Adult Literacy News

Consider Becoming an Adult Literacy Tutor

We invite you to attend a tutor orientation on April 10, 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the A. K. Smiley Public Library Assembly Room.  At the meeting attendees will find out about the Redlands Adult Literacy Program and have the opportunity to ask questions.

To sign up, please contact Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator, at 909.798.7565, ext. 4138 or email: literacy@akspl.org !

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Tutor Orientation and Training 2017

Partnerships Help Adult Literacy Program Grow

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program is grateful to its community partners who provide important services that extend the mission of helping adults in our community improve their reading and writing.

Community partnerships allowed adult literacy services to be provided at multiple locations: Clement Middle School, Lugonia Elementary School, Family Service Association, and the Redlands Community Center, as well as A. K. Smiley Public Library. Generous grants and donations allowed the adult literacy program to support its primary mission of tutoring adults one-on- one, as well as offer computer classes, online literacy software, and book clubs to foster reading comprehension.

Leading community partners were recently asked why they supported adult literacy in Redlands. We would like to share their insights, with gratitude for their ongoing support.

Robert Clarey, Principal of Clement Middle School, responded that the importance of literacy in families cannot be emphasized enough. Principal Clarey wrote: “Parents who read to their children are providing them with a tool that will help them be successful throughout their lives.”

Principal Kathy Jeide of Lugonia Elementary School echoed this sentiment: “If students see the adults in the home reading, curiosity prompts dialogue and shared reading follows. A win-win situation.”

David Finley, Principal of the Redlands Adult School, shared that the “Redlands Adult School is very grateful for our partnership with the Adult Literacy program offered through Smiley Library and its team of dedicated volunteers.  We see the need for this kind of support in our community on [a] regular basis.  We often have adults who come to Redlands Adult School with literacy skills below the necessary threshold for them to be fully successful in our GED or High School Diploma programs, or even in our Basic Skills program.  We refer these individuals to the Adult Literacy program where they receive one-on-one attention that builds their literacy skills to the point where are able to be successful in our programs.  The program, offered through our partners at Smiley Library, fills a fundamental need in our community and is an integral part of support systems in our community that work together to create [a] systematic pathway that meaningfully strengthens the social and economic opportunities for Adults across the Inland Empire.”

Many adult learners seek to improve their reading and writing so that they can get a new or better job. To support learner goals, the Redlands Adult Literacy Program, The Blessing Center, Family Service Association, and Redlands Adult School provide mutual referrals to job fairs, employment boot camps, ESL classes, GED courses, citizenship classes, computer training, and job interview workshops.

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program offers its services at no cost to adult learners. Grants and donations are a critical component of sustaining and expanding adult literacy services. In 2016, the Redlands Adult Literacy Program received a matching donation from Modern Woodmen. These funds are being used to acquire books for adult literacy book clubs, which allows adult learners to build their own home libraries. Jennifer Escobar, a former tutor, and her husband, Curtis Dison, donated funds to support a tutor training program. The Redlands Community Foundation generously offered funds which were used to purchase core literacy materials for tutors and learners. A grant from Edison International allowed for the purchase of technology that was used at off-site adult literacy locations and the library.

Jennifer Escobar Presents Grant to AKSPL

Jennifer Escobar presents grant to AKSPL

The Edison International grant also funded the development and teaching of computer classes that helped learners reach their goals of using computers to improve their reading and their ability to search for jobs.

The most important partnership is with the generous Redlands community who support adult literacy through direct donations and volunteering. Funding from local supporters and the Friends of A. K. Smiley Public Library, Alpha Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, Kiwanis, Zonta and the Contemporary Club further expanded the opportunities for program enrichment and demonstrated the core local support for adult literacy.

New tutors joined seasoned volunteers so that one-on- one tutoring is possible. In 2017, we welcomed the following new tutors: Joseph Amador, Vikram Asher, Judith Bray, Michael Cano, Mel Clark, Daria Cross, Karen Curran, Kathy Hull, Lynn Kelley-Piper, Ellen Kronowitz, Owen Sheeran, and Amy Whitehead.

Working with their tutors, many learners reach their goals of obtaining new or better employment, helping their children with homework, demonstrating the importance of reading to their children, gaining citizenship, entering into college and seeing the world in new ways through reading.

