Adjusting the sails

An Update from our Executive Director, Cindy Threlkeld:

Yesterday I listened in on a virtual meeting that our ESOL Director, Erin, was facilitating with tutors to compare the pros and cons of using Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangout to continue lessons with their students. One described her first attempt to hold a virtual class that usually meets at Erwin Middle School with four parents: one each from Mexico and Belarus, and two from Ukraine. All logged in with either a phone or laptop, and by using the whiteboard feature on Zoom and referring to their workbooks, they carried on without a hitch.

Another tutor shared that her student doesn’t have access to a computer, but wants to continue to improve her writing. So the student writes out the lesson by hand, takes a photo of it with her phone, and texts it to the tutor. The tutor accesses the photo, enlarges it, and then calls the student to review her work.

And the stories are just as creative with tutors working with Rebecca in Adult Literacy and Youth Literacy. We will share their stories of both success and struggle in the weeks that come.

I am amazed and heartened by the resilience and determination of staff, tutors, and students to keep moving forward!

 

Note: We received this from a first-year tutor just before schools closed.

I trained with the Literacy Council in late summer of 2019. I was assigned to a 1st grade boy and started with some trepidation about how I would do as a tutor. Would I really make a difference? My student was a little shy at first, but that didn’t last, thanks to many of the fun games and aids I learned in training. I also learned more about The Avengers than I ever imagined! He gave ME homework—he asked that I learn all the Avengers’ names and super powers. I did OK. I tried to incorporate his love of The Avengers and other comic book/movie characters in our reading. 

How did it all turn out? 

I realized that just about anything I could accomplish with my student was making a difference. Sometimes he was too wound up to focus (kinesthetic games came in very handy), but we always got things done. His teacher reports his reading scores are improving and he is much more confident in class. 

Personally, my experience has been fantastic.  I learned a lot about myself (not just about The Avengers). I still have a lot to learn, and because every student I tutor in the future will be different, I can’t wait!

 

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Success Story – Mike and Lupe

Success storyWhen Lupe came to the Literacy Council in the fall of 2013, he was already reading and speaking English at a high-intermediate level but did not know how to write in English. He’d been in the US for several years – since he was 16 years old – but had never attended school here. Now he runs a successful construction business where his steadily-improving writing skills are put to good use in communication with both suppliers and clients.

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Success Story – Travis and Carol

At the beginning of the school year, Travis was the smallest student in his first grade class. Although his teacher thought that he seemed intelligent, he tested into the lowest reading group. While half of his peers read sentences, Travis struggled to read the letters b, d, g, q, p, n, h, r, u and v. He wrote letters backwards and confused capital letters with lowercase ones. He could write no words. Travis scored below grade level in six out of seven assessments that composed his Augustine Project pre-test.

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