Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

APRIL 2004
A Publication of the Literacy Council of Jackson County
PO Box 615, Medford, OR 97501

Dear Literacy Volunteer,

   A few things have happened since I was elected to the Chairman position six months ago: we've renewed implementation of the CASAS assessment program in accordance with our partners at RCC; we've gained, and lost, a dynamic Community Relations volunteer; we've had a turnover in the Librarian position; we now have a copier in our office; and we are now offering our TUTORS newsletter via e-mail.

   About the CASAS program: The results of these assessments are useful in helping tutors pick out the right materials for their student's abilities.  The first quiz a student takes is called the "Sorter."  It covers simple to difficult materials. The results are used to determine the level at which a student comprehends, from A (beginning) to D (advanced).  About a week later the student should take another quiz, called a "pre-test," which asks questions at the student's skill level to establish a base score.  After six months of your expert tutoring we will schedule another quiz, called a "post-test," to measure student progress.  A high score on the post-test will mean the student is ready for the next level.

   If your student hasn't been assessed yet, please call the office (245-8699).  We will arrange for your student to come in or one of our five trained Assessors will go to the student.  As one of those Assessors, I've found that the students actually enjoy taking these quizzes.

   Jim Kelly, who was our Public Relations volunteer, has resigned to funnel his energies to other areas.  In his short tenure, Jim raised our awareness of what we might do to improve the Literacy Council.  We would like to thank Jim for his suggestions and plan of action.  We will be working on these suggestions but do need to have another volunteer to serve in the capacity of Public Relations.  If you (or anyone you know) are interested in filling this position, please call 245-8699.

   We'll miss Helen Mills, our efficient Librarian.  She's giving her time to help a loved one in need.  Thank you, Helen, for spending a little more time with us to train our new librarian, Carol Didier.  Tutors, be sure to get your overdue books back or call for an extension checkout to help Carol out.

   Since our library has several training items designed for photocopying, we now offer our tutors use of our office copier.  No, you can't use our machine to make posters for your yard sale, but you really should see what photocopy materials our library has to offer your students.

   Finally, this newsletter is now available as a cool e-mail.  If you are still getting your copy in paper form, and you have an e-mail address, call us now!  We're tired of those paper cuts.

   Have a great spring,

   Bob Burger

Board Members:

          Bob Burger    - Chair
          Rose Cossairt - Bookkeeper
          Jeanne Paul   - Rogue Community College Liaison
          Callie Marek  - Records
          Fram Nichols  - Placement
          Carol Didier  - Library/Bookstore
          Ellie Scholz  - Secretary
          Ed Dellaquila - Tutor Representative

Welcome To The New Tutors:

Ellen Meyi, Joseph Suste, Joan Symmank,
Genevieve Klam, Donna Martin, Lauren Frank,
Sara King Cole, and Paula Sohl.

Informal Assessment
National TV Turnoff Week
Tutor Socials
Libraries and Tutoring
Improve Tutoring Skills On-line
Don't Toss Your Old Cartridges
Elections! Elections!
Abbreviations Dictionary
Statistics and Dates
Helpful Websites
A New Website
Reading Improvement Technique
Financial Literacy
"Home-Alone" Kids
New INS Tests
Playing With The Language

Informal Assessment:

     The CASAS tests are not the only determiners of student growth.  Some informal indicators of growth are when a student self-identifies new activities he feels more comfortable doing: shopping, going to the doctor, helping in his child's school, participating more in his community, church, at work.

     Remember, if your student reaches a milestone we would like to highlight the success in the next issue of the newsletter.  We have had some good stories in the last few issues and would like to honor more of our students.

National TV Turnoff Week:

"Television is chewing gum for the eyes."  Frank Lloyd Wright

April 19 - 25 is National TV-Turnoff Week.  Encourage your students to turn off the TV and reconnect with their families.  This would be a good week for parents to start telling/writing family histories for their children; starting a new family tradition, hobby, sport, becoming involved in their communities, etc.


Let's Get Together:

I hope all of you have achieved a measure of success with your student.  You have all tried several approaches to overcome problems in the improvement of your student's ability to learn, but may be looking for more ideas.

