Literacy Connection

Happy Holidays from the Literacy Program!

Post date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 3:51pm

Click here to view a video dramatizing your impact as tutors!

To all our volunteers, thank you!  Happy Holidays from the Adult Literacy Tutoring Program!

-Josh and Rachel

Fahrenheit 451 Letters: Big Read Activity

Post date: Monday, November 16, 2015 - 1:53pm

Fahrenheit 451 Letters: Big Read Activity Submissions!

Thanks to those of you whom I’ve already heard from that have been trying out the Fahrenheit 451 activity with your learners.  As a reminder, we’d like all tutors and adult learners for whom this would be an appropriate learning activity to give this a try before the end of February.  The instructions for the activity are included at the end of this post.  To view the first completed letter from Karen and Greg, click here! 

Other learners’ letters about how to be happy could be fun reading for your learner(s).  I’ll keep adding new letters and sending them out this way as they are submitted. 

 

Activity Explanation Reposted: Big Read Fahrenheit 451 Activity

The Waukegan Public Library is participating in the Big Read this year, a National Endowment for the Arts Program.  The Big Read gets a whole community together to engage with one good book. 

Fahrenheit 451is our Big Read book.  To engage your learners, we would like you to read a short excerpt from the book with pre- and post-discussion activities.  The reading is at a 2nd or 3rd grade level.  We would like to have all ABE tutoring groups complete the activity.  If your ESL learners can handle the vocabulary, please join us as well.  Click here to download the activity.

After the reading and discussion, you will write a letter giving advice about how to be happy.  Please send all of your writings to janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info with the subject “Big Read” or Josh Anderson, 128 N County St., Waukegan, IL 60085.  We’ll share all of the letters here through the Literacy Connection so you can read each other’s advice.

Readability-Score.com: Help figuring out, "Can I use this with my student(s)?"

Post date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 3:32pm

One of the hard parts about tutoring can be finding appropriate reading materials about topics of interest for your student.  For example, you might think your student would really like the article about parenting from a magazine you get, but you worry it might be too difficult for him or her.  Here’s a resource to help:

 https://readability-score.com/

This site allows you to type in or paste text and have the reading level calculated instantly based on several different readability formulas.  You can also enter a website and it will check the level of that website.  This will work best if you enter the whole link for the specific page you want your student to read. 

You will notice that, especially for short selections, different formulas will give varying results.  It’s best to enter a sample of at least 100 words, preferably from the middle of a reading.  The different reability formulas each have their own strengths and weaknesses.  For readers at and below the 4th grade level for comprehension, I recommend following the Gunning-Fog Score.  For more advanced readers, use Flesch-Kincaid Grade Levels. 

As always, when looking for new materials, please feel free to ask staff for support.  Hopefully this resource gives you a little bit more confidence when trying to bring your own readings into lessons.

Reading Materials for Veterans Day from Read Works

Post date: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 9:41am

Click here to view Veterans Day reading passages at a wide range of reading levels.  If you do not already have an account with ReadWorks, you can create one for free while you are accessing the passages.

In this Issue: Big Read, Tutor Reunions, Funding Update and more

Post date: Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 1:36pm

In this issue:

  • Big Read Fahrenheit 451 Activity
  • New Tutors
  • Tutor Reunions!
  • New Readers for New Life Conference
  • Funding Update

Big Read Fahrenheit 451 Activity

The Waukegan Public Library is participating in the Big Read this year, a National Endowment for the Arts Program.  The Big Read gets a whole community together to engage with one good book. 

Fahrenheit 451is our Big Read book.  To engage your learners, we would like you to read a short excerpt from the book with pre- and post-discussion activities.  The reading is at a 2nd or 3rd grade level.  We would like to have all ABE tutoring groups complete the activity.  If your ESL learners can handle the vocabulary, please join us as well.  Click here to download the activity.

