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
Dear Volunteers and Friends,
It's so hot that the firemen are spraying each other. That said, welcome to another summer.
Special thanks to RCC's Peggy Guthmiller, who attended our June Pizza Board meeting and was our guest speaker. Peggy explained our students who have a valid RCC ID number (issued when the tutor files the purple enrollment form) may have access to limited portions of the Medford library for study and tutoring space. It's something to consider if you are otherwise tutoring in a hot house or apartment.
We are working on a new plan for assessing our students. It is essential that we demonstrate the progress of our students and the wonderful efforts given by our tutors.
Every May and November we will be scheduling students to take a short test; either at the RCC "G" building in downtown Medford, the Literacy Council office, or where it is convenient for the tutor and student. Tutoring will have to be suspended for those students who are not assessed in those months.
Meanwhile, our office is in need of volunteers. We need a librarian and a Treasurer. Both are simple tasks, if managed regularly, but right now, our library books are piling up. If you would like to help out, please call 245-8699 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.
Bob Burger, Chair
Greetings From The Editor
Hey, here it is August already! My apologies for the lateness of this summer newsletter. People are traveling, vacationing, recuperating from surgery, or taking care of family and financial obligations. Writing an article is the last thing on the list of fun things to do.
Thanks to Bob for his Notes from the Chair and Fram for her insights concerning the Student Placement Report. John Patton has a few words about what he is doing in the literacy world.
You'll be interested in what he created for himself and his fellow tutors.
My record reports are also included, covering May/June/July tutor and student hours plus the report made to the RCC office citing our statistics for the last fiscal year. Although, we aren't doing as well as when we first started, our focus and our energies are still the same; to help people become more literate, raise their self-esteem and the ability to get a better life.
I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed the research and putting it together.
Robbin Henson, Editor
Fram's Placement Report
Just a short update to keep you informed concerning placement activities at the Literacy Council.
On June 16, 2007, the Council offered another training session taught by our excellent team of trainers, Darlene Arkens and Chloe Wood. It was a small training session, but our two newest tutors are energized and ready to get started.
Helen Nicholl has been in the Rogue Valley for a year and lives at the Manor. She moved from California and says she loves the Valley. Helen studied for two years at Stanford University before marrying a young medical student who went on to join the Navy and served in World War II. Right after the war, her husband was assigned to Japan where they lived for several years. Other places of residences were New York, Beverly Hills and Escondido, California. Helen loves to travel and is planning a trip to Iceland and to the Black Sea in the fall. She has volunteered all her life and is excited to be able to teach someone to read.
Lynn Towns, on the other hand, comes to us with a lifetime of experience in Elementary education in California. Lynn and her husband live in the Applegate where they enjoy the rural lifestyle, their animals and gardening. Lynn too, has been an active volunteer with experience in the SMART reader program, Habitat for Humanity, and the Britt Festival.
We welcome our new tutors and applaud their energy and enthusiasm. If you have any friends or family who would be interested in tutoring, please refer them to us.
We need more volunteers and we will be working on offering more frequent training schedules, hopefully every quarter. And when you see them, say a big "thank you" to Darlene and Chloe for being so willing in helping us this way.
Two new tutoring opportunities have opened up in the past few months. If your ESL student or know of a Hispanic person interested in learning computer basics please contact our talented computer guru, Bob Burger. He hangs out at the Literacy Office on Fridays between 11 and 1. He is now tutoring two new classes in Computer Basics at the Literacy Office every Monday thru Thursday 7-8 pm and another session from 8-9pm complete with a Spanish interpreter. (How good does that get?!)
The Medford Head Start in collaboration with the RCC Migrant Outreach is sponsoring an adult literacy program called LISTO. Since the classes they offer have students at varying levels of proficiency, they are seeking additional tutors for individual help. This involves one-on-one and small group tutoring to provide reinforcement and practice on the skills being taught. All assessments and materials provided. The classes are held at Howard Elementary School in N. Medford. Their summer schedule: Monday and Wednesday, 5:30-8pm. The fall schedule resumes in September: Monday-Thursday, 5:30-8pm.
ALERT! More students are applying all the time. The newest is a mature woman who signed up for ESL and possible tutoring for seeking citizenship.
Until next time,
Fram Nichols, placement coordinator
Call Fram (857-2824) or the Literacy Office (245-8699) for further details.
(Eds. note: Helen has resigned as a tutor but is considering an office position in the fall. She will be a welcome addition to the Council.)
Ideas From Tutors
"What are you doing in the Literacy World?"
JOHN PATTON WRITES:
Complicating the search for teaching materials is the fact that I am a retired electronics engineer, not an English teacher. I have spent considerable time searching the Internet for useful sites. To organize my findings and to simplify locating sites later when I needed them, I have constructed a Web site: Web Links for Learning English.
From the view of a professional curriculum, the site is neither complete nor well-organized. It is simply what I have uncovered that may be useful for my student; because he is computer literate, it has proved to be a helpful resource for him."
Sara King-Cole has been keeping in touch with Bob and Robbin via email. Liz was lucky enough to be in the office when Sara came by with little Violet Grace. Reports the family is healthy and happy. But for Sara, there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day since she is working, taking care of her family and trying to schedule tutoring with her two students who are also trying to juggle the same.
Sara turned in her resignation but will stay until someone else can take over her position. Like Bob said earlier, once the catch-up work is done, it requires maybe an hour or two a week.
Robbin has been helping Bob with the shelving of the books. It turned out to be a good idea when she found books she can spotlight in a book review column.
Any librarian wannabes out there? Here's your chance to fulfill your dreams and work for a good cause as well. Please contact Bob at the Literacy Council office.
ATTENTION ALL TUTORS
CASAS TESTING (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System)
The state of Oregon requires RCC and all their "umbrella" programs (which includes ours) to test ALL students twice a year. Our board, after conferring with RCC, has chosen the months of May and November for the tests. Students will be given a test as soon as they enroll in the program, and then worked into the test rotation.
The funding from RCC is the basis of our program. These tests are 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, and it gives the state something concrete to look at so they know where their money is going.
Tutors need to call and make arrangements for testing. Liz Koester is the CASAS administrator. She will be available on Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30. Bob, our test proctor will be in the office on Fridays from 11-1 to schedule testing appointments. Other times, please leave a clear message on the answering machine. Phone number is 541-245-8699
"Where is the best place you found for you and your student to study?" Please send your answers with your monthly hours and I will publish them in the winter issue.
Liz Koester: My former student and I used to meet at the Red Lion Coffee shop after my student got off work. I tried to meet in their homes, but the distractions were too great. Now with my current student, Imelda, we meet at the picnic tables at Oak Grove School, which is convenient for the summer months.