Literacy Connection

WPL/CLC Partnership Update and Sharing Learner Stories

Post date: Friday, August 21, 2015 - 3:42pm

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. 

Summer Update: News from WPL, CLC, and more!

Post date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 10:30am

Thank you!

Thank you for the fantastic response to our last post about our immediate need for tutors. We were able to meet those needs very quickly thanks to you! If someone you know is looking for a rich and rewarding volunteer opportunity, we hope you’ll refer them to us. Our next tutor training is scheduled for August 8 and August 15. Please contact Josh Anderson at (847) 775-2569 or via email at janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: August%202015%20Tutor%20Training) for more information.

Celebrating Successes

We were privileged to honor our tutors at our Volunteer Tutor Appreciation Lunch held earlier this summer. We heard some fantastic success stories from our tutors and several adult learners, and everyone came away with a great sense of their fellow tutors’ passion for their work. 

Fall Semester 2015 Updates

At the Tutor Appreciation Lunch, we also had the opportunity to say farewell to Laura Sherwood, who after seven years as Literacy Coordinator for the College of Lake County is beginning a new role with the Adult Learning Resource Center, where she will be developing training for instructors in Adult Education. She’ll be working on developing and delivering training for ABE, GED, and ESL instructors.  We wish her all the best in her new position and know that she will bring incredible talent to her the Adult Learning Resource Center. She will continue as an adjunct professor at CLC, and may still be reached at her CLC email address. You can read her letter to tutors here.

Waukegan Public Library will continue to partner with CLC, and we are currently working to develop new processes for matching tutors to work with learners in CLC’s Adult Education classes. We will keep you posted on our progress and update you before the start of the fall semester. For now, if you would like to be matched to a classroom environment, or to continue tutoring with a specific instructor, please contact Josh Anderson at (847) 775-2569 or via email at janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Fall%20Semester%20Tutoring) so he can begin making arrangements for the fall semester. The program will also continue its partnership with the Mundelein High School and Highland Park High School adult education programs to support their adult learners, too.

As we get ready for the fall semester, why not take some time to read up on what’s new with other Illinois Literacy Programs? The Secretary of State’s summer literacy newsletter is now available. Check it out!


May 11, 2015

Post date: Monday, May 11, 2015 - 12:24pm

Short of Tutors

WPL has had to close registration for new ABE tutoring students due to a large number of adult learners already waiting for tutors.  There are over a dozen opportunities right now for one-on-one matches and a few opportunities to work with small groups. 

If you have been away from tutoring for a while and would like to get involved again or if you’re already tutoring but would be open to taking on another match, please contact Josh at 847-775-2549 or janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.  Thanks in advance for your generosity with your time and talents!

On the Road to Literacy Conference

If you are a tutor, you are a keeper of dreams.  That was one of the messages from this year’s “On the Road to Literacy” keynote speaker, Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dean of UIC’s College of Education.  Tutors, thank you for all the dreams you keep alive!  

17 total adult learners, teachers, tutors and staff joined together for fellowship and learning at the University of Illinois in Chicago on Saturday, April 18th.  The festivities included a visit and remarks from Governor Rauner.  It was great to have him there to recognize of the efforts of our adult learners and the service of our volunteer tutors.  Click here for more about the event from Literacy Volunteers of Illinois.

Special thanks to the Literacy Volunteers of Lake County who sponsored the cost for all of the adult learners to attend the event.  We hope you’ll be able to attend next year’s event.  It’s always on a Saturday in April.   

Tell Your Friends About Tutoring

Now is a great time to share your experience as a tutor with family, friends and co-workers.  The Program will offer the ABE Tutor Training series from 10-5 on Thursday, June 11th and Friday, June 12th.  Many of our best tutors have been recruited via word of mouth.  Have interested folks call Josh at 847-775-2549 for more information.

Coming Up…

Look out for information soon about:

  • tutor appreciation luncheon
  • testing for one-on-one learners
  • one-one tutor reporting at the end of June
  • classroom tutor reporting at the end of the semester 

Collections Event Invite

Post date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 12:09pm

Collections Event Invite

Hello Tutors,

You are cordially invited to attend Collections 2015, the annual celebration of student writing for students in the Literacy Program or in Adult Education classes, levels 10 - 40. The celebration will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Warren Newport Library, Meeting Rooms A & B on 224 O’Plaine Road, in Gurnee, IL.