Literacy is life-changing for adult learners, their families, literacy volunteers, and the Redlands community. You are invited to contact Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator, at 909.798.7565, ext. 4138 or email: literacy@akspl.org, if you would like help in improving your reading and writing, want to volunteer with the Redlands Adult Literacy Program, or donate to support adult literacy in Redlands.

The next tutor orientation is scheduled for Monday, April 10 th , at 6:00 p.m. at the A. K. Smiley Public Library Assembly Room. To read more about the Redlands Adult Literacy Program, visit http://www.akspl.org/redlands-adult-literacy-program.


CELEBRATING ADULT LITERACY IN REDLANDS

The beginning of 2017 gives the Redlands Adult Literacy Program the opportunity to celebrate its 2016 achievements and highlight plans for the new year. The mission of the Redlands Adult Literacy Program is to help adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills. This mission is achieved through the hard work of adult learners, their dedicated tutors and community support and partnerships.

Throughout 2016, learners expressed their gratitude for the adult literacy program. Their gratitude is reflected in the following:

Salma Marquez is grateful that she can now help her children with homework and communicate with their teachers. Salma’s long term goal is to obtain a nursing degree. Veronica Leon celebrates using her new reading and writing skills to correctly fill out forms for her job. Derek Rodriquez said that the adult literacy program helps him motivate his daughter to do well in school because she sees him working hard at his lessons every day.

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program served nearly 100 adult learners in 2016. Every learner has a unique story about how the literacy program helped them, but all learners showed increased confidence as a result of their improved literacy.

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program relies on its dedicated volunteer tutors. Each adult learner is matched to an individual tutor volunteer, who meets weekly with the learner. Tutors know the importance of adult literacy. Tutor Vicki Shaw noted: “If you can read, you can learn to do almost anything.” This sentiment was echoed by Tutor Mary Bailey: “Adult literacy impacts every area of life. It opens windows of opportunity for jobs, becoming a citizen, helping others in the home, schools, and community. Adult learners have a new future with improved literacy skills.”

In 2016, The Redlands Adult Literacy Program responded to requests from adult learners by adding new learning opportunities: book clubs, a weekly literacy class at the library, and new computer classes.

Book clubs for adult learners were formed using local donations and a matching grant from Modern Woodmen. Book club members read biographies of Harriet Tubman and Helen Keller, as well as an autobiography, The Circuit, by Francisco Jimenez.

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program relies upon its community partnerships to thrive. The most important partnership is with the community at large, which promotes the importance of adult literacy and makes private donations. The program is also grateful for the ongoing support of the Friends of A.K. Smiley Public Library, the library trustees, and the city of Redlands. Other vital partnerships include the Redlands Adult School, Clement Middle School, Lugonia Elementary School, Family Service Association and the Redlands Community Center. New partnerships were formed in 2016 with the Blessing Center and Youth Hope.

In addition to local partnerships, California Library Literacy Service (CLLS), a program of the California State Library, became an important partner this year. CLLS augments the city’s funding of the adult literacy coordinator position, and supports adult learners through CLLS-funded programs. For example, CLLS sponsors the Adult Literacy Leadership Institute (ALLI), which trains adult learners to become adult literacy ambassadors. Adult learners from Redlands who participated in 2016 are Ana Alcantar, Lucila Campa, and Crystal Moreno. Since attending ALLI they participated on a tutor/learner panel at the October tutor training, assisted with adult literacy events and spoke with representatives from the American Library Association on the importance of adult literacy.

The new year brings exciting opportunities. Edison International recently awarded a grant to the Redlands Adult Literacy Program which will fund additional computer classes. The Redlands Community Foundation has provided grant funds that will be used to purchase key learning materials for learners.

The new small-group conversation and book club class will continue to meet weekly at the library where learners will read the fictional story: Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLaughlin, work on new vocabulary, and learn more about the world by reading the weekly adult literacy newspaper, News for You. Adult Literacy book club participants will read a sequel to The Circuit entitled Breaking Through.

You are invited see the library’s adult literacy book collection, located next to Reference. Check out some of the materials that are used as part of the adult literacy program.

Adult Literacy Book Club Dec - 2016

Adult Literacy Book Club