November 2017 - Adult Basic Literacy

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Love mercy now. Do justly now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."  from The Talmud
I was an avid NPR listener most of my adult life. I felt so intelligent and well-informed about such a variety of topics and issues introduced in their stories. But over the last couple of years, I listened less and less and finally stopped altogether. I was feeling less informed ... and more beat up.

Our world is feeling so divided. The news is filled with geological storms and Twitter storms. Bullying and intolerance and injustices and inequities seem to be defining our society. Even football, one of my favorite escape mechanisms, is filled with controversies right now. It just feels dark.

The worst part of the darkness is that it seems so big and I feel so small. Where is my power against all this injustice? What can one person do, really?

If you have followed KGUN 9 last month, you may have seen a series of stories on Literacy Connects. The last one, featuring an adult learner and graduate, aired last week. I was struck by her admission that she didn't think the drive across town would be worth it, but, "once I got here and met Cydne, I had to find a way ... " One person was enough-to make a connection, to offer encouragement, and to invite her into a warm and supportive learning environment. Four months later, Rachelle Cutright successfully completed her GED.

Another KGUN 9 story highlighted a volunteer in our English Language Acquisition (ELAA) program. About 1600 students benefit from our ELAA program each year. Students from all over the world learn English thanks to the time and efforts of the 75 volunteers teaching classes, being that "one person" for their small groups of learners.

Last year, Reading Seed coaches touched the lives of 1300 children. All of those kids had 1:1 attention and support. Those hundreds of coaches may be that "one person" for the kids they work with every week.

Each training cohort that comes to Literacy Connects to embark on a voyage of learning with our students adds to our "small group of committed citizens." I look at our trainees and wonder who you will be that "one person" for and where it might lead.

Thank you for being that "one person" for someone else.

~ Edie

Basic Literacy Program Director
eventSave the Date!

Literacy Connects Annual Holiday Reception!

You're invited for snacks, drinks, and fun with other Literacy Connects volunteers, staff, and board members. 
Join us to celebrate the holiday season and all of your hard work! Significant others welcome, too!
Friday, December 8, 2017
Drop-in any time between 4:30 - 7 pm
200 E. Yavapai Rd.

newsProgram News
The Change Agent: Career Pathways
The latest edition of The Change Agent is now available online. The focus is on Career Pathways. Audio versions of articles help students improve reading comprehension by listening to the articles being read aloud while they follow along. Try one out!

Identity, Power and Privilege: Reflections on Serving our Students
Saturday, November 18 from 9:00 - 1:00
Literacy Connects

Our next quarterly professional development party invites the whole Literacy Connects community to reflect on relational power structures in our lives and between tutors and their students. There will be a keynote address by Dr. Francesca Lopez from UA South, followed by moderated small group discussions. Lunch will be provided!
Click here for more information, the agenda, and a flyer. 
Registration is required; space is limited!

TED Talk Discussion Group
Friday, Nov 3 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Literacy Connects

Join us the 1st Friday of each month for our TED Talk discussion group. Bring a lunch and meet us in North 1 for the viewing and conversation. This month's video is Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers with Adam Grant. 

Book Discussion 
Tuesday, Nov 28 from 2:30 - 4:00 pm
Literacy Connects

This is the second chance to discuss the book Lives on the Boundary by Mike Rose. Edie will host a discussion of this interesting look at adult learners and their opportunities in our educational system. Copies are available in the Literacy Connects library. Bring your favorite parts and your connections to the adult learners you have worked with!  Click here to RSVP.

Train the Trainer: 
Your Money, Your Goals
Your Money, Your Goals  is a financial empowerment training to help people meet their financial goals. The curriculum was created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and training is provided by the Tucson Urban League. For more information or to register to be trained to provide this course for others, contact Johanna Duffek at the Tucson Ur ban League at 791-9522 ext 10 or 

Additional Professional Development opportunities 
  • Observations and coaching of classes or 1:1 sessions (by request of any ABL staff person)
  • Available this month through Reading Seed
  • Monthly Book Talks with Violet. Join Violet to learn about new books, hot   books, and great books to use with your learners! Each month will highlight books related to a different theme. Theme suggestions welcome!
  • Speech and Language Support
  • Diverse Books: Honoring Lives through Book Choice
  • Library and Book Resources
  • Details and registration on the Reading Seed PD page.

  • The Literacy Connects offices will be closed on 
    Friday, Nov 10th in honor of Veterans' Day 
    and on Thursday and Friday, Nov 23rd and 24th for Thanksgiving!
    actions Community Actions
    Refugee Resettlement 101 
    Thursday, Nov 16 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
    Woods Memorial Library 

    In partnership with the Woods Memorial Library, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Tucson launches a Refugee Resettlement Lecture Series with a Resettlement Program Overview presentation.

    Public Education Town Hall with Jitu Brown 
    Tuesday, Nov 14 at 6:00 pm
    YWCA, 525 N. Bonita Ave

    Join the National Director of Journey for Justice and #WeChoose Alliance for a critical conversation on American public education. 

    Are you concerned about the draining of pubic education funds for private school vouchers? That our teachers are getting a 1% raise when Governor Ducey's staff are getting 11%-60% raises? That Betsy DeVos has revoked 72 protections for special needs students? That our schools are not getting enough funding to thrive? 
    Join us for a Critical Conversations Town Hall meeting with local and national education organizers, parents, youth, educators and local elected officials on school privatization and how we can unite to protect and strengthen public education.

    Hello, Dear Enemy
    Exhibit through mid-December
    World of Words, UA College of Education, Rm 453

    The Worlds of Words collection at the University of Arizona, College of Education is honored to host a powerful collection from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The picture books and posters on display in this traveling exhibit provide an international perspective on conflict, peace and humanity.  The exhibit focuses on four main themes: Experiences of War, Destruction and Displacement; Power Struggles and the Origin and Escalation of Violence; Prejudice, Ostracism and Imagined Enemies; Utopias of Peace and Anti-War Books.

    Hello, Dear Enemy is free and open to the public from mid-August to mid-December at the World of Words on the UA campus,  1430 E Second St, Room 453. Hours are Monday-Friday from 9-5 and Saturday from 9-1. For more information or to schedule a guided tour, contact

    Literacy Quilt Raffle
    now through Nov 30!
    Literacy Connects volunteer, Celia Tuttle, and her friend Nancy Stein have created and donated this customized literacy quilt. Thanks to her generous donation, it could be yours! Display this beautiful quilt on your wall or grab a favorite book and cozy up! 

    From September 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017 at 5 pm, you can purchase as many raffle tickets as you like through our website. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10, and every dollar benefits literacy in Tucson. To learn more and to purchase tickets visit:

    Tax Credits
    Literacy Connects is a qualifying charitable organization that can benefit from your tax dollars! The maximum credit for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit has been doubled! The amount for school donations has also bee n doubled, meaning that more of your money can go to the causes and schools you hold dear. Talk to your tax professional today! 

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    Literacy Connects | 200 E. Yavapai Rd. Tucson, AZ 85705 | (520) 882-8006