After the reading and discussion, you will write a letter giving advice about how to be happy.  Please send all of your writings to janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info with the subject “Big Read” or Josh Anderson, 128 N County St., Waukegan, IL 60085.  We’ll share all of the letters here through the Literacy Connection so you can read each other’s advice.

 

 New Tutors

Welcome new ABE tutors to the program!  Tanya Burgess, Gary Stern, Doreen Desjardins, Brenda Balin, Marta Tucker, Jean Hansen, Senneca Brown, Nancy Davey! 

 

  Tutor Reunions!

Mark your calendars for:

Saturday, February 13th

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Waukegan Public Library 

We’ll be starting a new tradition for the program.  The culmination of each new tutor training series will be a chance for all of our current tutors to gather and to welcome the new class of tutors into the fold.  It will be a Snack-luck.  Bring your favorite dessert or snack to share.  Beverages will be provided. 

 

New Readers for New Life Conference

The New Readers for New Life of Illinois will be presenting their 18th annual state conference on Saturday, November 21st at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Literacy.  The event is by and for adult learners, though you and your learner(s) can attend together if you like.  Click here for more information about the conference.  For the registration form, click here.

  

Update on Funding Situation

Many tutors have been asking about the funding situation for the program given the impasse over the state budget.  Up until this year, the Program’s primary funding source has been an Adult Volunteer Literacy Grant through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Literacy Office.  We are unsure at this time if we will receive any funds for the state, how much we might receive, and when those funds might be available.  The Waukegan Public Library is committed to serving the needs of Lake County’s adult learners through the Adult Literacy Tutoring program with or without state funding.  Thank you for all your efforts as volunteer tutors.  We’ll do what it takes to keep supporting you. 

Funds have been raised to navigate this crisis for the short term.  Creating a plan to sustainably fund the Program long term without state funding will take more effort and creativity.  If you’d like to help, you can:

  1. Contact your IL representatives to share your support for continued funding for the Illinois Secretary of State Adult Volunteer Literacy Grant Program and encourage the speedy passage of a budget.  Even a budget with zero funding for our program would end the waiting game and make it easier to plan for the future.  Click here to find contact information for your representatives.
  2. Participate in fundraising efforts through the Waukegan Public Library Foundation or become a member of our Literacy 2020 365 Club.  Contact Carmen Patlan, Community Engagement and Outreach Manager at 847-775-2564 or cpatlan [at] waukeganpl [dot] info for more information.

 

News for You Resource and Training Opportunities Reminder

Post date: Friday, September 25, 2015 - 1:48pm

News for You Returns!

The Library has renewed its subscription for News for You Online!  If you would like to use the site with your learners, please contact Josh or Rachel for the password. 

From News for You: “This website offers easy-to-read news stories that can help you learn to read, write, speak, and understand the English language. Seven new stories are posted each Wednesday, along with audio, exercises, vocabulary, a crossword puzzle, a word search, and a poll. Listen to each story in full or sentence-by-sentence.”

A screenshot of one of the stories from this Wednesday:

 

Info about upcoming workshops and Tutor Training Series for new tutors is reprinted below.

Upcoming Tutor Training

Our next tutor training series is scheduled for Saturdays October 10th and 17th.  Please consider sharing the following blurb through Facebook or E-mail.  Just copy and paste the information. 

“I enjoy helping adults improve their basic skills as an Adult Literacy Tutor!  You can help Lake County’s adults develop the skills they need to be successful!  Check out the program’s orientation on YouTube or call or E-mail for more information: 847-775-2549 or janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.”

Here’s the new orientation video if you’d like to check it out for yourself:

 

  

Lake County Area Planning Council on Adult Education Fall Conference

Save the date for Saturday, October 24th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CLC South Lake Campus!  There will be five one-hour sessions offered with a choice of workshops available during each timeslot.  Lunch will be provided Come improve your ABE and/or ESL instruction! 

RSVP is required by Friday, October 16th to janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] infoor 847-775-2549.  

