Friday, July 31, 2009

Orange Co Library - Making a WINning Difference to Orange County Inmates

Making a WINning Difference to Orange County Inmates 
READ WRITES Newsletter: June/July 2009

Tutor Spotlight: Sandi Kangas
Most of our tutors meet with their learners at the local library, but not Sandi Kangas. Since she started working with READ/OC in 2005, Sandi has dedicated her time to helping inmates in the Orange County jails improve their reading and writing skills through the WIN (Working for Inmate Literacy Now) program.

Sandi “got the helping bug” as she got older, and decided that since she loved to teach, volunteering with READ/OC would be a great way for her to give back to the community. She liked the idea of working one-on-one with the inmates and giving them a chance to improve their situation. In four years, Sandi has had nearly half a dozen learners in the jails. She has discovered that WIN is a good fit for her because the inmates have to really want to learn in order to qualify for the program. That just makes her want to give them everything she’s got as a tutor.

Although it can sometimes be challenging to work within the security restrictions of the jail tutoring venue, Sandi has found some creative ways to engage her learners. The inmates aren’t allowed to keep books in their cells, so Sandi likes to ask her learners to write a few paragraphs about an imaginative story, then use that narrative as their study guide. She also likes to give them photocopied pages of the GED study manual. Sandi even had one learner who liked to read the dictionary, because that was the only reading material he could have!

Sandi is very enthusiastic about the time she has spent tutoring in the jails, and she would encourage more tutors to contribute their time to the WIN program. Her advice to new tutors would be: don’t be afraid of working in the jails. She has found her inmate learners to be just like learners on the outside, and she has always felt safe and secure working with WIN.

So if you want to help a motivated and eager individual turn their life around through reading, don’t hesitate! There are plenty of inmates waiting for the chance to work with a READ/OC tutor just like Sandi! Contact the READ/OC office for more information about how to be a WIN Tutor.

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Carlsbad Library - 25th Anniversary of Literacy Services

25th Anniversary of Literacy ServicesLearning Connection: July/August 2009

Each year Carlsbad Library Literacy Services hosts a Celebration dinner and ceremony to recognize the achievements of our learners and the contributions of our volunteer tutors. This year the Celebration was particularly noteworthy because it was the 25th Anniversary of the literacy program in Carlsbad.

Approximately 150 learners, tutors and their families and friends attended the Celebration, enjoyed delicious food from Pat & Oscars, and learned about the history of the Carlsbad literacy program from the woman who founded it, Lynda Jones. Carrie Scott, Community Outreach Coordinator for Literacy Services, introduced other speakers including Library Director, Heather Pizzuto, Principal Librarian for the Learning Center, Carol Naegele, a Literacy Services tutor and five learners.

Since it started in 1984, the Carlsbad adult literacy program has served approximately 1,500 learners who have taken the sometimes gigantic step to ask for help. Volunteer tutors have donated over 175,000 hours representing more than $3 million dollars in value.

In 1998, Judy Gaitan, a special education teacher from Carlsbad High School, called our then coordinator Lynda Jones. From that phone call, a unique partnership was born in which special education students from Carlsbad High School earn class credit for the time they spend at our program working with our tutors, materials and technology to improve their reading, writing, and vocabulary. The high school program has grown from 7 high school students and 1 volunteer to 34 high school students and 16 volunteers.

To honor the 25 years of learning, each table featured centerpieces with photos throughout the years and quotes from current learners and tutors. In their own words,learners and tutors describe what the Literacy Services means to them. See page 2 for some of the quotes. READ MORE !

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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

For Illiterate Americans, Help is on the Way . . . sort of via VALUEUSA

For Illiterate Americans, Help is on the Way . . . sort of
Medill Reports: July 22, 2009 by Chris Linden

WASHINGTON—Question: What do a retired teacher, an auto worker and a multi-million dollar business owner have in common ?

Answer: They can’t—or couldn’t—read.

National estimates suggest nearly 90 million American adults are just like them. Many would have trouble reading a headline, and it’s likely they struggle to read this story, too.

Marty Finsterbusch can read this sentence, but he has difficulty writing it – even though he holds a college degree. As the executive director of VALUE, Finsterbusch and his nonprofit group train literacy volunteers and push for better adult education programs.

Finsterbusch, who is in his forties, can read and comprehend a sentence, he said, but a learning disability makes it difficult for him to write. He uses computer programs to read emails and dictate messages.

