Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

APRIL 2007
A Publication of the Literacy Council of Jackson County
PO Box 615, Medford, OR 97501

Board Members:

              Bob Burger      - Chair
              Sara King Cole  - Library/Bookstore
              Ellie Scholz    - Secretary
              Fram Nichols    - Placement
              Robbin Henson   - Records
              Liz Koester     - RCC/CASAS Coordinator
              Bob Burger      - Acting Treasurer

Notes from the Chair
Editor's Message
Placement Report

Tutor Highlight
New Librarian?
Records Report
Helpful Websites
Abbreviations Dictionary

Notes From The Chair

Dear Volunteers and Friends,

    As we welcome warmer weather (Global Warming?) and thaw out our bones, it's time to get back into the joy of teaching new adult readers.  We have several anxious students on the waiting list for tutors, so call the office and leave a message for Fram Nichols, our placement director, to set up a meeting.

    I wish to welcome our newly trained tutors.  Sorry, I couldn't see you at the training because I was tutoring!  You are welcome to visit me at the office as I am usually there on Fridays from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. You should take the time to review the many teaching aids we have in our library.

    May I ask anyone reading this to help support our literacy goals by referring friends who have the time to volunteer to the Literacy Council?  Not only do we need more tutors for English and Math, but we also need people to volunteer a few hours a week to take calls and help out our over-worked board members.  Of course, financial donations are always a big help.

    Thank you for your consideration.

Bob Burger


Greetings From The Editor

Hi Everyone!

    Spring has always been my favorite time of the year.  My yearly rebirth occurs on the twenty-third of March when I celebrate it at the ocean and I find my balance and center.  I am re-energized once again to face spring term at RCC and my duties as records clerk and newsletter editor.

    In this issue, you will learn the statistics for the past three months in regards to tutor and students' study hours.  You will meet one of our newest tutors: Darlene Arkens.  We have a new addition to the Literacy Council family: Violet Grace Cole.  There are new updates on the Board Meeting Calendar.  Check out the new office hours - in force until September.

    Enjoy your spring!  Enjoy your life!  Take the time to introduce a whole new world to a person who cannot read.  I am passing on the love of reading to my granddaughters.  I am doing my part to promote literacy in our future.

Robbin Henson


Fram's Placement Report

    On Saturday, February 17, 2007, a group of six prospective tutors met at the Literacy Council office on Royal Avenue to receive their tutor training.

    This training was offered as part of a new strategy by Oregon Literacy Outreach, known as LIFT, where each council has been authorized to train tutors for their own literacy programs.

    Within weeks, two well-qualified women from our Jackson County Literacy Council volunteered to carry out our training efforts.

    Darlene Arkens has been with the council since summer of 2006 having moved from California with many years of experience as a high school teacher and literacy volunteer (ESL-English as Second Language).

    Chloe Wood, also from California, has worked with the Jackson County Literacy Council for three years using her experience and wisdom for organizing ESL classes as well as tutoring individual students.

    Darlene and Chloe collaborated in teaching an informative and practical session that was well received and prepared our new tutors for the challenges that lie ahead.

    Our first training under LIFT was a great success.  Of the six prospective tutors who attended, five have decided to receive an assignment.

    Ellie Scholz (who has tutored in the past and is now Board Secretary), has decided to resume tutoring and has infected her husband John, a retired pastor, with the tutoring "bug."  They are tutoring an Indian couple and enjoying it immensely!

    Hester Kobayashi comes our way from California as well, residing at the Manor.

    She received degrees at UCLA in public health and environmental sciences.  Hester worked in the chemical and petrochemical industry in research and product safety.  She has accepted an assignment with an ESL student who works at the Red Lion.

    John Patton, a retired electrical engineer, is a former literacy volunteer who has decided to re-enter the field.  He is now meeting with a student who recently lost his tutor to transportation issues but wanted to continue his studies.  He is lucky to have John as a tutor!

    Sonya Dunham is full of enthusiasm to get going with tutoring.  Last year, she moved with her husband, Joel, to the Rogue Valley from Corvallis after receiving an advanced degree in Physics and Wood and Forest Science.  She works at a local nursery (specializing in plant growth and propagation).  She just returned from a mission trip to India with her husband.  She looks forward to getting a tutoring assignment.

    We are grateful to our new tutors with their vast experiences and willingness to become involved in literacy.  We also need more volunteers, for the list of students seeking help continues to grow.

    At this time, we have these requests on record (they may or may not be immediately available):

    1 student in Ashland

    6 students in Medford
    1 couple in Talent
    2 students in Phoenix
    1 student in Medford seeking help in spelling

    1 student in Medford
    2 students in Special Education seeking to improve reading and comprehension skills.

    These all are worthy applicants who could be helped with a patient and understanding tutor.


Fram Nichols, Placement Coordinator



CASAS TESTING (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System)

RCC requires all students be tested twice a year.  Our funding from RCC is the basis of our program.  These tests are basically a progress report to see where the students are in terms of learning where tutors need to focus to get the most out of their tutoring sessions.

Tutors can call to make arrangements for testing.  Our test proctor is Bob Burger.  An office clerk will be available on Monday from 11-1, Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30 and Fridays 11-1 to make testing appointments.  Phone number is 541-245-8699.



Board Meetings

April 19
May 17
June 21
No meeting in July

All meetings - 1 PM to 3 PM
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699


In Touch With Darlene Arkens

    Darlene's been with us since last summer.  This feisty, articulate woman has taken over with gusto in the areas of tutoring and of training new tutors.  She has had many years of educational experience through many age levels.  Darlene's resumé includes time at SOU, Eastern Oregon, Portland State, and in Klamath Falls where she coordinated migrant ESL classes.  After much traveling and living all over the world, she and her husband settled in Eagle Point.

    Darlene decided to tutor because she has a genuine interest in seeing adults who have literacy issues learn to overcome them.

By Robbin Henson


Meet Violet Grace Cole

Proud Parents: Scott and Sara
7 pounds, 10 ozs.
February 27, 2007 10:19 p.m.


Keeping the Records Straight

January 2007
Tutor Hours - 40.5
Prep Hours - 11.3
Travel Hours - 7.95

February 2007
Tutor Hours - 60
Prep Hours - 28
Travel Hours - 11

March 2007
Tutor Hours - 52.5
Prep Hours - 35.5
Travel Hours - 15

January - 61
February - 81
March - 56.5

January - 42
February - 46
March - 56.5

Active Tutors: 9
Inactive Tutors: 4
Tutor Hours: 153 hours
Student Hours: 233.5 hours
Board Member Hours: 144.5

Robbin Henson- Records Clerk


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

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.


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.


Newsletter Editor - Robbin Henson