Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Ontario CA :: Ulster Co NY :: Somerset Co NJ

Innisfil library turns page on new literacy program
Barrie Literacy Council celebrating partnership with Innisfil ideaLAB and Library to help students improve literacy and math skills
SimCoe: 2.09.2017 by Janis Ramsay

Kyran Bess admits his literacy and math skills aren’t exactly where he’d like them to be.

The Innisfil man came to Canada in April 2009 after growing up in the Caribbean.

“I dropped out of school early and became the man of the house, providing for my brothers and sister and others,” Bess said. “I didn’t learn an education.”

He also found himself in conflict with the law. After overcoming those troubles, he eventually immigrated with the rest of his family.

In the fall, he approached the Barrie Literacy Council to upgrade his education.

He was partnered with volunteer Line Crickard and, for the first month, they met in Barrie.  READ MORE @

Want to help immigrants? Become a literacy tutor
Hudson Valley 1: 2.10.2017 by Frances Marion Platt

Whether our forebears trekked across the Aleutian land bridge before the last Ice Age, were dragged here in chains from Africa in the 18th century or landed at Ellis Island from Europe a mere century ago, pretty much all of us, ultimately, came to America from somewhere else. And all the bits of culture and talent and energy from all those different parts of the world have added up to a formula that we like to think makes this country pretty special. Not all our differences melt away to unrecognizability in that great melting pot, but our diversity is in many ways our greatest strength. People have been fleeing oppression and privation to get here for a long time now.

While some Americans apparently do approve of the idea of closing down our borders now that they’re safely here, many of us are profoundly troubled by recent developments in regard to national immigration policy. “Since when does this country exclude immigrants based on religion, race, ethnic group or country of origin?” we ask ourselves. “Aren’t we supposed to be a haven for refugees from less enlightened places?”

If you’re still wondering, “What can I do to help immigrants in these harsh times?” Kathe Nack has a practical idea for you. A Gardiner resident, Nack started looking around for some volunteer work to do in 2013, after retiring from her career doing art preparation and restoration for the art gallery at Vassar College. She spotted an ad from the Ulster Literacy Association (ULA) seeking volunteers to take a training course as an adult literacy tutor. After completing the class, she teamed up with another volunteer, Linda Hart, to start presenting a course in English as a Second Language at the Gardiner Library, geared toward the migrant farmworker population of southern Ulster County.

Conversation Groups Grow at North Plainfield Public Library and other County Libraries
TapInto: 2.13.2017 by Marina P Kennedy

Adults who wish to improve their English speaking skills are welcome to the North Plainfield Public Memorial Library on Monday nights for a “Conversation Group” that runs from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The gathering is an opportunity to practice speaking English in a relaxed, informal setting.

This is a free program for area residents sponsored by Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County (LVSC) in association with the North Plainfield Public Library. The weekly class has many activities to encourage communication.  They include word games, and discussions about travel, food, news, and entertainment as well as some lessons on pronunciation and grammar.

Marina Kennedy has been instructing ESL groups for over 10 years.  She said that leading a conversation group has been both enjoyable and gratifying.  “There are so many nice people in the community who wish to have better speaking skills.  It is a pleasure to get together every week and have a chance to talk.”  She also commented that the group is friendly and welcoming. “Participants can come to every class or whenever they can make it.”

The students attend for many different reasons.  Some of the recent participants have joined so they can speak more where they work, communicate with their children’s teachers, help their children with homework, travel more, or to advance in their careers.  READ MORE @

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