Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

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

Happy New Year, Again

   It's a new year and a time for new beginnings. The Literacy Council has some new things to share with all of you.

Board Members:

          Bob Burger    - Chair
          Carol Didier  - Library/Bookstore
          Ellie Scholz  - Secretary
          Fram Nichols  - Placement
          Callie Marek  - Records
          Rose Cossairt - Bookkeeper
          Jeanne Paul   - TOPS

New Tutors
New Office Hours
New In-Service
New Photocopying
New Board Meetings
New Welcome Back
New Testing Coordinator

New Success Story
New Good-bye
Abbreviations Dictionary
Helpful Websites
Tutor Bio's
Financial Literacy

New Tutors

   Welcome to new tutors Robert Bauers, Fred Nash, Amanda Richter, Pam Robinson, Lois Campbell, and Jeff Leard.


New Office Hours

   The office will be open Monday through Friday from 2 - 4 PM.  Please call 245-8699 to be sure someone will be there.


New In-service Dates

   In-Service meetings for tutors are scheduled for the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10 AM to noon beginning February 12 at the Literacy Council office.  Coffee, tea, juice, cookies, and maybe even donuts will be provided.  These will be informal discussion and information sessions.


New Photocopying Service

   Two tutors haven taken advantage of the FREE photocopying service at the council office.  Of course, it's strictly for training materials.  All tutors are welcome to use our office copier/ scanner/printer for their study materials.  Be sure to call the office first so that you don't make a trip to a locked door.  245-8699


New Board Meeting Dates

   Board meeting dates have changed to the third Monday of each month.  Remember, all tutors are welcome.  They are held at the Literacy Council office at 1175 Royal Ave., Medford from 2 - 4 P.M.  Please join the board and put in your two cents.


A New "Hello" to an old friend

   Welcome back to Jeanne Paul who is returning to the Literacy Council.  She will take on her old job again as liaison to Rogue Community College.


A New Testing Coordinator

   Welcome to Liz Koester who will be calling you to set up a time to have your student preor post-tested.  The test, Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS), is required by the community college.  The more students that we test, the more money we can receive from the college.  So, welcome to Liz!


A New Success Story

   We moved from Arkansas to Oregon.  I had my driver's license from Arkansas but I needed to get an Oregon one, so I studied my book in both English and also in Spanish.  When I took my test the first time I failed, I knew the answers but I was nervous.  It took me a long time to go back and take it again, but one thing that kept me going was my teacher.  She said "Nico (Maria's nickname) you have to do it."  So I studied hard, like I said, in English and Spanish.  So, walking in town one day I saw the sign "DMV."  I thought to myself, "What the heck, I'm just going to walk in and take my test."  They asked me if I wanted to take the test in English or Spanish and I said "English."  I did it!  I passed with 90%.  I was so happy!  That was the best day of my life!  I was so excited, I called my teacher, Liz, the first one to know.  She took me out to lunch.  We went to the Red Lion, just to remember the good times, we used to study there.  Love to all, good luck.

   Maria Becraft - student

   Liz Koester - tutor


A New Good-bye to JCLC

   Good-byes are generally sad and always leave an empty spot in a person's heart.  But, when you have tried and given your best as often as possible, a summary of the results is a good way to end your time in any position.

   In my case the good results out number the bad and mediocre.  For the past five years my student workload included sixteen people.  Eight were ESL only, five were ESL and Citizenship combinations, one was ESL and GED combination, one GED only, and one was totally lacking in formal education and unable to read or write at the age of 65.

   The time in class averaged 2 to 4 hours per week for all the students and from 1 to four years taking lessons.  Every class hour was in the students' homes and most often with 1 or 2 family members present.  Our training (TELT) told us having other family members in the area or within earshot was to be avoided as much as possible.  My experience proved that the presence of others in the home was beneficial - especially when the nonstudent was attending school and was fluent in English and the home language.

   Four of the ESL students are operating their own Mexican food business either at local markets or from an RV food truck.  Three ESL students are working at local businesses and received pay increases and/or promotions.  The final ESL student married, is raising a daughter and is pregnant again.

   Three of the citizenship students have passed and are US citizens.  The other two will be taking the examination in the spring.  One required further training at RCC.

   The ESL/GED student has passed the GED examination and is the owner of the RV food truck employing two of the ESL students part time.

   The "GED only" student has had personal and family problems resulting in his leaving the program.  At 24 years of age the GED looks out of reach presently.

   The 65 year old is a very happy man.  At present his is a lay bible instructor with the Jehovah's Witnesses and has several bible students in training.

   The above results are not major accomplishments by any means, but they allow me to say good-bye and feel like I made a little difference in the world.  I hope all tutors have even better results.

   E. B. Dellaquila

   I feel the following quote exemplifies Ed's dedication, and all volunteer's, to helping students:

   The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.

   Elizabeth Hardwick


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.


Helpful Websites

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

Self Study Quizzes

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


Pizzaz: Creative writing lessons


ESL Curriculum, Beginning Level

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

Crossword Puzzles

Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom

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.



Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2004

Active volunteers ....... 35
Prep hours ..................45
Tutor hours................ 137
Misc.hours ................ 135
Active students ............ 34
Student hours ............. 151


Board Meetings

February 14
March 21
April 18
May 18

All meetings - 2pm to 4pm
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699


Tutor Bio's

   Two or three tutors will be highlighted in each of the next few issues of TUTORS.  Our first bio's are from Bob Scott who has been a tutor for about 6 years, Ellie Scholz who has been with the council as both tutor and board secretary since 1992 and Bob Burger, the present chair of the Literacy Council.  I may give you a call for the next issue, or better yet, if you would like to share your story, please e-mail it to liz@gemut.com.

