Adult Literacy Newsletter Winter – Spring 2014
ANNUAL LEARNING TOGETHER CELEBRATION 2014
Celebrating 30 Years of Library Literacy Service
Wednesday, May 14th
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Fremont Main Library
Great food to share
Basic Spelling and Writing class
Castro Valley Reading Club testimonials
Learning Together Volunteer Award, Peter Oey.
The Alameda County Library is celebrating 30 years of library literacy services. You are invited to attend the 2014 annual gathering to honor the dedication and commitment of every learner and tutor who is part of this program. The literacy program offers tutoring, small group instruction and computer and job seeking skills classes to over 500 adult learners at all Alameda County branches and in the community. Come and celebrate 30 years of service.
SAVE THE DATE! 30th Anniversary Gathering on May 14th, 2014.
• Frank Amaral, tutor focus
• Student Writing
• Tutoring Resouces
• Project MOVE information
• Calendar of events
Frank Amaral, Volunteer Tutor
By John Miller, Instructor
For the past 1 ½ years volunteer tutor Frank Amaral has made enormous contributions to this class. In addition to being a volunteer tutor, Frank is the perfect co-teacher. He is a valuable resource and a true professional. He easily adapts to different learning styles and is very patient with the students. Most of all, Frank understands the challenges some of the students face and uses his experience and thoughtful insight to assist them. Due to his dedication to the program many students have made tremendous strides in improving their computer skills and have become more independent computer users. Thank you, Frank!
From the Desk of your Student Advocate
Hope everyone had wonderful Holidays. I wanted to thank the students who allow me to come in their groups to do follow – up on what they have learned.
It’s always nice to see everyone and spend time with them and to hear about all the new things they have learned in each class session.
One of the questions I ask the students in the group is” how are you using your skills outside of class?” They have an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned. Silvia Smith stated that she can now use the new skills she has learned in the group in her college courses.
I look forward to seeing all of you in 2014.
Bruce’s Garden Tips
Trees that have lost their leaves can be trimmed back, before buds start forming.
Prune roses around Groundhog Day. At the end of February when there is no more frost prune Oleanders back.
Spelling and Writing Class
Amy Prevedel, Instructor
I love dogs so much. I like to go for walks. I like to talk to my dogs. They understand me. I like to see the expressions on their faces, their smiles. I love to sleep with the dog. When I eat I should not feed the dog so much. My love for dogs is so much. When you have a dog for fifteen years, when it is their time to go, it is so hard to see them die.
By Selina Lieba
When I go to San Francisco, I like to go to Pier 39 to walk around the pier. I like to eat clam chowder and shrimp. They have the best clam chowder and shrimp there. What got me started is my mom took me and my brothers when we were young and I remember San Francisco was fun. I try to go two times a month but I haven’t gone for a long time. I get there by BART and I go by myself.
I always had a dream that I would be a good writer someday. I’d know how to spell and write. I was so sick when I was a kid in school, I had a lot of surgeries. They started in the 7th grade and stopped in the 12th grade. My appendix ruptured and I couldn’t eat any food or drink. The only thing I could have was water. Surgery kept me from going to school to learn how to read and spell. I’m blessed to be here now so that’s why I want to go back to school to learn now. Then, I’m going to be a writer when I finish school. I love math. In school it was my best subject. I hated to spell words in school. Now I see that I read all that is written.
By Dan M.
One I planned a night dive to the canal Islands. It was a friend and I in one boat and two friends in another boat. We left from Ventura, CA in the morning. It was a beautiful day. We traveled about 15 miles to the Islands, we had a break, then night came. My friends and I got ready for the night. We went down with flashlights on. I could not see anything on the way down but the light. Then we came to the bottom. It was interesting to see the bottom: plants and live rocks, the colors of the fish, amazing lobsters and more ray eels. After about 45 minutes, we decided to come up. When we came up to the surface, there was a wild windstorm. We climbed in to the boat. The water lit up from the plankton like little light bulbs.
Looking up in the sky, clear and windy and full of stars, there was a helicopter flying around. We found out later a boat was in trouble with a child on board. The storm was so windy that it was not safe to go back home, so we went around the island and stayed there for the night. The next day we went back.
By Nancy Raymond
I am reading and writing and spelling. I am on my way to learning more. I like my two teachers and their names are Amy and John. I like the way they know how far I’ve come from last year. I want to learn more in my life. That’s why I am proud of myself.
