—they did a terrific job.

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

Monday, June 22, 2009

Riverside County Library

Adults Learn English in Free Class at Library Desert Sun: June 18, 2009 by Aldrich M Tan

For the last several months, teacher Hank Altheide of La Quinta has been working with students learning English.

Most of them are adults older than 30.

During a recent class, held at Indio Public Library, a group of 12 students clapped their hands as they sang a song to review the days of the week in a small library conference room.

“Time flies. Days go by,” the students chanted with Altheide. “Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday.”


Altheide has been teaching the English as a Second Language, or ESL, class for at least three months through the Riverside County Library System's Adult Literacy Program and has seen his numbers of students grow as more find out about the free sessions.

The program has been around for at least 10 years, said Cindy Delanty, deputy administrator for the Riverside County Library System.

There are similar programs throughout the county, including in Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Coachella, Delanty said.

Altheide has been an ESL teacher for more than 10 years. By day, he operates Hank's Window Cleaning and has been self-employed in that business for 26 years. READ MORE !

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

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ventura County Library

Adult Literacy Program Holds Tutor Appreciation Event
Ventura County Star: June 15, 2009 by Carol Chapman


Ventura County Library Reading Instruction for Adults (RIFA) recently honored adult literacy tutors with an ice cream social catered by Mark Schadecker of Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop in Thousand Oaks.

60 tutors attended; 5 spoke about their 17 amazing years of tutoring. Fun was had by all ! RIFA tutors teach different levels of reading and writing skills to English-speaking adults. Tutoring sites are in Ventura, Camarillo, and Simi Valley.
For more information, call: (805) 641-4484.

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Literacy . . . Info . . . News . . . Questions

Educating California: Choices for the Future
Public Policy Institute of California - PPIC
Hans Johnson - June 2009


The bad news is that California is facing a “skills gap” - a shortage of college graduates - that threatens its economic future. But the good news is that modest improvements in college enrollment, community college transfers, and the college completion rate, particularly in the California State University system, could help to narrow that gap substantially. These improvements will not only help California’s young adults succeed in an increasingly high-skill economy but will also benefit the state by increasing tax revenues and allowing for greater economic growth.

California’s economy is becoming increasingly dependent on highly educated workers. But unless young adults’ college-going and college graduation rates increase substantially, the supply of graduates is not likely to meet the demand. PPIC projects that by 2025, 41 % of jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree— but only 35 percent of California adults will have college diplomas.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Adult Learner Leadership Institute - ALLI

Adult Learner Leadership Institute Graduation [ ALLI ]

24 Adult Learners from Southern California library literacy programs successfully completed the 2009 Adult Learner Leadership Institute.

11 adult learners graduated on May 30 at the Carlsbad Library Learning Center.
13 will graduate on June 13 at the Upland Public Library.

In addition to improving basic reading and writing skills, many learners are eager to take on new challenges and want to make a contribution of their own:
~ Become better role models for their families
~ Assume leadership roles at work
~ Participate in community activities and decision-making
~ Advocate for resources for adult learners

The 6-month ALLI program was founded in 2000 as the Henry Huffman Leadership Institute in memory of Henry Huffman, a dedicated learner who devoted his life to spreading awareness of literacy in the community. Graduates keep their skills active by facilitating and co-presenting sessions for new learners.

ALLI graduates build self esteem as they increase their potential to speak out effectively on community issues, and act as spokespersons for literacy causes.

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

Monday, June 8, 2009

San Diego Public Library

READ/San Diego’s
19th Annual Tutor Conference
June 13, 2009
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, USD

KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Sandra L. McBrayer, Children’s Initiative
Perseverance and Commitment Can Change a Life

READ/San Diego provides opportunities for learning and practicing innovative teaching skills. Join literacy tutors, teachers and literacy professionals from across California for a day of informative, enjoyable, hands-on workshops. 14 workshops are scheduled in 2 strands, with breaks midway through the strands. 619 . 527 . 5475

Some of the Workshops:

Understanding Learning Challenges and Learning Styles
Teaching Adults to Read: Fluency
Making the Most of Conversation Practice
U.S.A. Learns and Friends: Web-based Learning Tools for ESL Students
Health Literacy Curriculum for Beginning Level ABE Students
Teaching Adults to Read: Vocabulary
Ritin R EZ: Teaching Writing to Basic Literacy Students
Selecting Age Appropriate Materials
I Need to Pass the GED Now !


Give The Gift
of reading and writing to adult learners
inCalifornia library literacy programs from Santa Barbara to San Diego

Monday, June 1, 2009

Riverside County Library

Library Offers Free ESL Classes
Desert Sun: May 29, 2009 by Aldrich M. Tan


A group of 12 students clap their hands as they sing a song to review the days of the week in the small conference room of the Indio Public Library. “Time flies. Days go by,” the students chant with teacher Hank Altheide. “Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday.”

These are not typical students. They are mostly adults over age 30 working on learning how to speak English through Altheide's English as a second language, or ESL, class. The teacher from La Quinta is seeing his numbers grow as more students find out about the free classes.

Altheide has been teaching the class for at least three months through the Riverside County Library System's Adult Literacy Program. The program has been around for at least 10 years, said Cindy Delanty, deputy administrator for the Riverside County Library System. There are similar programs throughout the county, including in Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Coachella, Delanty said.

The classes are free for the students, but it costs $160,000 in local, state and federal contributions to run all of the sites, Delanty said.

The county library is expecting a 10 percent drop from state and federal contributions. What effect that will have on the ESL classes is not known.

The ESL class at the Indio library meets on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and there is a study group with a volunteer teacher on Wednesday nights, Altheide said. READ MORE !

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