Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Project READ August 2014 Accomplishments

One Project READ Family ready for school!
Back To School Story Hour Families For Literacy:
This year over 120 learners, families and friends took part in Project READ’s annual Back To School Story Hour, where we distributed backpacks to all of our school-age students. This year we gave away over 100 backpacks stuffed with much-needed school supplies requested by Redwood City teachers and administration. These backpacks help ensure that Project READ students start off school prepared for success.  Our youngest learners, PreK students, went home with a new lunch bag filled with crayons and a board book to encourage the love of literacy at an early age. In addition to backpacks, all families were given a family book and learners were able self-select books from a variety of titles.

Magic Dan impressed us all with his interactive magic show and helped us celebrate many of our students’ and parents’ birthdays this month. Hands On Bay Area was there to help us distribute backpacks and help our little ones create back-to-school crafts, as well as an edible craft. Volunteers helped make this year’s event such a wonderful event. FLIC Teen Tutors stuffed all the backpacks with school supplies this summer as a way of giving back to their community. Students left filled with energy and excitement to start the new school year.

Family Literacy Instructional Center Book Club & Summer Enrichment Days:
August marked the end of our summer Book Club and Enrichment Days, which lasted 7 weeks during summer. The Junior League helped partner with us on this project that was extremely successful. Over 25 PreK through middle school students took part in the program this year that consisted of Book Clubs, cooking and science projects all done in small groups and alongside adult and teen tutors. Each week, students read and took home a new book and worked on a project or activity tied into the theme of the book. The response was tremendous. It was encouraging to see students gathering together to continue to learn throughout the summer.

Kids In Partnership:
In August, over 125 students, tutors and families eagerly attended the Back to School Story Hour held at the Fair Oaks Community Library.  Anjaline and Mike Eppley performed to a delighted packed house!  In a spectacular kick off to the new school year, they had moms, dads, children and teenagers singing and dancing along with the musical story time!

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Project READ donors, over 100 backpacks stuffed with much-needed school supplies were given out to KIP students and teens. The youngest members of the families were also thrilled to receive kiddie lunch bags filled with colorful board books and their own set of crayons! Families left the event feeling more prepared and truly excited for the upcoming school year!

Adult Community and Adult Inmate Program:
7 new Adult Community matches, 6 Families For Literacy participants in Fathers and Families, 6 women participants in Poetry, 10 women Families For Literacy participants in Writing Club, 10 men began Tutor Training. In a continued effort to be supportive collaborative partners with organizations serving inmates at the San Mateo County jails, Project READ staff and tutors are working with learners to meet goals related to their participation in the Office of Education’s GED services and the College of San Mateo’s (CSM) vocabulary program.  Inmates participating in Project READ one-on-one tutoring have made significant gains. 

Project READ – Adult Literacy Computer Aided Lab:

We had 13 new adult learners join Project READ who are committed to improving their pronunciation, grammar and spelling in English while they wait for a tutor. We have two computer programs that build essential skills, Lexia Reading and Phonics and Rosetta Stone. In June those adults waiting for a one-on-one match logged in over 185 hours using those programs!

Viewpoints: Spread the joy of reading, and help us all, by tutoring

Viewpoints: Spread the joy of reading, and help us all, by tutoring

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 9, 2014 - 12:00 am

One out of every four adults around the world can’t read a newspaper. Or share a bedtime story with a child. Or follow the instructions on a bottle of medicine.
Nearly a half-century after International Literacy Day was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Sept. 8, 1966, there are still 775 million adults on this planet who lack minimum literacy skills, according to the World Literacy Foundation.
Among them are an estimated 36 million adults in the United States who can’t read beyond the fourth-grade level. More than 4.5 million of them are Californians.
According to ProLiteracy, low literacy costs this country more than $225 billion each year in workforce nonproductivity and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
Low adult literacy contributes to a wide range of social ills. The No. 1 determiner of a kid’s success is the literacy of his or her parents. A high percentage of prison inmates and those living in poverty test at the lowest literacy levels.
Of all the life skills acquired, reading might be the one most taken for granted. By those who can read, anyway.
Gov. Jerry Brown has proclaimed September “Adult Literacy Awareness Month” in honor of the 30th anniversary of California Library Literacy Services, a program of the California State Library.
Public libraries are hosting events this month to address the very serious issue of low adult literacy as part of a statewide awareness campaign called “Together, California Reads.” It’s an effort to spotlight inspirational adult learners and the trained volunteer tutors who change lives forever by sharing the gift of reading through free, one-on-one and group sessions at more than 500 local public libraries.
Roughly 10,000 volunteer tutors teach adult learners to read and write at public libraries all over California. The supply of tutors isn’t enough to meet demand. Nearly 4,000 eager-to-learn California adults are wait-listed statewide, all wanting to read but stymied by a lack of volunteer tutors.
Magic happens when learners and tutors come together. There’s no other way to describe it. Learners’ lives are fundamentally and irrevocably changed by their increased literacy and the newfound realization of their potential as family leaders, workers and community members.
What’s also magical is how the lives of tutors change. Listen to Judi Cunha, a volunteer tutor from San Andreas:
“We don’t have a clue how graced we are to have some of the skills we have until we see people who don’t have those same skills. … To be able to share a skill with somebody. To be able to help a person get impassioned about their own life. There’s just nothing like it. There’s nothing like it in the world.”
Judi and other volunteer tutors share their experiences at CalReads.org.
Better yet, create your own magic. Become a volunteer. It’s simple. Halfway through editing this piece, I stopped and called the public library in Sacramento where I live. Within a few minutes I was signed up for my initial training.
See firsthand how California’s public libraries change lives by changing someone’s life yourself. Give the gift of reading. And see how much you get back in return.

Greg Lucas is the California State Librarian.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/09/6689861/viewpoints-spread-the-joy-of-reading.html#storylink=cpy