By Vince Martinez
In the sixties I went to school at Balboa High. I took three general classes. One class I liked was auto-mechanics.
Sometimes I fix my Oldsmobile. It’s a ninety eighty-six car, runs good and it looks good. When I want a part I look in the junkyards to get the part for my car. Sometimes, yes and sometimes, no. Soon I have to fix it.
I have a 1964 Mustang car, but the steering wheel is on the right side. But the motor needs a little work. People like the car and will pay me top money for the 1964 Mustang convertible. Three months ago in San Jose, the top all class car was the 1964 Mustang convertible with a right steering wheel. People, car collectors and reporters say to me it is a great car, so I will take good care of the car. Someday I will give it over to my grandson.
Thanks for Giving
By Ellen Xu
The most important holiday, Thanksgiving, will be coming soon. I should be thankful for a lot of things this year. In particular, I am grateful for my reading and writing club tutor, Judy, because she loves us. This is the kind of love with no conditions. Yes, it is called “unconditional love.”
Judy prepares each lesson carefully and heartedly. She not only helps us with the reading club, but also gives us a lot of guidance about daily life and customs of American life. We have learned a lot from her. Each classmate can feel the love from the bottom of her heart and enjoy every class with her.
Every time when I visit this warm and happy classroom, a nice picture shows up in my mind. That is – Judy is the mother hen. We are the chicks around with her. This group of chicks come from three different countries. There are three of us from Mexico, four from China, one of us from Algeria in North Africa.
On this Thanksgiving, I just want to thank my dear English tutor, Judy, for the kindness, generous heart, excellent teaching and sweet smile.
My First Thanksgiving
By Elaine Wu
November 28, 2013 was my first Thanksgiving in America. This Thanksgiving has a different meaning for us. We had a housewarming party to celebrate our new move. We invited most of the relatives who live in nearby San Francisco. At last, there were 25 guests who came to the party. This is my first time to handle such a big party in the house.
I thought about what menus should be offered. When I had an idea, I cooked the dishes as our daily dinner before the party. This is like a test in order to figure out whether it would be ok for the party. To be honest, I like cooking better than before. The kitchens in America are big and the appliances are very convenient to do some cooking. My menu includes, sauce ribs, braised tendon, scrambled eggs with shrimps, spicy beef tendon, wasabi black fungus and mushrooms, garlic shredded eggplant, stir-fried vegetables and all kinds of main foods such as garlic bread, pizza, fried noodle and dessert. One of our desserts was sweet potato cake which was a present from one of our neighbors.
There was another story from our neighborhood. We got to know several families who lived nearby. They are friendly and nice people. I made Chinese dumplings as a little present for them. They helped us put the trash to our garage gate when we were not at home. They gave us a new lock for the backyard door. They baked chocolate muffins for us. I am thankful that we have such good neighbors nearby. It makes me feel good and happy.
Back to our house party. We had a really happy party that day. There was a 90 year old senior and also 4-5 year old kids. There were middle aged cousins and teenage girls. There was beer, red wine, Coca-cola, juice and hot green tea. Everyone took what they liked and helped themselves with the food. They hadn’t seen each other for a while. It was a good chance for the big family to gather together. We were chatting and laughing all the time. One of the relatives was good at photography. He took a lot of pictures with a professional camera for all of us. They were precious family group photos. We got many gifts and blessings. We all had a good time. They felt good about our house and party. They even teased me to have a Christmas party in our house. Ha ha.
Homework for Students
By Sally Ianiro, tutor coordinator
Adult students have a lot of life responsibilities, so it’s hard to find time to do homework. But if the homework is fun and can be done on a computer, chances are better that it will get done! Here are some great websites to motivate students.
Stories are listed from easy to advanced levels on this site. Students can read the stories or have the computer read stories to them.
This site has lots of phonics practice and stories. Students can listen to the sounds by clicking on the speaker icon.
Does someone in the family have an iPad? This site has an iPad tutorial written at an intermediate level, as well as 19 other tutorials on mousing, typing, email, etc.
Lots of websites charge for GED preparation tests, but this one is free.
Students who want to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) will find this website loaded with helpful vocabulary and exercises.
You’ll find lots more super websites on our BlogSpot for one-to-one tutors. Lab tutors and students are invited to visit the BlogSpot, too. No sign-in is required.
