"Winter in Oregon" Courtesy of Nancy Calcagno,
Photo Fanatics 4-H Club


Dear Volunteers and Friends,

If 2014 seemed to whiz by, then you've been doing something you enjoy.  I wish to take this time to thank all of you who are volunteering for the Literacy Council.  Welcome to new tutors Aimee Sears, Mike Murray, and Sherri Zysk.  Your contribution to the community is both needed and valued.

We are getting more applications from new students and volunteers.  Goodwill Industries has sent us several student applications.  If our placement officer, Liz Koester, hasn't already called you, and you want to take on a new student, call her or leave a message with our answering service by calling 541-531-0166.

The Literacy Council will have a table at the Medford Library for their annual Learn-a-Palooza education fair on Saturday January 31st.  I will be greeting visitors to our table and handing out volunteer and student applications.  Many other activities will be going on for kids, teens, and adults.  Parking is free, so drop by to discover the many services available in the area.

Thank you, volunteers, so much for your service to our community.  I hope you are all looking forward to giving your knowledge for another year.

To all of our readers ... HAPPY 2015!

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

E-mail: literacy@juno.com

Our new website will be functional by the end of February 2015, so please come visit us at: www.literacyjc.org



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


You may have noticed we didn't send out a summer or fall newsletter. It wasn't due to lack of news, as we had a very successful Raffle Fundraiser in September, and are currently placing new students into the program.

During early fall of last year, I encountered a decent blow to my head in an accident and have been in recovery. I'm doing much better, and hopefully any residual effects will not show up in this newsletter.

Thank you for your patience and support. It is with your support that we can continue to serve Southern Oregon and make a difference in our community.

We are currently in need of more volunteers, so if you are interested please call us for an application or visit our website.

Nancy Calcagno


Find the incorrect word in each section.

a. liason b. license
c. parliament d. extreme
a. fiery b. pastime
c. embarass d. vacuum
a. tyranny b. referred
c. height d. disasterous
a.. innoculate c. niece
b. judgment d. dumbbell
a.. buoy c. excede
b. concede d. supersede

Learning can be fun!


Match the root word on the left
to the meaning on the right.

a. dent - book
b. chrom - life
c. bio - tooth
d. aqua - strong
e. flu - water
f. grat - flow
g. bibli - color
h. fort - thankful

Word games can be used as a tool for learning. Not only are they fun to play, but they can help the student with spelling, grammar, and reading.

They can also serve as an ice-breaker between the student and tutor, as well as keeping the student's interest on the subject.





30 Million Americans Can't Read

"A mother's education is one of the primary indicators of a child's academic success.

Less than 47% of children whose mothers did not complete high school are school ready, compared to 83% of children whose mothers have a bachelor’s degree.

Students who do not read proficiently by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma.

Low-literate parents often are unable to provide a stimulating learning environment for the children. This inequality in opportunity leads to an achievement gap that extends through elementary school and beyond.

Low-literacy skills are directly linked to higher unemployment, less earned income and poor health.

The result is a lack of social mobility and greater inequality for millions of families. With a workforce that is less academically prepared and skilled, the overall U.S. economy is negatively impacted."
Borrowed from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

The Literacy Council of Jackson County is an important program, not only for adult illiteracy, but for the family as well. It is through the adult that our children gain the necessary skills in early childhood for academic success later. So adults not only gain personally, but it will have an everlasting effect on the family as well.


Are you constantly bombarded with Farmville requests?  How about Candy Crush Saga or Criminal Case?  These are games on Facebook that many people like to play. 

If you know of anyone who is struggling with their spelling and vocabulary, a fun challenge would be to play Scrabble or Words with Friends.  I’ve watched students excel in spelling and vocabulary after playing these games. 

Another fun challenge after you play each word, is to write a sentence using that word in proper context.  Then you will also be able to add new words to your vocabulary, as well as improve your spelling skills.
So next time you have someone requesting to play a game, challenge them back with a word game.  Not only is it entertaining, but educational too.


I have a small group of Hispanics in my ESL class and they want something to do between sessions.  I am teaching spelling and grammar in class, but typical homework assignments can't be graded until their next session.  I discovered some crossword puzzle booklets at the Literacy Council library and copied a few for the students to solve.  Each puzzle provides a word list and fill-in-the-blank sentences.

Let's say number 3 Across says:

Gracie is Nancy's _____.

The puzzle shows that the word has three letters.

The word list includes:  arm / dog / she

My students are encouraged to use an English/Spanish dictionary if they don't know the word meanings.  When the words line up in the puzzle, they are delighted.  They found the first puzzle puzzling, but now they find them fun.  And they actually do their homework!

By Bob Burger