A Preliminary List of Workshop Topics includes:

  • Testing Strategies
  • Transition and Support Services for Students
  • How the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will Affect Adult Education classrooms
  • Illinois workNet
  • Workforce Preparation Activities for All Levels
  • Reading Instruction
  • Book Clubs for ABE/ASE Learners
  • Vocabulary for ABE and ESL
  • Citizenship Basics
  • Engaging Learners Through Technology
  • Math Instruction
  • Prepping for the GED Language Arts Exam
  • The i-Pathways GED Resource

Math Workshop Series at CLC

There are three more sessions this fall in the College of Lake County’s Math instruction workshop series.  Tutors are encouraged to attend this free training opportunity.   RSVPs for the sessions are appreciated though not required.  Please contact Tania Giordani at 847-543-2406 or TGiordani [at] CLCILLINOIS [dot] EDUif you plan to attend any of the sessions.

All sessions will meet at the CLC Lakeshore Campus in 1 North Genesee, Room 214 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

October 2nd: Quadratic Relationships  

November 6th: Statistics (main focus: Box and Whiskers)  

December 4th: TBA 

 

The Walk/Fun Run for Literacy and Training Opportunities

Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 11:22am

The Barbara Babb Memorial Walk/Fun Run for Literacy

Join Literacy Volunteers of Lake County for their 19th annual Fun Run/Walk for Literacy on Saturday, September 26!  Find out more information here about how to participate and how to help LVLC raise money to improve literacy in Lake County!  Download Pledge Form here.

Make a difference in the lives of many by sponsoring the 19th annual Literacy Volunteers of Lake County’s Fun Run/Walk for Literacy!  Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. Download Sponsor Form here.

 

Lake County Area Planning Council on Adult Education Fall Conference

Save the date for Saturday, October 24th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CLC South Lake Campus!  There will be five one-hour sessions offered with a choice of workshops available during each timeslot.  Lunch will be provided Come improve your ABE and/or ESL instruction! 

RSVP is required by Friday, October 16th to janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info or 847-775-2549.  

A Preliminary List of Workshop Topics includes:

  • Testing Strategies
  • Transition and Support Services for Students
  • How the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will Affect Adult Education classrooms
  • Illinois workNet
  • Workforce Preparation Activities for All Levels
  • Reading Instruction
  • Book Clubs for ABE/ASE Learners
  • Vocabulary for ABE and ESL
  • Citizenship Basics
  • Engaging Learners Through Technology
  • Math Instruction
  • Prepping for the GED Language Arts Exam
  • The i-Pathways GED Resource

 

Math Workshop Series at CLC

There are three more sessions this fall in the College of Lake County’s Math instruction workshop series.  Tutors are encouraged to attend this free training opportunity.   RSVPs for the sessions are appreciated though not required.  Please contact Tania Giordani at 847-543-2406 or TGiordani [at] CLCILLINOIS [dot] EDU if you plan to attend any of the sessions.

http://www.waukeganpl.org

All sessions will meet at the CLC Lakeshore Campus in 1 North Genesee, Room 214 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

October 2nd: Quadratic Relationships  

November 6th: Statistics (main focus: Box and Whiskers)  

December 4th: TBA 

Literacy Program News: Student Voices, Timely Readings, Training Opportunities

Post date: Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 6:46pm

Student Voices

Our program is primarily funded by state funds through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Adult Literacy Grant Program.  As a result, there is considerable uncertainty about funding right now.  We need to hear from students, what tutoring means to them.  Active tutors, please take a moment the next time you meet with students to get them to answer at least one of the questions below and submit your responses to janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.

  • How has tutoring made a difference in your life?
  • What things can you do now that you couldn’t do when you started with tutoring?
  • What does tutoring mean to you?
  • What is the most important thing you have learned in tutoring?
  • How would you keep learning if you couldn’t come to tutoring?