Eden Township Area Updates
By John Miller, Literacy Specialist
Eden House Apartments
The basic computer lab class at Eden House Apartments continues to serve people from the Ashland District of San Leandro, Hayward and Oakland. The class serves a diverse group of people who are making a lot of progress in learning computer basics. In fact, several students with no previous computer experience have steadily improved their computer skills. In addition, the class receives professional classroom support from volunteer tutor Frank Amaral who is committed to ensuring that everyone receives high quality instruction. This class is ongoing and open to anyone who wants to experience a positive and warm learning environment.
Basic Reading and Spelling
The class meets at the community office of Alameda County Supervisor, Wilma Chan in San Lorenzo. The class is open to anyone who would like to improve their reading and spelling skills. The class also dedicates a lot of time to learning phonics and critical thinking in reading. Occasionally, veteran Write to Read tutor/instructor Linda Alpers, provides much appreciated in class support. The new session begins on Monday January 6 2014, 3-5PM. There are still a few spaces available. Please call and register today.
Seventh Step Foundation
The Seventh Step Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides residential treatment, support and guidance to adult males (parolees) in the criminal justice systems that are homeless and are suffering from substance abuse issues. The 7th STEP group focuses on building workplace vocabulary, setting realistic goals, learning to trust others, basic computer skills and team building. The class is committed to developing vocabulary skills needed for tough job interviews and the study habits needed to improve vocabulary. The students also benefit from outstanding professional instruction from Timeka McGowen and Bruce Banks who are 7th Step staff members. This class is only open to residents who live at the facility. These men are very dedicated individuals and should be commended for their great work.
Computer Literacy/Job Seeking
Mr. John Miller from the library here at Seventh Step has been very helpful. He actually helped me enroll into Chabot College. I am computer illiterate, so John assisted me in obtaining college status. Unfortunately, my financial aid didn’t go through, so I had to drop my classes. I was majoring in business.
Upon arriving back at 7th Step after a 5 month relapse, job developer Timeka McGowan has been extremely helpful (God Bless her). She encouraged me to get back into school. She let me know that my FAFSA for 2013-2014 is still active and in the process of being granted if everything goes well with selective services.
Both John and Timeka do their jobs very well and I appreciate them both. I’m happy to have met them. I honestly believe they do this work because they care.
One day my daughter and me were at the library and saw a book and movie she liked. She didn’t have a library card and I remembered I had a library card, so I was able to get her the book she needed. If it wasn’t for these classes I wouldn’t have had a chance to have a library card in my possession. Thank goodness for this program for helping my family and parolees like myself.
Project MOVE (Mobilizing Our Vision for Employment)
Ashland – Cherryland – San Lorenzo
January 7 – May 20 (Open to Job-Seekers)
• Basic Computer Skills Workshops, 10-12 p.m. EDD, Hayward.
• Job Seeking & Computer skills, Thurs. 3-5 p.m. One Stop Career Center, Hayward
• Computer Lab, Mon. 11:30AM – 1:30 p.m. Ashland Community Center
• Job Seeking & Computer skills, Thurs. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Ashland Community Center
• Basic Computer Lab, Thurs. 10:30AM – 12:30 p.m. Eden House Apts.
• Basic Reading and Writing Class, 3-5 p.m. San Lorenzo. Supervisor Chan’s district office.
• ESL class for Job-readiness, Mon. and Thurs. 7-9 p.m. Ashland Community Center
To register and for directions, please call: (510) 745-1480.
Calendar of Events Winter-Spring, 2014
Call for Student Orientation dates and times
6 Registration starts
20 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday – library is closed
21 Winter-spring Session Begins
4 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
12 Lincoln’s Birthday – library is closed
17 Washington’s Birthday – library is closed
18 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
26 Computer tutors roundtable – Fremont
28 Tutor Monthly Report Due
11 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
25 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
31 Tutor Monthly Report Due
8 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
22 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
30 Tutor Monthly Report Due
13 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
10 Winter-spring session ends – Reading Clubs. Tutor Monthly Report Due
14 30 years of Service, Learning Together Celebration 6:30-8:30 p.m.
27 Information Table, One Stop Career Center, Hayward
Memorial Day Holiday – library is closed
16 Summer session starts
Note: Dates are subject to change. Call for information: (510) 745-1480
COMPUTER LAB Winter-Spring HOURS (Fremont) – Call to sign up!
Every Monday 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Every Tuesday 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Every Wednesday 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.