From experience as a tutor, and as an attendee to many in-service meetings with other tutors and board members, solutions to several of my problems were presented which I subsequently put into practice while working with my students.  These informal meetings not only improved my ability to teach but they allowed me to socialize with many interesting people, whom I now consider friends.  I never cease to be amazed by the life experiences that all of you have had and bring to the tutoring experience.  Because of your varied backgrounds, you bring to the in-services a variety of solutions to what others consider "problems."  We have all read or heard that amazing solutions can result from a new way of looking at our problems.  With the possibility of so many differing viewpoints there is no problem beyond the capabilities of Literacy Council tutors.

To give you an opportunity to meet fellow tutors, learn some new skills and help others solve their problems, I am hosting several informal get-togethers:

Saturday, April 17, 9 - 11 AM, breakfast provided

Thursday, April 22, 1 - 3 PM, lunch provided

Tuesday, April 17, dinner provided.

Please look at the dates and times and plan to attend one, or more, of the sessions.  The location of each get-together will be determined by where those who respond live; i.e., if most of the respondents for one session are in Central Point, that is where the meeting will take place.  This will be discussed during your RSVP calls to E.B. Dellaqulla - 541-482-3439 after 8 PM any evening.  Please call at least five (5) days prior to the date of the session you are able to attend.  This will give me a chance to find a good location and notify you of that location.

In the last 4 1/2 years the highlights of a student's achievements and the friendships I have made with other tutors have made my life most enjoyable.

Ed Dellaquila
Tutor Representative.


Libraries and Tutoring:

Incorporating library time into your tutoring schedule is very important.

The new Medford Library is open as of April 5, 2004.  There are small study rooms available for your use during tutoring sessions.  It is best to call ahead and reserve a space.  If not reserved they are filled on a "first come, first served" basis. The number is 774-8689.

Many other libraries in the Jackson County system have study spaces available, too.  Contact the library nearest you.


Improve Tutoring Skills On-line:

Verizon Literacy University is designed to help literacy participants build a more literate population.  VLU offers free courses for those interested in tutoring, those already tutoring and students.  The newest course titles are:

"Volunteering in English Language Learner Literacy Classes", "Culture and English Language Learners" and "Citizenship: What Volunteers Need to Know".

All courses are self-paced; most are about 45 minutes long.

VLU is produced and managed by the National Center for Family Literacy and ProLiteracy Worldwide with support from Verizon Communications.

Site address: http://www.vluonline.org


Don't Toss Your Old Cartridges:

Help the Council raise money and get rid of your used printer cartridges at the same time.  The Council receives $2 for each cartridge they return for recycling.  You can turn in Hewlett Packard, Canon, Lexmark, Xerox, Compaq and Apple cartridges.  Bring them to the office during office hours or call the office, 245-8699, and other arrangements can be made (those living in Ashland can take them to Liz Betor and she will deliver them - call her at 488-4082).  Office hours are:

	Monday           2PM - 4PM
	Tuesday	        11AM - 1PM
	Wednesday        2PM - 4PM
	Thursday        10AM - 1:45PM
 	Friday          11AM - 1PM

The office is located at 1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford.  Turn into the parking lot that is just west of the Royal Avenue corner.  You will see a "Literacy Council" sign.



If your student is interested in the upcoming elections, take a look at http://www.nelrc.org/changeagent for easy to read information about the voting process and other topical issues.


Abbreviations Dictionary

ABE Adult Basic Education: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as reading, writing and math to native speakers of English.

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder

CASAS Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System: A battery of tests that we use for tracking student progress.

ESL English as a Second Language: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and math to non-native speakers of English.

GED General Education Development test: test which gives students a diploma equivalent to a high school diploma.

LCJC: Literacy Council of Jackson County

LD: Learning Disabled

RCC: Rogue Community College

TELT Training Effective Literacy Tutors: The training program for new volunteers.

TOPS Tracking of Programs and Students: form used to collect student demographics and test results reported to RCC.


Vital Statistics: Accumulated Hours

Averages for November, December, January 2003-2004

Active students 29

Active volunteers 29

Total volunteer time 128 Hr

Total student time 133 Hr

Avg. prep. time 28 Hr

Avg. miscellaneous time 117 Hr

Note: Miscellaneous time includes travel, office staffing, and meeting/training attendance.

Board Meetings

April 15
May 20
June 17
July - no meeting

All meetings - 10am to noon
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699

For TELT Training information
Call Fram Nichols


Helpful Websites

Tips for teaching word families, steps in language experience stories, find quizzes


You can print out these exercises or student can do them on line

Variety of activities for the more advanced student

If you have internet access at your tutoring site this is a great address for more advanced student activities

Help with developing writing skills

Variety of activities: grammar, conversation topics, cultural awareness, games, etc.


