Steve Zach's blog

Join discussion of One Amazing Thing

Just us for a discussion of One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on Wednesday, September 28 from 11 a.m.

Become an ESL tutor!

Volunteer here at the Parker Williams Branch and help someone open up a door to new opportunities in their life by being able to read, write and speak English.

We will host a training session for volunteer English as a second language tutors on August 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. After this session, tutors will work with a small group of adults once or twice per week to help them gain literacy skills for work purposes, to help their children in school, or for countless other uses.  Second language ability is not required for tutors, and materials including lesson activities are provided.

For more information or to register for this workshop, please call us at 281-484-2036.

Study for the GED online

If you have been interested in studying for your GED but have difficulty scheduling a class in person, you may be interested in an online class that will begin soon.  Parker Williams Branch Library, 10851 Scarsdale, will host orientation and pretesting on July 6 from 1 to 4:30 p.m.  for an online GED preparation class sponsored by College of the Mainland.  The only requirements for registration are as follows:

Share a Book (or the Ability to Read It)

Christopher and Walter Dean MyersThis story from StoryCorps, told by beloved author Walter Dean Myers, is an excellent reminder that someone close to us -- a co-worker, family member or friend  -- may desire assistance with reading, and also a reminder to never miss an opportunity to read aloud. Volunteer as a tutor through the library literacy program or call Literacy Advance of Houston or the

Get "Money Smart"

In difficult economic times, getting "Money Smart" is more important than ever. Each April, the FDIC sponsors free financial education events around Houston with a goal of helping consumers learn about savings and money management on any number of topics.

Join us at any of the events at Harris County Public Library branches listed below. In the meantime, learn about other Money Week (April 2-9) speakers and events around Houston at http://www.moneyweekhouston.com/. And anytime during the year, take the Money Smart online class available on our databases page http://www.hcpl.net/ref/dbsubs.htm#business

Please contact the branch hosting the session you would like to attend:

Help someone learn to read

Here is an excellent volunteer opportunity: get to know someone with a different set of challenges, help this person with a skill he may use anytime, anywhere and even improve his self-image, and in the process gain a sense of satisfaction for yourself.  It begins this Thursday, April 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Octavia Fields Branch Library, which is hosting a training session for volunteer literacy tutors.  It continues with weekly tutoring sessions at any branch library.  You can arrange these according to your schedule.  Ask at the library (281-446-3377) or contact Steve Zach at 713-749-9035 for more information.

Wordless picture books for class or home

Picture books without words offer a variety of activities for both ESL students and basic literacy learners who have children. Better yet, most of these books have such engaging stories that they are appropriate for learners with children at any age.  Those learners in a class who do not have children would find them interesting as well.
 
For example, have ESL students look over a few pages in pairs or as a class to identify key characters and events. Review this vocabulary.

Wordless picture books for class or home

Picture books without words offer a variety of activities for both ESL students and basic literacy learners who have children. Better yet, most of these books have such engaging stories that they are appropriate for learners with children at any age, and those learners in a class who do not have children would find them interesting as well.
 
For example, have ESL students look over a few pages in pairs or as a class to identify key characters and events. Review this vocabulary.

Ten tips -- ESL

1.       Review frequently, even doing some of the same activities more than once.

2.       Have students do the majority of the talking in your tutoring sessions. Activities #8, 14-22, 28, 29, and 54-61 in the book “Teaching Adults: An ESL Resource Book” are especially good for this. The teacher’s resource files from “LifePrints: ESL for Adults” also are very good.

Ten tips - literacy

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