Calla Lily

"Calla Lily" Courtesy of Kaetriauna Bowser-Smith, 
Photo Fanatics 4-H Club


Dear Volunteers and Friends,

Summer is upon us.  I hope you all weather the heat waves and thunderstorms that pass through without damage or injury.  Might I suggest that our tutors have their students read about how Ben Franklin took precautions before they launch their own kites on a stormy day.  I'm sure you'll find something on the Web about it.

Nancy, our newsletter editor, would love to hear from tutors who might have an anecdote or teaching suggestion to put in the next issue.  You can write to her at our email address or post office box.  The next issue will be in October, so you are welcome to write about one of your session horror stories.

The Council hasn't had a fundraiser in a while.  Those are so annoying to conduct.  It would be great if each of our readers - you - would send us a check for ten dollars.  That would help replace our dwindling supply of student workbooks.  This is one of many all-volunteer Literacy Councils that depend solely on private donations to survive.  Save us from having to beg on the streets.

Thank you, Nancy, for those commonly misspelled words in the previous issue.  I had the students in my ESL group increase their vocabulary by learning those words.  I had them write each word three times and then challenged each student to spell the words at random.  They weren't too embarrassed when they discovered that their tutor missed a few himself.  What can I say?  I'm learning from my mistakes.

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.



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


There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so........it is time to shut UP!


A root is part of a word that has a meaning of its own. Many roots originate from ancient Latin and Greek words. You can figure out words you don't know by looking inside them for the roots you do know.

Below are a few common roots to memorize and share with your students.

Root Meaning
aster, astr star
auto self
bibli book
bio, bious life
geo earth
hydr/o liquid or water
dic, dict to say

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

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


There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.  English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France  Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.  We take English for granted.  But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?  If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth?  One goose, 2 geese.  So one moose, 2 meese?  One index, 2 indices?  Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?  If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?  Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.  In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?  Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?  You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.  That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?


Remember that your primary goal should be to foster enthusiasm for reading.  Once we set this goal, it will naturally influence our actions.

Remember that your student’s difficulties may have years of history, and that we can only do so much at a time.  Your student is painfully aware that his or her reading ability is poor, and will not benefit from being pushed.

Find engaging reading material.  You and I don’t want to read books that don’t interest us, and your students are no different.  They should be allowed freedom to choose what they want to read whenever possible.
Literacy Connections


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!