Calla Lily

"Calla Lilies in Bloom"
Courtesy of Kaetriauna Bowser-Smith


Dear Volunteers and Friends,

Happy spring fever to you all.  Already the blossoms have come and gone, but a few trees might keep their colors for a little longer.  The Literacy Council hopes to have blossoms of its own in terms of new volunteer and student applicants.

You might have heard that the Literacy Council had to relocate its office.  Well, thanks (again) to the assistance of our local United Way branch office, we have been introduced to Amy Belkin at the Teresa McCormick Center located on the Harry and David campus.  She has agreed to let us have a room in their building for the use of our library and tutoring sessions.  We moved in during March and are almost ready for our Grand Reopening.  You can visit the Teresa McCormick web site at WWW.TMACONLINE.ORG to see what great things they're up to.

As always, we need to recruit new volunteer tutors to keep up with our student requests.  I'm thankful that we haven't had any departing tutors over the past few months, but more are still needed.  Please let your friends know that the Literacy Council is still around and providing a valuable service to the community.

Bob Burger


We offer individualized tutoring for Basic Reading, GED, ESL, Workforce Development Classes, and Citizenship.

Our Workforce Development class offers training in Microsoft Office and Résumé Building.

If you know of anyone who might benefit from our program, please let them know about our services.  The Literacy Council serves all of Jackson County.


Literacy Council of Jackson County
P.O. Box 615
Medford, OR 97501
(541) 531-0166

Website: www.literacyjc.org
E-mail: literacy@juno.com



   Chair ------------------------------------------- Bob Burger
   Placement ------------------------------------- Liz Koester
   Treasurer -------------------------------- Nancy Calcagno
   Newsletter Editor -----------------------Nancy Calcagno


Adults who wish to learn to read should discuss the issue openly with family and close friends.  These people will serve as a support system and will encourage the person to work hard and be persistent in their efforts.  By acknowledging their desire to learn, they can reduce embarrassment and stay motivated.

Most adults will not want to begin with books aimed at children.  This can be degrading and discouraging.  One way to start would be to have the adult tell a story to a helper.  The helper, or tutor, can write down the story as it is being told.  The two can then read it together, with the tutor pointing to the words as they are being read.

Use audiobooks with a copy of the print book.  The reader can follow along as the story is being read.  On Apple iPod products, users can adjust the speed of the reading to make it comfortable for listeners.

Another idea is to begin by learning the most critical and immediately useful information.  Learning to read and write a home address, family member's names, and a grocery list are all great places to start.  The volume of information is not as overwhelming as a book or newspaper, yet it is valuable and important to everyday living.

Graphic novels are great to use for expanding vocabulary because the illustrations enhance the content and help the reader understand the text.  The use of visual cues and fast-paced storytelling may appeal to readers who are struggling.

Nonfiction may hold more appeal than fiction.  The subject matter is usually known and it is usually easier to follow than fiction.  Readers can choose topics that they are interested in and may have a practical impact on their lives.

Remember, the first step is choosing to ask to for help.  Literacy opens doors in family, social, cultural, and economic areas.  Help someone learn to read today.

Borrowed from teAchnology


The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

"Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways.  The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."




Technology has changed our world and human behaviors.  It is not uncommon to see the general public with their noses buried in their phones while exercising their thumbs at a high rate of speed.

There are many tools in the world of technology that you can use with your students to hold their interest in learning.

Facebook games are fun and many people spend a good part of their day playing them.  So instead of playing Clash of Clans or Candy Crush Saga, encourage your student to play Scrabble or Words with Friends.

Another source of learning is from a site called Pinterest.  There are many word games for your student to learn the alphabet, spelling, and pronunciation.

There are many learning games on the Internet.  Encouraging your student to use these tools, will also help sharpen or teach computer skills at the same time.

Submitted by Nancy Calcagno


The Dolch list from the National Adult Literacy Agency includes the 100 most common words used in reading which make up half of all reading.  These words may be a good start to teach your student reading:

a and he I in
is it of that the
to was all as at
be but are for had
have his him not on
one said so they we
with you about an back
been before big by call
came can come could did
do down first from get
go has her here if
into just like little look
made make more me much
must my no new now
off old only or our
other out over right see
she some their them then
there this two up want
well went were what when
where which will who your


We are currently in need of more tutors.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, we would love to hear from you.

A tutor will typically spend one or two sessions per week with an adult learner.  These sessions usually run 60 to 90 minutes long.  A tutor and an adult learner often work together for 6 months to 2 years.

There are no credentials required.  Simply attend free training sessions and learn how to be an effective tutor!