Please click the following link for the invitation: Invitation. If you have students that have submitted writings for this year’s book, it would be terrific if you could call them to remind them of the event. If you would like help with the phone calls, please let me know and I would be happy to assist you.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Laura Sherwood                                       Josh Anderson

Literacy Coordinator                                Adult Literacy Coordinator

College of Lake County                            Waukegan Public Library

(847) 543-2327                                         (847) 775-2549

lsherwood [at] clcillinois [dot] edu                     janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info

Event Details for On the Road to Literacy and Collections

Post date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 4:15pm

Both tutors and learners are welcome at both events.  Please share the following details with your learners so they can participate in these fun upcoming events!  If you tutor learners in a classroom, please ask the teacher of the class if you can share this information.


Collections Party

Thursday, April 30th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Warren Newport Public Library, 224 N. O’Plaine Road, Gurnee, IL 60031 (just north of Washington on O’Plaine.)

If your learners would like to submit writings, they only have until Friday, April 3rd.  Start now!

Party Flyer

Submission Guidelines and Writing Ideas


On the Road to Literacy Conference

Day-long event, Saturday, April 18th

Event Flyer Page 1

Event Flyer Page 2

Registration form      Registration deadline: Friday, April 10th

Collections anthology opportunity for your learners, “On the Road to Literacy Conference” coming up, New Tutors!, Opportunities for you with the Literacy Volunteers of Lake County

Post date: Friday, March 6, 2015 - 4:24pm

In this issue of the Literacy Connection: Collections anthology opportunity for your learners, “On the Road to Literacy Conference” coming up, New Tutors!, Opportunities for you with the Literacy Volunteers of Lake County

Collections 2015 Anthology and Party

Each year the Collections event is a great chance for adult learners to share their experiences and publicly show the improvement in their skills.  The Literacy Volunteers of Lake County sponsor the publication of an anthology of student writings and host a release party.  Contributing learners receive a free copy of the anthology at the party and have a chance to publicly read their contributions.  It’s a neat chance for learners to come together and celebrate each other.  All tutors and adult learners are welcome at the event.  Often learners will come one year just to observe and then be inspired to contribute the next year.

Details on the event are still being hammered out for an evening in early May.  You can begin plugging the event to your learners and preparing submissions now.  If you work with learners in a classroom setting, please ask your supervising instructor if you can share the information about Collections with the class.  In the past, some classes have created submissions together.

Click here for the submission guidelines and ideas!

“On the Road to Literacy” Save the Date

Learners will have the opportunity to participate in the On the Road to Literacy Conference on Saturday, April 18th.  The conference is a chance for adult learners from around the state to gather together, share experiences and learn.  The event is hosted at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  The Literacy Volunteers of Lake County will be providing for bus transportation to and from the event from Waukegan and Grayslake.  Look for more information in March about transportation and the available workshops.  Click here to view the “On the Road to Literacy Conference” website!

New Tutors!

Say hello to another wonderful new group of volunteer tutors!

ABE Tutors finished training on Saturday, February 14th.

From left to right: Back- John Martin, John Storaasli, Dan MacKinney, Josh Anderson (WPL staff), Lawrence Kolaczkowski; Middle- Laura Sherwood (CLC staff), Jenny Ross (previously trained as an ESL tutor), Anne McCormick, Amy Ratican, Daisy Chavez, Front- Marita Martin, Lisa Kolaczkowski, Margaret Petroff, Sandi Firsel, Tom Pedersen; Not pictured: Lisa Athanassopoulos (returning tutor)

ESL Tutors finished training this past Saturday.

(Our apologies, we’re 0 for 2 so far at remembering to get a picture at the end of the ESL training.  The third time will hopefully be the charm.)

New Tutors: Octavius Hayes, John Martin, Dorothe Patterson, Alison Storaasli

Tutors Already Trained in ABE: Jyotin Adhvaryu, Jim Meyerhoff, Marlene Overton, Gay Reid, Robin Sherwood, Ben Sponseller

Special thanks to Dan MacKinney, John Martin and John Storaasli who completed both the ABE and ESL trainings all at once this February!

Four of these volunteers have already started tutoring and several others are in the process of being matched.  We’re very excited to have all of them joining us! 

Opportunities with the Literacy Volunteers of Lake County

Literacy Volunteers of Lake County is looking for volunteers to share their time and skills to help create awareness and grow partnerships in addressing illiteracy in our communities. There are opportunities to create flyers, help teams plan special events, connect with local organizations about adult literacy and complete tasks that support Literacy Volunteers. It’s a great way to help adult learners and meet others who are committed to improving adult literacy in Lake County. 

