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VOLUME 48 ISSUE 2 A LITERACY COUNCIL OF JACKSON COUNTY PUBLICATION SUMMER 2018

Ladybug

"Ladybug"
Courtesy of Zorianna Burns
Photo Fanatics 4-H Club

NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Dear Volunteers and Friends,

HAPPY SUMMER SIZZLING!  It's nice to see the trees full of leaves again for a bit of shade. It won't be long before we look forward to winter snow.

Not much is happening with finding a new sponsor for the Council office space, but if you know of anyone who might want to donate a room (or two) for our library and tutoring space, please contact us at (541) 591-0166. Our tutors are doing a great job. Their students have nothing but praise for them. That includes mine, too!

Not too many people think about studying and tutoring in the winter months, but that didn't apply to our new tutors Robert Shepard, Alexandria Zaremska, and returning volunteer Ana Montaño. We even gained a new student, Juana, who is preparing to become a citizen. A special thanks to Robert, who is well versed in Spanish as well as English, for correcting our Spanish language documents.

Remember, if you were or are a volunteer or student of the Literacy Council, our newsletter editor Nancy would love to receive an article from you for the next issue of TUTORS (see Editor's Comments). So, if you have an anecdotal experience you would like to share with our readers, please email it to us.

Thank you again, dear volunteers, for your service to our community. I hope you are all looking forward to sharing your reading skills with our many students who need your help.

Bob Burger
Chairman


INDIVIDUALIZED TUTORING

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.

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

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."

 

 

COUNCIL INFORMATION

LITERACY COUNCIL OF JACKSON COUNTY
BOARD MEMBERS

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


DYSLEXIA EXPERIMENT

My student is an older gentleman who has always had difficulty reading.  Progress has been slow, but steady.  He didn't know if he was dyslexic, but the constant confusion with the letters "b" and "d" gave me the impression that he was.  He often guessed at words that started with one letter, but didn't seem to look beyond that.  "Before" was translated to "because" and I would tell him that there was no "C" or "K" in the word.  He'd ponder the letters and finally say "before."

I must admit that I'm not a specialist on dealing with dyslexia, but I happened to meet a woman who had suffered a similar disorder.  She told me that she would see a word as if it were made up of blocks instead of letters.  Tall blocks meant either a capital letter or any of f, l, t, b, or d.  Small blocks were most other letters, and descending blocks were g, j, q, or y.  Her therapist tried having her read text covered by a tinted overlay.  With that, she said she was actually seeing the letters more clearly.

I decided to do my own experiment.  I went to Dollar Tree and came upon some translucent binder dividers that came in a variety of colors.  I brought them to my next tutoring session and had my student read through the tinted sheets.  We discovered that the orange tint had him reading more confidently.  I'd guess that there was a fifty percent improvement as he did not hesitate as often.  That might seem a great deal better, but he still has a lot of improving to do.

An Internet search told me that Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity, or simply Visual Stress, is a visual-perceptual disorder.  In many cases it can be remedied by having the afflicted person read through a colored clear or translucent overlay.

It "seems" to work for my student, but it's still a work in progress.

Bob Burger


CONTEST

The Literacy Council of Jackson County is having a contest this month. We are asking you to submit a paragraph on how the Literacy Council has benefitted or improved your life. The prize is a USB Flash Drive.

This contest is open to all tutors, students, and the public. Each entry will be read by our Board Members, and they will choose their favorite as the winner. All entries are due by September 1, 2018 and are subject to publication in our newsletter.


EDITOR'S COMMENTS

I would love to receive an article from you on anecdotes or teaching methods that your students have benefitted from. Many of our tutors can have roadblocks in reaching a student, and maybe your method or experiment might be the answer to help them. So please consider sending a small article on a technique you used that helped your student.

 

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

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

 

WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.

People with dyslexia have normal intelligence and usually have normal vision. Most children with dyslexia can succeed with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.

Though there's no cure for dyslexia, early assessment and intervention result in the best outcome. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn't recognized until adulthood, but it's never too late to seek help.

Some common dyslexia signs and symptoms in teens and adults include:

  • Difficulty reading, including reading aloud
  • Slow and labor-intensive reading and writing
  • Problems spelling
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading
  • Mispronouncing names or words, or problems retrieving words
  • Trouble understanding jokes or expressions that have a meaning not easily understood from the specific words (idioms), such as "piece of cake" meaning "easy"
  • Spending an unusually long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
  • Difficulty summarizing a story
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty memorizing
  • Difficulty doing math problems

Tips on type of paper, font, and paragraph structure to help your students read:

Use dyslexia-friendly font. Plain, sans-serif, evenly-spaced fonts such as Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, Geneva, Verdana, Century-Gothic, and Trebuchet are all easier for a dyslexic person to read than other fonts. While some dyslexic people find larger fonts easier to read, most prefer 12 – 14 point font.

  • Avoid use of serif-fonts (such as Times New Roman), as serifs blur the shapes of letters.
  • Don’t use italics to emphasize information, as this can result in all words appearing lighter and harder to read. Instead, make emphasis clear through bolding your font.

Avoid causing visual distortion for dyslexic readers. You can make a few simple changes to avoid causing visual distortion, such as word blurring or paling (i.e.”the wash-out effect.”) These changes are likely to benefit your standard readers as well as those with dyslexia. For example, long blocks of unbroken text aren’t easy for most people to read, but they’re virtually impossible for dyslexic readers. Use short paragraphs instead, limiting each paragraph to one idea.

  • You can also divide up long stretches of text with headlines, or section titles that summarize the topic of each section.
  • Avoid a plain white background, as it can make font harder to focus on.
  • Dark-colored text on light-colored background is easier to read. Avoid green, red or pink font as these are likely to be harder to read for most dyslexics.

Select paper that is optimal for reading. Make sure your paper is thick enough so that you cannot see the other printed side through the page. Use matte paper rather than glossy, which can reflect the light and contribute to visual stress.

  • Avoid digital print processing which can result in a shinier finish.
  • Experiment with different colored paper to find the shade that the dyslexic person is most able to read successfully.

There are also a variety of dyslexia games to help your student, some word and drawing games include: Boggle Bash, Scrabble, Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Monopoly, and many others. The student might benefit with the Junior version of these games.