Poppy Image

"Flowers Blooming"
Courtesy of Nancy Calcagno


Dear Volunteers and Friends,

Those downright hot summer days are here.  Finding air-conditioned places to work and play is a priority, at least for me.

The Literacy Council is officially Homeless.  Our library space at the Teresa McCormick Center at the Harry and David campus had to be vacated as TMC is expanding their services.  Our thanks to Ashley and Amy for all their generous assistance over the last year.  Our volunteers can still request instruction materials via phone or email.

The Council has had a few new students sign up.  Fortunately, a few new tutors signed up, too.  I'm working with two new students who want to improve their math skills in Algebra.  We have a couple preparing for citizenship testing.  Another will soon sign up for ESL lessons.  We have volunteers awaiting the paperwork.  What a well-oiled machine we have.

Please let your friends know that volunteering for the Literacy Council is a great way to share their ability to read.  The motto "Each One Teach One" means anyone who has a skill can share that knowledge with another.  It's a simple way to keep the wheel of progress turning.

Keep cool and enjoy those summer thunder showers.

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.



If you are struggling, or know of someone who is struggling with English skills or reading, we have tutors available for your individual attention, free (at no charge to you).

We help adults learn reading, writing, English, as well as earning a GED, becoming a citizen, improving your job skills, pass a driver's test, computer skills, and more. Call us at (541) 531-0166.

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”

Victor Hugo



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! "When one teaches, two learn."

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. "

Mahatma Gandhi


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

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





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



1. If your student is learning a new language in our Country, consider purchasing a sticker book of the United States and a book of fun facts about the states. Each week learn about a new state, including their capital, trees, flowers, state birds, insects, cities, rivers, etc....

2. Use tongue twisters as a fun way for students to practice making difficult sounds, or sounds they are not used to making in their own languages. Simply Google "tongue twisters" for examples.

3. Suggest to your student to watch Sesame Street for help in the English language. They use visual examples, descriptive language, and acting out to get their message across.

4. Create a family tree to help generate conversation. Write sentences and eventually stories from it.

5. Use a tape recorder or smart phone to record your student's reading. Have them repeat after you, as this is a good way to practice inflection, intonation, and pronunciation.

6. Create some flash cards (you can use address labels from your word processor) with words and definitions, or with vocabulary and pictures.

7. Encourage your student to use index or Post-It notes to label things around the house, or to practice memorizing and pronouncing words.

8. Bring in some lyrics of their favorite songs and go over the words together. A fun way to practice words at home, as the music helps reduce stress and anxiety.

9. Be sure to wait 6 or 7 seconds after asking your student a question to allow the student to process. Wait time is important, as processing needs to happen.

10. I've had great success with my students playing word games, such as "Scrabble" or "Words with Friends." The student gains confidence as their game improves.

11. Some tutors use virtual tutoring with Skype or FaceTime to stay in touch and practice with their students when one of them is away or unable to keep an appointment. This provides continuity and consistency that the students need to maintain and increase their skill levels.

12. Comics from the newspaper are good conversation starters. They are short and can lead to a story starter for the student to write about.

Some ideas were borrowed from Oakland Literacy


Currently, The Literacy Council of Jackson County is looking for a new home. We are in need of an in-kind donation for office space, large enough to fit our library, desk, and space for tutoring.

Throughout the years, several organizations have been very generous in helping us succeed by offering us a place to call home. These include: Rogue Federal Credit Union, The Gordon Elwood Foundation, and the Teresa McCormick Center.

This is a great opportunity for a business that has extra space available and could benefit from a tax write-off. Not only would it benefit your business, but it would benefit those people in Jackson County that need help in succeeding in the job market and in the community.

Please contact us at (541) 531-0166 if you are interested in donating a space.



A fun learning game would be to create a scavenger hunt for your student. Using the current words that you are teaching, hide some clues around the place you are tutoring. This could be indoors or outdoors. Start the student out with a clue of a single word or several words on a piece of paper describing where to find the next clue. Once the last clue is found by the student, you might have some type of a prize waiting.

Not only is the student challenged to find the prize, but it is also a fun way to have the student put the words they are learning into action. For some ideas about Scavenger Hunts, you can do a Google search to find some creative ideas.



The Literacy Council's sole support is through donations. As our funds are dwindling, we are in need of your help. We are a non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible. We appreciate your support!



Here are the 37 most common phonograms and some of the 500 words they make up. Remember that although this list contains only one-syllable words, these phonograms will help students decode longer words, too.

cab, lab, blab, crab, flab, grab, scab, slab, stab

back, pack, quack, rack, black, crack, shack, snack, stack, track

bag, rag, tag, brag, flag

fail, mail, jail, nail, pail, rail, sail, tail, snail, trail

main, pain, rain, brain, chain, drain, grain, plain, Spain, sprain, stain, train

bake, cake, fake, lake, make, quake, rake, take, wake, brake, flake, shake, snake

ham, Sam, clam, slam, swam

can, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, van, bran, plan, than

bank, sank, yank, blank, crank, drank, thank

cap, lap, map, nap, rap, tap, clap, flap, scrap, slap, snap, strap, trap, wrap

bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, rat, sat, brat, chat, flat, spat, that

day, may, pay, say, clay, play, pray, spray, stay, tray

feed, need, seed, weed, bleed, freed, greed, speed

bell, fell, sell, tell, well, yell, shell, smell, spell, swell

best, guest, nest, pest, rest, test, vest, west, chest, crest

dew, few, knew, new, blew, chew

kick, lick, pick, quick, sick, brick, chick, click, stick, thick, trick

knight, light, might, night, right, sight, tight, bright, flight, fright, slight

fill, hill, pill, will, chill, drill, grill, skill, spill, thrill

bin, fin, pin, sin, win, chin, grin, shin, skin, spin, thin, twin

fine, line, mine, nine, pine, vine, wine, shine, spine, whine

king, ring, sing, wing, bring, cling, spring, sting, string, swing, thing

link, pink, sink, wink, blink, drink, shrink, stink, think

dip, hip, lip, rip, sip, tip, chip, clip, drip, flip, grip, ship, skip, strip, trip, whip

knob, mob, rob, blob, slob, snob

knock, lock, dock, rock, sock, block, clock, frock, shock, stock

cop, hop, mop, pop, top, chop, crop, drop, flop, plop, shop, stop

bore, more, sore, tore, wore, chore, score, shore, snore, store

got, dot, hot, knot, lot, not, plot, shot, spot

grout, scout, shout, spout, sprout

cow, how, now, brow, chow, plow

buck, duck, luck, cluck, stuck, truck

gum, hum, drum, plum, slum

junk, chunk, drunk, shrunk, stunk, trunk

by, my, cry, dry, fly, fry, shy, sky, spy, try, why