Literacy

Help a Neighbor. Help your Community. Become a Volunteer ESL Tutor!

ESL Training Schedule Graphic

Do you want to do the kind of volunteer work that will let you see with your own two eyes the impact you’re having? If so, Harris County Public Library has a volunteer opportunity for you: become an English-as-a-Second-Language tutor! No teaching experience is necessary. We provide the materials and space at the library to meet with students. All you need is a desire to help your neighbors and 1½ to 2 hours per week of your own choosing.

HCPL Volunteer Literacy Tutor Training Coming Soon

Did you know that one out of five Texans cannot read a newspaper, fill out a job application or help with their children's homework? Illiteracy is one of the biggest challenges facing America, but you can be part of the solution. Become a volunteer literacy tutor at Harris County Public Library.

Volunteer ESL Tutors Needed! Training Sessions March 21 & 29

There are a lot of very good reasons to become a volunteer English as a second language tutor at Harris County Public Library. One of the best is that with a small investment of your time each week you can make a huge difference in one of your neighbors' lives--and no experience is necessary. On March 21 and 29, HCPL is offering free training sessions that will give you all the tools you'll need. 

To register for one of the training sessions below, or for more information, please call the library, or call or email the literacy coordinator at 713-749-9035.

September is National Literacy Awareness Month

National Literacy Awareness Month Logo This September, the Houston Center for Literacy and Harris County Public Library want you to recognize the importance of literacy in your life, and to encourage you to share the gift of literacy by helping someone in your own community learn to read.

Take just a moment to think about how your ability to read has broadened your own world. Think of all the books that have entertained you, educated you, and changed your life for the better. Now, think about everything you’ve read today: the email, the street signs, the instructions for that new gadget, the expiration date on a can of tuna. Now think about how much harder your life would be if you could not read.

Finally, think about this: 1 out of 5 of your neighbors is functionally illiterate. That means that more than 400,000 of us who call Houston home cannot fill out a job application, read a bank statement or help their children with homework. 400,000 people.

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

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.

HCDE Head Start Names HCPL '2010 Outstanding Community Partner'

HCDE Head Start Honors

Harris County Department of Education Head Start honored the Harris County Public Library as the 2010 Outstanding Community Partner at its Community Partnership Luncheon in February.

Community partner organizations and businesses provide in-kind gifts and services to HCDE’s 17 Head Start centers in northeast Harris County. Over a dozen were honored at the luncheon.

The Harris County Public Library was honored for extraordinary and unique contributions to Head Start and its families. Seven Head Start sites within the library’s service area are included in the library system’s “Reading is Fundamental Program.” Children at the centers receive three books a year during story time and participate in activities developed around the book’s theme.

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.

Hang out with Junkyard Dan

It’s hard to find books written for adults at a very easy level with interesting plot lines and characters.  Not any more. Find such a set of books right here! The Junkyard Dan series, a set of eight books with accompanying workbooks, will keep you and your student turning the pages. Even better, Taping for the Blind here in Houston has recorded these books and put them on CD for literacy students.  Your student can read a chapter or two, finish some of the puzzles in the workbook for that section, re-read the chapters, and then re-read them again along with the CD.

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