If you or a friend or family member might be interested, please contact Becky Juroe at 847-625-8530 or bjuroe [at] hotmail [dot] com to learn more about getting involved with the Literacy Volunteers. 

Happy New Year from the Literacy Program!

Post date: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - 3:55pm

Lake County’s adult learners were able to do a lot more this fall because of your help and support!  See below for a list of some of the things you all shared. 

2015 looks to be another year full of learning.  Thanks for volunteering and thanks for sharing!  Have a truly happy new year!

  • Read an article from the New York Times
  • Got a new job that wasn’t a good fit but found another similar job closer to home
  • Kept reading books on her own
  • Figured out she needs new glasses
  • Signed up for an extra math class
  • Wrote about her sister’s wedding
  • Read a whole novel and discussed the characters, themes and vocabulary
  • Read his homework stories several times until he understood
  • Felt prepared to take the GED Math test
  • Started texting and E-mailing with confidence
  • Read a Christmas card from his tutor
  • Read more easily when doing internet searches
  • Wrote her first book report
  • Started to differentiate between short-e and short-i sounds better
  • Started texting
  • Wrote papers with bibliographies
  • Learned to use the dictionary and taught her grandson how to do it too
  • Started writing in her journal
  • Learned enough to manage online accounts and E-mail for job search


Memorial Service for Barbara Babb

Post date: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 5:28pm

Memorial Service for Barbara Babb

Barb Babb passed away peacefully amongst her loved ones on Friday, November 28th, ending her battle with cancer.  She had been the Literacy Coordinator at the Waukegan Public Library through her retirement in 2011 and had tutored in the Literacy Program for many years prior to becoming a staff member.  After her retirement, she continued to support literacy as President of the Literacy Volunteer of Lake County.  Many of you shared the great privilege of working with her.  She is dearly missed.

Below are the details for Barb’s Memorial Service:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

4pm Gathering, 4:30pm Service

Burnett-Dane Funeral Home

120 West Park Ave, Libertyville


In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation to:

The Barbara Babb Memorial Fund

c/o Literacy Volunteers of Lake County

128 County St.

Waukegan, IL 60085


Please make checks out to the Literacy Volunteers of Lake County with the memo Barbara Babb Memorial Fund.


Missing Thanks

We are thankful for technology when it works.  It didn’t work last Wednesday.  The picture message meant for tutors failed to come through in the E-mail version of the message.  Please click here to view the whole message.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Literacy Program!

Post date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 6:41pm

Happy Thanksgiving!


Want to Help Plan the On the Road to Literacy Conference?

The On the Road to Literacy Conference is an annual event in April put on by the Literacy Volunteers of Illinois.  It is a unique one-day event targeted at providing learning and engagement for adult learners as well as their tutors and teachers.  The Program usually brings a busful of learners and tutors down to UIC in Chicago for it. 

Dorothy Miaso of the Literacy Volunteers of Illinois is working on putting together the Planning Committee for the conference.  She has shared that they would love to have tutors’ perspective represented on this year’s Committee.  Details from Dorothy about the requirements are below.  Please contact Dorothy at 312-857-1582 or lvaill [at] aol [dot] com to express interest or get more information.  Click here for information about last year’s conference.

From Dorothy about the Planning Committee: Our first meeting will be Wednesday, December 10th at the Center for Literacy’s offices at 1640 W. Roosevelt Road, 6th Floor Conference Room. The meeting will be at 1 p.m., lunch will be available at 12:30 p.m.  Following the December 10th meeting, we will likely meet two additional timeswith dates to be set at members’ convenience. There will also be communication via phone calls and/or e-mails in between meetings. If you cannot attend the meetings in person, we offer a call-in option.

Literacy Program News: Student Conference and State-wide Literacy Newsletter

Post date: Friday, October 24, 2014 - 3:11pm

Adult Learner Conference

The New Readers for New Life will be holding a one-day conference on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at UIC in Chicago.  It’s a unique event planned and conducted by past and present adult learners.  The focus of the day is for adult learners to come together and share their experiences.  Please share information about the conference with your adult learners.  Click here for the full details.

Please notify Josh ASAP at 847-775-2549 or janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info if your learner(s) or you are interested in attending.  If there is enough interest, the Program may be able to help coordinate transportation. 

Illinois Literacy Newsletter

Last year, more than 22,000 learners participated in Adult Literacy programs supported by the Illinois Secretary of State Literacy Office.  That includes your tutoring!  Read student success stories and more in the Literacy Office newsletter.  Click here to view the Fall 2014 Newsletter from the Illinois State Literacy Office.