Timely Readings: Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 Anniversaries

Read Works is one of the sites we recommend in training.  Last week they sent out  a list of levelled passages about the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Or you could check out this article about the upcoming 9/11 anniversary.  The site does require you to create an account, but it’s very quick.  The materials are designed for the K-12 system, but the science and social studies readings often are great for use with adults.  Having interesting readings at an appropriately challenging level for your learners is key!

Upcoming Tutor Training

Our next tutor training series is scheduled for Saturdays October 10th and 17th.  Please consider sharing the following blurb through Facebook or E-mail.  Just copy and paste the information. 

“I enjoy helping adults improve their basic skills as an Adult Literacy Tutor!  You can help Lake County’s adults develop the skills they need to be successful!  Check out the program’s orientation on YouTube or call or E-mail for more information: 847-775-2549 or janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.”

Here’s the new orientation video if you’d like to check it out for yourself:

 

 Math Training Opportunity

The College of Lake County will be offering a series of Math instruction workshops for its ABE and GED teachers this fall on the first Friday of each month.  They’ve graciously extended the offer for tutors to participate as well.  Especially if you are currently tutoring Math, please take advantage of this free opportunity for high-quality training.  RSVPs for the sessions are appreciated though not required.  Please contact Tania Giordani at 847-543-2406 or tgiordani [at] clcillinois [dot] edu if you plan to attend any of the sessions.

All sessions will meet at the CLC Lakeshore campus in 1 North Genesee, Room 214 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

September 4th: Linear Relationships (Instructions from Tania: Bring your TI-30XS, graph paper and paper for you to take notes with.  I will bring extra in case anyone needs it.)

October 2nd: Quadratic Relationships  

November 6th: Statistics (main focus: Box and Whiskers)  

December 4th: TBA     

WPL/CLC Partnership Update and Sharing Learner Stories

Post date: Friday, August 21, 2015 - 3:43pm

Details on Changes in WPL/CLC Partnership

The Waukegan Public Library and the College of Lake County are signing a Memorandum of Understanding governing our tutoring partnership.  The same types of tutoring will continue to be supported, but some procedures will be changing to be more formalized.  All matching will now take place through Waukegan Public Library staff who will make sure that all tutors are well supported in their work with the College of Lake County’s adult learners.  Contact Josh Anderson at 847-775-2549 or janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info with any questions about this transition.

  • Tutoring in a CLC Class: CLC teachers will fill out a request form and Waukegan Public Library staff will match tutors in classes.  It will be important that any informal arrangements between teachers and tutors are approved before tutoring begins each semester.  Please wait for permission before you begin tutoring in a classroom setting.  Tutors returning to work with the same teacher should be approved without delay.

 

  • Tutoring CLC Learners Outside of Class Time: If a learner from a CLC class asks about additional tutoring outside of class time, please contact staff at the Waukegan Public Library.  It is important that any such arrangements be approved by Waukegan Public Library staff prior to the start of tutoring.

Why Does Tutoring Matter?

We are still waiting for a state budget.  This makes for uncertain times.  One thing that is certain is the impact of tutoring.  Especially at times like this, it is important that our adult learners’ stories are heard.  If you are currently working with a learner or group of learners, please take some time at your next session to have your learner answer one of the following questions.  If you will be tutoring in a classroom this fall, please discuss with your supervising teacher if you might collect some learners’ stories.  You may choose to make this a writing activity or simply to have your learners dictate to you what they would like to say so that their voices can be shared.  Send learners’ responses to janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info or Josh Anderson, 128 N. County St., Waukegan, IL 60085.

  • How has tutoring made a difference in your life?
  • What things can you do now that you couldn’t do when you started with tutoring?
  • What does tutoring mean to you?
  • What is the most important thing you have learned in tutoring?
  • How would you keep learning if you couldn’t come to tutoring?

Of course, your experiences as tutors matter too!  Please feel free to share about what being a tutor means to you in whatever form you feel is most appropriate.