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5494Literacy Network News for December

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  • Jeff Burkhart
    Dec 2, 2013
      Literacy Network News for December

      Trouble reading this email? View it online at http://litnetwork.org/email/content.php?email_id=519




      We at Literacy Network hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! We are thankful for all of the support shown by volunteers and community members for our programs. We couldn't do our work without you! We invite you to read our December newsletter online today. We also welcome you to join us to learn more about our programs by attending one of our free monthly events here at Literacy Network. Learn more and save your spot!

      Thanks so much for your support!

      Catalina uses her computer skills and English skills to help customers in her job.

      We use technology for nearly everything: banking, working, and connecting with friends.

      Even applying for an entry level job requires basic computer knowledge. Parents need to connect to online tools to learn about their child's school assignments, grades, and schedule. The GED test will be completely computer-based next year, requiring adults to know how to drag and drop, and type approximately 25 words per minute.

      But many adults in our community lack basic computer skills. Our goal is to raise $40,000 for technology programs by 2014, our 40th year. Your donation of up to $8,000 will be matched by anonymous donors in our "40 by 40" Campaign, and will benefit more than 200 adult learners in 2014.


      Clemente gets help from instructor Jorge in the basic computer class.

      By Roberto Garza
      Student Services Coordinator

      The learners in the computer classes taught at Literacy Network by Latino Academy of Workforce Development have made incredible progress. They are eager to learn and have been building their skills throughout the semester.


      By Beth Gaytan
      Senior Director of English Language Instruction

      Beginning in January, Literacy Network will offer open computer lab sessions so learners can build their language, literacy and typing skills at their own pace, and increase the number of hours they spend improving their skills.

      You can be a part of this great new opportunity! We are recruiting volunteers to staff the open computer lab sessions. We are seeking community members interested in helping adult learners use technology to improve their language and literacy skills. Read more...

      By Marie Green Ganser
      ESL Instructor

      During the past six months, Future Foam workers have progressed from basic introductions and vocabulary about products to forming questions, conjugating irregular verbs and describing their jobs during a recent factory tour. They also have a better understanding of forms, pay stubs, work orders and other job-related paperwork. Read more...

      "A lot of mechanics don't have enough work," says Juan. "I feel lucky. My shop is full."

      By Jennifer Peterson
      English Language Tutoring Director

      The raucous sound of Click and Clack's laughter is a frequent soundtrack to Juan Gomez' weekly English tutoring lesson. Juan, a student in our English for Work Community Literacy class, is a mechanic who owns his own shop on South Park Street in Madison. Marie Simpson, the class intern who writes individualized lessons for each of the seven tutoring pairs in her class each week, often includes the hit radio show "Car Talk" in Juan's lessons as a listening activity. Read more...

      By Brenda Becerra-Anderson
      Spanish Program Manager

      Beginning January 21, our Spanish Instruction Program will expand to offer more classes. Edgewood College will host our Spanish level 1, 2, 3 classes in their technology-equipped classrooms.

      Warner Park Community Center will host a Spanish Conversation class. This course will advance your conversation skills and increase your knowledge of Latin American culture. It will be conversation-based and organized by topics like literature, current news, music and film. We will also be hosting a Cooking in Spanish class at Goodman Community Center. This class will use the service kitchen so students can practice their conversation skills as they prepare Latin American dishes. Students will then get to eat the delicious dishes! We are planning to have a variety of guest chefs in the program.


      By Shawn Steen
      Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

      This fall I've been very excited to serve on a planning committee for United Way's word to bring Reimaging Service to Madison. Reimagining Service is a national, multi-sector coalition dedicated to increasing social impact through effective volunteer engagement, and our December Reimagining Service Summit will call together leaders of Dane County businesses, non-profits, faith-based communities and philanthropic organizations to talk about ways to strengthen volunteering in our community and leverage skilled volunteers to improve and expand agencies' reach.


      By Franco LaTona
      UW-Madison Journalism Student

      Students crowd a classroom with ten wooden tables formed into a u-shape facing a whiteboard. The clock hits six, and instructor Catherine Erhard starts by getting the class up and moving. Class members from all over the world form two lines and practice introductions with the person they are facing in the opposing line. The phrases "Hello, my name is ï¾…," and "Hello, it's nice to meet you..." ring out. This is the Level One English class. It is one of more than 30 classes offered by Literacy Network this semester in more than 20 locations, including public schools, libraries, colleges, community centers and health clinics.

      "It's exhausting but it's exhilarating," said Erhard. "It's the most rewarding exhaustion I have on a daily basis."


      By Fanny Anguiano Durley
      Student Services Director

      One of the first projects I worked on as a Literacy Network volunteer two years ago had a profound impact on me. I recruited learners for an event about how to get into Madison College. While making calls, I spoke with a woman who expressed interest in learning about how to help her daughter apply for college. She shared with me the feelings of powerlessness she experienced because she didn't speak English. As an immigrant she was unfamiliar with the process, which is intimidating even for native English speakers.


      By Jeff Burkhart
      Executive Director

      The U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy in Washington, DC highlighted a recent international survey showing adults in the United States are struggling in reading, math and technology skills. One in six adults in the US have low literacy skills and nearly one third have weak numeracy skills. Adults in the US scored lower in "problem-solving in technology-rich environments" than the international average, with only 5% performing at a proficient level, and 61% at basic or below basic levels.