Minnesota Literacy Council E-News
Contact: Cathy Grady, Adult Program
Director, 651-645-2277 ext. 208,
In this Issue
Deadline February 15
motivate and inspire your learners by helping them submit their
original writing and art work to the 2008 edition of
Stories and Poems
to Open Your
Mind. Submissions are due by
4:30 p.m. Friday, February 15, 2008 (late submissions will not be
is a collection of writing and art work by learners in Minnesota
adult literacy programs. This publication serves a variety of
learners for their accomplishments in writing;
learners to continue to improve their literacy skills and
achieve their academic goals;
teaching resource to volunteers and teachers to use in Adult
Basic Education (ABE) instruction; and
awareness of adult literacy needs in Minnesota.
welcome submissions from learners of all levels, and we try to print
state funding to produce this publication was cut two years ago, we
are thrilled to be able to produce the book with help from three
talented interns, Katie McMillen, Elissa Cottle, Christopher Pommier,
who are donating hundreds of hours to the cause this year. Book
sales will cover the printing costs. Each book is $5; programs
ordering ten or more copies will receive a 20% discount.
submit student writing, please go to: to
www.theMLC.org/journeys or call Cathy
Got Three Hours?
If you are a new
literacy volunteer coordinator or an experienced coordinator who has
ever wondered what happened to the Metro Coordinator Meetings, we’ve
got three, 3-hour trainings coming up that are designed especially
All of the
following training sessions are FREE and will be held in the MLC
training room from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Trainings can be taken
individually or as a series.
One: Management Essentials for Volunteer Coordinators
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
will provide an overview of the fundamental components of a quality
volunteer literacy program, including dealing with difficult
and strategies for
recruiting both volunteers and learners. There will also be time for
networking and information-sharing, a hands-on overview of online
resources for you and your program, and a tutorial on completing the
MLC annual volunteer report.
Two: Everything You Need to Know about ESL Curriculum and
Thursday, March 13, 2008
volunteer coordinators find themselves choosing ESL curriculum and
guiding the work of volunteer teachers. This training will provide
you with information and resources to help you run an effective ESL
program using volunteers.
Three: Helping You Serve the “Hard to Serve”
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
to this training for information and resources to help you better
serve learners with special barriers to success, such as learning
disabilities, physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder,
and life-skills issues.
Sharing the Power Conference to be Held at
Best Buy Corporate HQ
We are pleased
to announce that the MLC’s annual Sharing the Power Conference and
Awards Luncheon will be held at the deluxe Best Buy Corporate
Conference Center in Richfield this year. The event is scheduled for
Saturday, April 12, 2008, and will include two blocks of breakout
training sessions followed by the awards luncheon.
sessions are targeted primarily to volunteers, teachers, and adult
learners, but all adult literacy practitioners are welcome. The fee
is $25 (award winners attend free).
is a terrific opportunity to gain new skills, network with
colleagues, and celebrate the work and accomplishments of your
volunteers and learners. We hope to see you there!
information and to register, please visit our Web site at
Award Nominations Due March 14
volunteers, learners and community partners make a world of
difference. Honor these
special people by nominating them for
one of several awards: Outstanding Learner, Outstanding Volunteer,
Community Partnership, Volunteer Service, or the Essi Wiseheart
Ledyard Award for Senior Volunteers. Nomination forms can be found
(or just call
Cathy Grady at the number above). The top Outstanding Learner Award
winners will receive $250 Burke Scholarships to be used for
are due March 14 and awards will be presented at the Sharing the
Power Conference April 12 (see above). Award winners will be
invited to attend free of charge.
Resource Review: GED Essay Help
Levels 5 – 8
Terrific for GED students who
think they can’t write, this workbook provides a
user-friendly process for moving from writing quick,
informal paragraphs to writing organized, edited, GED-style
essays. The author suggests a variety of methods for getting
started and planning what to write. Students are encouraged
to elicit constructive editing assistance from others, and
revision is stressed. The Teacher’s Guide contains
suggestions for effective use, and includes photocopy
masters. (Student Workbooks are 64 pages; 32-page Teacher’s
By Rob Podlasek
The prospect of writing the essay can
be one of the most fear-inducing thoughts for GED candidates.
Easing into Essays: Getting Ready
to Write the GED Test Essay, written by Nan Phifer and
published by New Readers Press, provides a variety of activities to
make the task less daunting.
the title of this student workbook indicates a focus on the GED, the
book is really at the pre-GED level and deals with essay writing in
general. It would be a good choice for instructors working with
intermediate-level writers. The book begins with some general
writing warm-ups to help students get started writing and deal with
their anxieties. These warm-ups are essentially sentence completion
book then shifts over to essay-specific topics such as writing
opinion (thesis) statements and generating ideas to support these
statements. These activities directly relate to the key writing
tasks the students will be doing on the GED essay.
Several lessons deal with creating
paragraphs and with writing the five-paragraph essay with an
introduction and conclusion.
a discussion of the essay and lessons covering editing, revising and
proofreading essays, the book summarizes the steps for writing an
Throughout the book, there are many
activities to give students a chance to practice the skills being
taught. Instructors working with the text could easily create
additional activities to give students more practice with each key
Tech Tip: New Web Sites for 2008
By Jason Brazier
Your Computer to Help Save the Planet
is a software program that works with Windows XP to monitor and
allow you to change power settings to help conserve electricity.
The easy-to-navigate tabs let you check to see how much power you
are using and make adjustments that suit your needs. To help put
things in perspective, your energy saving is tracked in trees,
gallons of oil, and kilowatts. If you register your computer, you
can also compare your energy savings to others’.
From the Web site: “In
January 2007, a blog post titled
Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the
theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a
fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine. Since
then there has been skepticism about the significance of the energy
savings that can be achieved and the cost in terms of readability of
black web pages.
We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the
energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that
seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we
need to keep taking small steps to save energy.”
Check it out at:
a Virtual Post-It on a Virtual Space
easy to use toolbar allows you to post sticky notes and highlight
text on a webpage and then share the information with others.
This search engine uses Microsoft’s
Silverlight environment to allow you to do a search for Web sites,
news, images, books, and RSS* feeds all at the same time. Enter in
your topic and five icons will appear allowing you to choose the
type of results you want to see. Drag your results onto a shelf on
the right hand side of you screen to save them in “stacks.” You can
give your stacks names, email a stack, or post it to your Windows
Live Space Blog. The current view has a Halo background, but you can
choose the original card catalog background if you prefer.
makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web
sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them
manually. RSS works well for web sites that are updated constantly,
such as blogs, news headlines, or podcasts. - Wikipedia
sites were suggested by PC World Magazine.