“My reading level is there, but I can’t put it in writing,” Finsterbusch said.National surveys suggest that illiteracy is most common among the poor and immigrants. Finsterbusch’s entire organization, based in Media Pa., is run by highly-functioning adults who can neither read nor write.

Since he joined an adult education class in the mid-1980s, Finsterbusch has been involved with literacy coalitions to ensure other adults get the same opportunity. He launched VALUE in 1998 to continue pushing for education programs.

Bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate last week could provide new resources for adult learners, including increased access, more funding and workforce and technology training. But cash alone—which could equal half a billion dollars—only skims the surface of the problem, advocates said.

“We’re really fighting to get a seat at the table,” said Jeff Carter, executive director of DC LEARNs. READ MORE !

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Screen Actors Guild Foundation's Celebrity Autographed Book Auction

Screen Actors Guild Foundation's
Celebrity Autographed Book Auction:
raising money for its literacy programs.

With summer in full swing, a number of celebrity authors donated autographed copies of their books to help raise funds for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation's literacy programs.
Bid on books written and autographed by:

Steve Martin's - The Alphabet from A to Y with a Bonus Letter Z !
Michael J. Fox's - Always Looking Up
Heidi Klum's - Heidi Klum's Body of Knowledge
Julianne Moore's - Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully
Jeff Foxworthy's - Silly Street

and many others . . . . .

Proceeds from the auction benefit the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s literacy effort, which began in 1992 and now includes such programs as:
• BookPALS, a volunteer program comprised of performing artists who read aloud to students in schools, hospitals and libraries.
• We The Children, which teaches children the value of books and the importance of their lives by giving them the opportunity to write and illustrate their family history.
• Storyline Online, an online interactive website which brings the excitement of books into the classroom and home.

The Clothes Off Our Back Foundation is a 501c3 organization that hosts charity auctions showcasing today's hottest celebrity attire. Items are put up for bid to the public with proceeds going to benefit children's charities. Clothes Off Our Back was founded by actors and philanthropists Jane Kaczmarek and Bradley Whitford.

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

Monday, July 13, 2009

Huntington Beach Library - Family Literacy held its Annual Awards Night

Library Services Department
Huntington Beach Events
whatsupinsealbeach: July 9, 2009 by Wilm

The Family Literacy Program, part of Literacy Volunteers-HBPL, held its Annual Awards Night on Thursday, June 25, 2009, with more than 130 in attendance.

Mayor Keith Bohr and Library Director Stephanie Beverage helped welcome and thank all literacy students and volunteers. The program awarded 7 adult students with literacy awards in the categories of motivation, persistence, and dedication to learning – three important ingredients for success in learning and achieving goals. Several volunteers received pins for 5 and 10 years of service to the program and 3 volunteers received special recognition for their outstanding work. We appreciate all our volunteers and the difference they make in the lives of literacy students.

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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Literacy Tribune: July 2009

Literacy Tribune: July 2009

United Literacy, a non-profit organization, provides resources and support to adult literacy learners in the United States. Its aim is to make literacy education accessible and worthwhile for adult learners.

Main Story: Neighborhood Watch
~ Whether you live in a city, suburb, town, or rural area, crime is a concern.

A Learner's Poem
~ Good Feeling by Rodolfo Diaz

Member Spotlight: John Corcoran
~ graduated from college, became a high school teacher, and a successful real estate developer all before he learned to read at age 48.

Technology Watch: Buying a Netbook

~ Over the last 15 years computers have shrunk in size.

A History Lesson: The Reconstruction Amendments
~ When the United States ratified the Constitution in 1788, slavery was a common practice.

Call for Writers !

Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.
You can write about:

Your road to literacy
Your literacy organization
Literacy resources you like
You can write book reviews, poetry, short stories
You can write articles about health, finance, or technology

You can write just about anything !

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CA & National Literacy Calendar: July 2009

California Literacy Calendar: July 2009

SCLLN Literacy & Library Events & Conferences
-local, California and National Conferences-
visit the

Current Tutor Training Workshops scrolling in left frame

Local: July 2009

Jul 18: 1.30 pm
Gift of Dyslexia Tour-Ron Davis: Irvine

California Conferences: July 2009
Jul 13
Quality Teaching for English Learners Inst: San Francisco

Jul 24
Sierra Storytelling Festival: Nevada City

National Conferences: July 2009

July 9
American Library Association: Chicago IL

Jul 19
Correctional Education Association: Madison WI

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