Sunday, October 16, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Mendocino Co CA :: Tucson AZ :: Frederick Co MD

One-on-one approach nourishes literacy tutoring
Willits News: 9.22.2016 by Michael Neary

Pam Shilling has been part of Literacy Volunteers of Willits for more than 20 years.

As Rosa Maria Gutierrez works on English lessons with her tutor, Pamela Coughlin, she meticulously practices syllables, honing her pronunciation of vowel sounds with Coughlin’s guidance. But sometimes interaction between the two takes a different turn, as they discuss the things they share outside of the lessons.

“We’re both wives, mothers, grandmothers,” Coughlin said.

Gutierrez noted the easy rapport that exists between the two.

“She is very special for me,” Gutierrez said.

Coughlin has been tutoring Gutierrez since May through the program Literacy Volunteers of Willits. The program, affiliated with ProLiteracy America, uses the one-on-one tutorial as its primary learning tool.

“You’re meeting the individual learner’s needs,” said Pam Shilling. “The rapport that gets established between the tutor and the learner brings about a more comfortable setting.”

Shilling has been part of Literacy Volunteers of Willits for more than 20 years, and she plays multiple roles in the program. She oversees the office, does intake to keep track of learners, conducts orientation and tutor training and acts as treasurer.

She said the organization is made up entirely of volunteers, and funding comes from donations. Shilling said much of the funding is directed toward teaching and learning materials, stacked neatly on shelves within a room of the Willits Branch of the Mendocino County Library — a room the library provides to the organization for free.  READ MORE @

Literacy is the foundation of a community 9.22.2016 by Betty Stauffer

Every day, as the executive director of Literacy Connects, I see the real impact that literacy, or a lack thereof, has on individual lives and the community at large. I’m writing to bring awareness to National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (Sept. 26 to Oct. 1), and to acknowledge the place that literacy holds in our community.

I recently sat down with one of our Adult Basic Literacy students to talk with him about the role that literacy has played in his life. As a young man, Robert Soto loved school. “I loved to read,” he said. However, he went to work on oil rigs before he graduated from high school. The money was good and he enjoyed working with his hands. From working on oil rigs, to working as a construction foreman to being a manager of auto sales, Robert always held down a good job, but he eventually found it difficult to navigate the job market without a GED.

“I wanted to move forward,” Robert said, and so he contacted Arizona@Work for some guidance. They referred him to the Lindsey Learning Center, a collaboration between Literacy Connects and Arizona@Work, that provides skills improvement and GED preparation to job seekersREAD MORE @

Frederick Literacy Council goes beyond reading and writing
Frederick News Post: 9.23.2016 by Kate Masters

George Conly, a volunteer tutor with the Frederick Literacy Council, describes his students Sripanjalingam Visvalingam and Rohini Sripanjalingam as living the “American lifestyle.”

The married couple from Sri Lanka (Rohini’s last name is her husband’s first name, as per Sri Lankan custom) own a roomy town house in the Ballenger Creek area, with a silver Honda sedan in the driveway. Their two sons, 23 and 19, are both studying engineering at American colleges.

Sripanjalingam (who goes by Sri), 58, is a neurological technician with Comprehensive Neurological Services, a medical company in Frederick. Rohini, 51, is a teaching assistant for the Frederick County Head Start program.

Still, Sri and Rohini said, “American” might not be quite accurate. At home, they still drink Ceylon tea and grow curry leaves in the terrace garden behind their house. They still prefer Sri Lankan food, though Sri has grown fond of salads and other fresh vegetable preparations, which aren’t as common in their home country.

“We have to adopt the best parts of both cultures,” said Rohini in an interview in the family’s town house. “The best from Asia and the best from America — that’s what we want.”  READ MORE @

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