From Special Ed to ESL

   Prior to joining the Literacy Council, I spent 30 years teaching Special Education in Southern California.  Teaching for me has been a lifelong passion.

   After retiring I decided that some form of teaching would be fulfilling.  I settled into tutoring for the last few years and have enjoyed it.

   Originally I helped two older Russian sisters learn English.  For the last couple of years, I've helped a young Mexican family with English.  One of the Russian sisters will soon become a citizen, and the other one can drive a car legally.

   The Mexican family members both work full time, and we are working toward future citizenship.  In my mind the driving and citizenship efforts are positive results spurred in part by tutoring.

   Bob Scott

How I Got Involved in Jackson County Literacy

   After my husband retired from full time ministry as a Lutheran pastor I had more time to get involved in some kind of volunteer work.  I remember watching a television program about a man who couldn't read.  He carried a handful of cash to the hospital to pay for his daughter's medical bill.  He had a difficult time finding his way because he couldn't read street signs.  He couldn't fill out an application for a job.  This TV program made me realize what a handicap it is when one cannot read.  Having been an elementary school teacher and watched children learn to read I was led in the direction of wanting to help those adults who could not read.

   I didn't know where to go to find out how to get involved.  Somehow I was directed to Rogue Community College.  At that time they had their headquarters in Phoenix.  There I was given some books and the name of a young Hispanic man who I began to tutor.  He spoke and understood English but he wanted to improve himself.  He was very faithful in attendance.  He held down a full time job.  He thought he might some day want to open up a shoe store.  We met weekly for more than a year, possibly even two years.  Then he took on even more work besides his full time job and he said he could no longer find the time for his English lesson.

   I can't remember how I finally found out about being trained in literacy work but I did attend the training sessions with the Jackson County Literacy Council.  However at that time we met some people from Hungary through our church.  Her husband spoke English and had lived in the United States for some time.  Elisabeth however was very isolated.  I could communicate with her in German.  I offered to teach her English.  I appreciated the materials that I could get through JCLC but never realized that it was important to fill out the purple forms as Elisabeth wasn't interested in getting credit for her progress and I didn't understand that it would benefit JCLC.  I also did not realize all the materials that were available but used mainly what we had used in training which were the Laubach books.  At that time there apparently was a library at the Presbyterian church but I never explored it.  I got materials from a private home where the Laubach materials were kept.

   Elisabeth and her husband went back to Hungary.  One day I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in being secretary for the council.  I was feeling guilty for not doing anything in the literacy program as I no longer had a student.  I have limited computer skills but fearfully accepted.  Thus far they have not fired me.  I have enjoyed working with our dedicated LC staff whose work is much more demanding than the secretarial position.

   Ellie Scholz

From Lunch Buddy to Council Chair

   I am in my second year as chairman of the Literacy Council of Jackson County.  In this position I get to lead the council's Board Meetings, which, I admit, is a bit of an ego trip.

   After moving to Medford from Los Angeles in late 1994, I began working as a technician at a couple of local television stations.  Seeking to do some volunteer work with kids, I joined the Lunch Buddy program.  While in that program I met with members of the Literacy Council and decided to try tutoring.

   My earlier career was as an instructor of broadcast science and technology at a Hollywood trade school, and years later as a trainer for IBM, Canon, and Xerox office machines.

   Currently, I am working as a home-school teacher specializing in mathematics and science.  My hobbies include tinkering with computers and creating Web pages (I produce the e-mail version of TUTORS).

   Bob Burger


Financial Literacy

   More than one million Americans have filed for bankruptcy every year since 1990. Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2000

   A lack of basic money-management skills is widespread among Americans.  The unfortunate results: skyrocketing consumer debt, low saving rates, home foreclosures, lost job opportunities, bankruptcy, and a perpetuating cycle of poverty.
Source: National Endowment for Financial Education

If your student is having trouble handling his money, the following websites will help you help your student gain confidence in budgeting his money.

www.projectmoney.org - has 5 categories to explore - saving money, bank accounts, credit cards, income taxes and other resources.

www.360financialliteracy.org - easily navigable website organized by life stages, i.e. college, career, marriage, parenthood, etc.

www.youngbiz.com/DrivingYourFuture/ - covers income and earning, money management, saving and investing and spending and credit

www.consumerjungle.org/ - lesson plans and activities for teachers with students

www.publicdebt.treas.gov/mar/ marmoneymath.htm - free download of Money Math, a supplement to middle school math classes

www.jumpstart.org/search1.html - links to many financial literacy sites.

   And, here are some ideas for things to do during the tutoring session.

   Bring in grocery ads.  Have student make a short shopping list.  Find those items in the various ads and compare the costs.  Make a chart with items down left side and each store's prices in succeeding columns.  Have student decide which store has best price per item.  Add the columns and decide if it is worth driving from store to store to get the best priced items.

   Take your student to a bank.  If this is not practical, get forms and pamphlets from the bank that the student would like to work with. Go over everything.  This can include both reading and math lessons.

   Help student make a budget.  Have your student, if he is willing, tell you how much he makes per month.  Then list each expense, subtracting that from the total.  If he is reluctant to tell you his income, at least have him make a list of expenses, adding them up.  Then he can see how much he spends versus how much he makes.


Newsletter Editor - Liz Bestor