Pizzaz: Creative writing lessons

Self Study Quizzes

Crossword Puzzles

Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom


Opportunities in ESL: Creative writing/discussion topics

Free Services for Students


ESL Curriculum, Beginning Level

Diversity Calendar: Holidays around the world

Interactive practice lessons and tests.

If you try one of the above sites let us know what you think of it, how you used it, did your student enjoy it, etc.


A New Website:

If you suspect your student is learning disabled, you may be having difficulty in finding good resources to help you and your student succeed.  LDOnline.org showcases ideas and strategies developed by outstanding and experienced teachers.  Follow the links within the site to gather teaching hints and strategies that you can use.  The website address is:

Excerpted from LitBits newsletter from Oregon Literacy, Inc.


A Reading-Improvement Technique:

Helping adult students become more proficient readers is the number one goal of all adult literacy programs.  A technique for helping your student read is to use books on tapes, but not the ones you listen to on long trips or at the gym.  The books you choose should be at, or just above, your student's reading level.  The Laubach Literacy series has short stories accompanied by tapes which can be checked out, along with a tape recorder (provide your own tape).  The library also has abridged novels such as "The Right Stuff" and "Terms of Endearment", but these do not have tapes.  You can tape one chapter at a time and discuss the next chapter with your student during the tutoring session.  Your discussion might include new vocabulary and slang, what has gone on in previous chapters, overview of what to expect in the chapter for the week and possibly tie the story in with current events or the student's personal life.  The student then would take the book and tape home (tape recorder can be loaned to the student), "read" the story and answer follow-up questions that you have designed.  This technique allows the student to use both auditory and visual skills to improve his reading.  Writing out his answers will help him understand what he is reading.  You should try to include questions that will have the student finding facts, making assumptions, predicting what will happen next, stating the main idea, etc.  If you want more ideas on the types of questions to include there are a number of websites to refer to:




Books in our library that have tapes:

Many of your students would like to read stories to their children.  Borrow some books from your local library which are appropriate for the child's age.  Take the books home and tape them.  Give one tape and book to the student. The student practices listening/reading with the tape and then, when comfortable, reads the story to his children.  If you haunt flea markets or used book stores, buy some books and give them to the parent and child to keep - a new book each time the parent has successfully read the story to his child.


Improve Your $$ Literacy:

Rogue Federal Credit Union is again offering classes about handling money to members and non-members. All of the seminars are free, but space is limited. To register, please call Rogue Federal Credit Union at 858-7536 or 858-7328

Classes in English:
June 10, 2004 - Raising a Money Smart Child: their kids 9 - 13 years old.
Teach your kids the value of money. For parents and kids 9 - 13 years old.
July 8, 2004 - Understanding Your Credit Report
     Learn about reports and how to re-establish and maintain good credit.
September 9, 2004 - Identity Theft and Current Scams
     Learn how to protect yourself from a serious crime that is on the rise.
November 11, 2004 - Credit
     Learn about credit and how to use it and not abuse it.

Classes in Spanish:
1 de Mayo del 2004 - ?Que Significa el Credito?
     Aprenda sobre los fundamentos del credito, la importancia del credito y como utilizarlo.
16 de Octubre del 2004 - Aprenda Como Leer su Reporte de Credito
     Aprenda sobre los informes de credito, puntuaciones del credito y lo que significa para usted.
11 de Dicembre del 2004 - !Si, Usted Puede ser Propietario de su Primera Casa!
     Un taller disenado especialmente para los compradores de su primera casa.


"Home-Alone" Kids:

Does your student need to leave her school-age children home alone for some hours each day?  If so, here are some suggested activities that can be included in your tutoring session to help make the child safer.

If your student cannot read, she can dictate the list to you and then use it to practice her reading.  Others can write their own list and it can be used to discuss spelling/grammar problems.


New INS Tests On The Way

INS officials state that about 600,000 people take the Citizenship Test each year.  Presently, applicants for citizenship must show proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of US history and government.  If you are working with a student anxious to become a citizen, and want to know how to prepare your student for success, call OLI, 503-244-3898 and ask for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.

Excerpted from LitBits, newsletter from Oregon Literacy, Inc.


Playing With The Language:

At a Proctologist's door

"To expedite your visit please back in."

Newsletter Editor - Liz Bestor