Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

JULY 2004
A Publication of the Literacy Council of Jackson County
PO Box 615, Medford, OR 97501

Dear Literacy Volunteer,

Preparing Students for Work
Library Notes
Another New Citizen
Writing Contest
Hard-Working Tutors

Board of Directors
Abbreviations Dictionary
Statistics and Dates
Helpful Websites
The Garden

Preparing Students For Work

Beyond teaching students how to read, do math, get their drivers' licenses, etc., it is inherent in all educational settings to prepare them to get jobs or give them the skills to get a better job.  What makes a person employable?  Well...

In 1991 the Secretary of Labor established a commission to discover what skills employers around the country really wanted in their employees.  The final report was called SCANS Secretary's Commission Achieving Necessary Skills.  To answer the Secretary's question, commission members talked with business owners, public employers, union officials, and line workers in a variety of settings over a 12-month period.  They then consolidated that information into 5 competencies and a 3-part foundation of basic skills and personal qualities that employers want in their employees.

The 5 competencies are:

  1. Resource Management: helping students be organized, plan the use of their time and money wisely, know how to find necessary materials and who to ask for help

  2. Interpersonal Skills: helping students work with others.

  3. Information Management: teaching students how to gather and evaluate facts, interpret communication from others and, if possible, how to use a computer.

  4. Systems Management: helping students understand how different elements in society work, how to modify existing systems.

  5. Technology: being able to select the right tools for the job, solve problems when an item is not working properly.

The three foundation skills are:

  1. Basic Skills: reading, writing, math, active listening, oral communication and interpreting and organizing information and ideas

  2. Thinking Skills: problem solving, thinking creatively, making decisions, knowing how to learn and reasoning.

  3. Personal Qualities: responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty


Library Notes

Carol Didier is the council's new librarian.  She is staffing the office on Monday afternoons from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

As the new librarian for the Literacy Council, I have been working on cataloguing the books in our library.  There are probably more than you think.  My current count is about 1350, but I haven't yet verified the inventory.  I hope to be done by the end of June

I have been working on a database for our inventory, and someday soon I hope to be able to publish a full list of the books by category, as well as reports for those which have been checked out and those that are past due.

Speaking of due dates, we have instituted a new policy.  Books checked out from the library should be returned within 30 days, unless you will be actively using them beyond that date.  If that is the case, you should notify one of the volunteers during regular office hours.  Notification will allow for a 30-day extension of the due date.  As long as you continue to notify us and update your due date, you will be able to use the book as long as necessary.  If someone has requested the book, you will be asked to return it on the next due date.  I hope this new policy will not inconvenience anyone.  It is meant to help all of us, tutors and students, to find the appropriate resource when we need it.

I will be staffing the office on Monday afternoons from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Come by and I'll be glad to assist you in finding something new for you and your student to enjoy.


Another New Citizen

The following article was written by Lanthom Inthavong, student of Walda Reeder:

In 1995 I traveled alone from Thailand to the USA to begin life with my new husband who had gone ahead.  Everything was new and strange to me.  I knew absolutely no English and cried most of the way.  We now have been married 9 years and have a 2-year old son, Neeyom.

I work 5 days a week, 10 hours a day, and have learned to speak and understand a lot of English on my job, but have a limited knowledge of reading and writing.

I wanted to become an American citizen so I could do the many things Americans do, like voting.  I also would be able to sponsor bringing my mother here for a visit.  She has never seen her grandson.

I studied very hard to be ready to pass my citizenship tests.  I had help and encouragement from many people.

In Portland on May 6th I was sworn in as an American citizen!  I am very excited about my future in this country!  I hope to get more education, improve my life and see my son grow up with all the opportunities the USA offers.

Walda and Lanthom have worked together since February and will continue to do so.  Lanthom wants to pass the GED and then enter Rogue Community College.  Her goal is to further her formal education to get a better job than she now has.


OLI Sponsored Literacy Writing Contest

Oregon Literacy, Inc. (OLI) is sponsoring a writing contest for all adult literacy students in Oregon.  The purpose of this statewide activity is that it allows adult literacy students "to begin actively participating in the literary world."  There are two topics, centered on the upcoming elections, for students to write about:

1.  "Literacy is important to being an active voter because..." or

2.  "If I could talk to the President, I would tell him..."

The deadline for the contest is August 31, 2004.  If your student is interested in participating in this contest, please call OLI, 503-244-3898, for the brochure that explains the contest in more detail and includes an entry form.


Hard-Working Tutors

The following have tutored 100+ hours from July '03 - May '04:  Elinor Barr, Bob Burger, Ed Dellaquila, Pat Gray, Mary Gulrich, Carolyn Janowski, Walda Reeder, Allison Renwick, Bob Scott and Kathleen Haynes.  Volunteers who contributed over 100 hours of time in areas other than tutoring were: Liz Bestor, Callie Marek, Fram Nichols and Jeanne Paul.


Board Members:

          Bob Burger    - Chair
          Rose Cossairt - Bookkeeper
          Jeanne Paul   - Rogue Community College Liaison
          Callie Marek  - Records
          Fram Nichols  - Placement
          Carol Didier  - Library/Bookstore
          Ellie Scholz  - Secretary
          Ed Dellaquila - Tutor Representative


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.


Vital Statistics:

Numbers for February, March, April 2004

Active volunteers 27

Total prep. time 61 Hr

Total tutoring time 128 Hr

Total miscellaneous time 143 Hr

Active students 32

Total student time 172 Hr

Note: Miscellaneous time includes travel, office staffing, and meeting/training attendance.


Board Meetings

July - no meeting
August 19
September 16
October 21

All meetings - 10am to noon
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699

For TELT Training information
Call Fram Nichols


Helpful Websites

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

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


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.


The Garden

Come to the garden alone,

While the dew is still on the roses.

For the garden of your daily living:

Plant three rows of peas:
1.  Peas of mind
2.  Peas of heart
3.  Peas of soul

Plant four rows of squash:
1.  Squash gossip
2.  Squash indifference
3.  Squash grumbling
4.  Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:
1.  Lettuce be faithful
2.  Lettuce be kind
3.  Lettuce be patient
4.  Lettuce really love one another

No garden is without turnips:
1.  Turnip for meetings
2.  Turnip for service
3.  Turnip for one another

To conclude our garden we must have thyme:
1.  Thyme for each other
2.  Thyme for family
3.  Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.

There is much fruit in our garden because we reap what we sow.

Author Unknown

I selected this poem, first because I like it, but also, because it typifies the qualities of a great tutor.  And, because the qualities it stresses are ones that we should help our students learn if they are to be productive and happy in their lives.

Liz Bestor

Newsletter Editor - Liz Bestor