Volume 5, Issue 6
The Insider, the monthly newsletter of LVA, Essex & Passaic Counties, will keep you in the loop on all of the organization’s upcoming events.
Tutors pored over Perrine Robinson-Geller’s collection of more than 300 books last month during her thought-provoking workshop on “Using Age Appropriate Books for Adult Literacy.”
Literacy Volunteers of America Essex & Passaic Counties
90 Broad Street, 2nd Floor, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
(973) 566-6200, ext. 217 or 225
195 Gregory Avenue, 2nd Floor, Passaic, NJ 07055
Cristhian Barcelos -Executive Director
Russell Ben Ali -Recruitment & Training Coordinator
Jorge Chavez -Data Processing Coordinator
Debbie Graham -Education Coordinator
Mary O’Connor -Trainer & Tutor Support Specialist
Marisol Ramirez -Student Coordinator
Greetings LVA Family,
The new federal budget is still a proposal, yet to be approved by Congress. But, with its call for $9 billion in cuts to the Department of Education, including $95 million from Adult Education and Family Literacy grants, ProLiteracy is not waiting. It recently launched “Letters for Literacy,” which provides the templates and materials needed for you to locate your elected officials, give them essential facts on adult ed and, finally, craft your letter to request that they reject the budget. http://tinyurl.com/y7bobvxb
“The Letters for Literacy campaign is a way for literacy champions to voice their concern and advocate against these deep cuts that will hurt adult literacy programs, learners, and their families,” Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy, said in a statement released three weeks ago.
The New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning is also coordinating a letter writing campaign with COABE (Coalition on Adult Basic Education) and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education. https://goo.gl/RaL8qj
Perrine Robinson Geller offered an informative tutor support workshop last month on “Using Age Appropriate Books for Adult Literacy,” where tutors examined and discussed her amazing collection of illustrated books. Tomorrow, Cristhian Barcelos, CEO of Literacy Volunteers of America, Essex & Passaic Counties, offers a workshop on “The State of Literacy in New Jersey,” the details of which are found on the next page
In the News
To view the following stories, copy and paste the highlighted website into an internet search bar.
‘You have this constant fear you’ll be caught out,’ - Story of a taxi driver who learned to read and write at age 53.’ The Independent. http://tinyurl.com/y9quvfc4
‘Becoming a bilingual teacher leads to a lifetime of making a difference.’ Star-Telegram. goo.gl/tTDBlP
‘I’m not bilingual, but I’m still proud,’ The ordeal of a Mexican-American girl who’s illiterate in Spanish. Huffington Post . https://goo.gl/ZVviYc
‘How music and songs boost language learning,’ MultiBriefs. http://tinyurl.com/ycw8fsam
A physician in her native Ecuador, LVA student Jouseth is working to establish her medical credentials in the U.S.
Tutor Support Workshops
“The State of Literacy in New Jersey – Part 2”
with Cristhian Barcelos
Bloomfield Public Library, 2nd Floor Boardroom
90 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Tuesday, May 20, 2017, 1:00-2:30 pm
Tutors please RSVP
Tutor Training Workshops
Clifton Public Library -trainer TBA
292 Piaget Avenue, Community Room A
Clifton, NJ 07011
Saturdays, 1:00-4:15 pm
June 17, 24, July 1, 8, & 15, 2017
Bloomfield Public Library -by Nina Peyser
90 Broad Street, 2nd Floor Boardroom
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00-3:00 pm
September 7, 12, 14, 19, 26, & 28, 2017
Montclair Public Library -by Mary Kao
50 South Fullerton Avenue, Literacy Room
Montclair, NJ 07040
Saturdays, 12:15-3:45 pm
October 7, 14, 21, 28, & November 4, 2017
Getting to Know Us
“Learning to read can dramatically change the adult brain,” Newsweek
Getting to Know Us (cont.)
New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning 2017
Learner Writing Contest
Five of our students won awards for their entries in the 2017 NJALL Learner Writing Contest, in pieces that ranged from escaping the war in Syria to the intricacies of the mind, and several were selected to read their submissions last month at the organization’s annual conference. Congratulations to all of our student writers, including these five recognized by NJALL:
In a moving personal story about adjusting to life in the U.S. with two young sons, while filled with worries about her husband, parents, and relatives who remained in war-torn Syria, and the the struggle to regain her strength, courage, and confidence, Abir won the first-place memoir prize for “I Would Become My Dreams.”
Ever wonder about the things that anger us and how they seem uncontrollable? In “Anger: A Call for Healing,” Esteban writes that anger is the result of an event where we suffered emotional pain that’s stored away in our minds. His argument, that emotions like anger can be controlled by healing the stored away pain, earned the Peruvian native a second-place award for non-fiction.
Her gift for poetry is well-known and her writing stirs up the deepest emotions in readers. For the second-consecutive year, Fernanda took home a poetry award, this time a third-place prize for “I’m Waiting for You,” the story of an expectant mother and her dreams for her soon-to-arrive son.
It was August 2001 and Jouseth, a young doctor assigned to a children’s hospital in Ecuador, took up her new post while a physician’s strike over low wages raged outside the building. Her gripping account of a night where she and a handful of staff handled a hospital full of emergencies and trauma landed her a third-place memoir-writing award.
In the enchanted world of Airam the fairy, only a select few receive an invite to the North Kingdom. But when Airam accepts the invite and relocates, she discovers that not all is good in the North. She loses her fairy power and is muted by her inability to speak the language. Maritza’s clever analogy of life for a new immigrant such as she, a former child psychologist from Peru who arrives in the U.S. unable to fully communicate and work in her field, won the first-place award for fiction.
Journeys Near and Far
A Collection of Memoirs, Poetry and Intrigue
For an aspiring writer, just putting your thoughts to paper can be an achievement. Getting them published can be a game changer, in terms of building a writer’s confidence, especially for an ESOL or basic literacy student. Four of our students achieved that honor this year when their works were published in “Journeys Near and Far, A Collection of Memoirs, Poetry, and Intrigue.” The book was edited by Judith Celestin and Ellen Ray and produced by Hard Ball Press. The writers are Essex County Consortium students, including LVA’s own Barry Batts, author of “Life is Good to Me Now,” a memoir about his tough upbringing in New York City; Beralia Briceno, who wrote about her carefree rural Honduras childhood in “My Free Life in Danli”; Fernanda Contreras, author of “A Christmas Letter,” a poetic letter to her young daughter in Colombia, from whom she is separated; and Clifford Henry, whose fictional “Confused Young Man,” tells of a family that struggles with a son’s drug problem and debt to a violent drug dealer. Last month, Clifford and Beralia joined other authors in a public reading of their work at Essex County College. Photos of the event are included here; the book is available through Amazon and hardballpress.com