Total Volunteer Hours in January
Volunteer Hours in 2018-19 School Year
Letter from our New Executive Director
Eileen Aparis, Literacy Source's new Executive Director.
Hello volunteers,

I am humbled and excited to join the team at Literacy Source, an organization committed to education, equity, and opportunity for all. 

My background is in human services, economic development, and education, working with cross-sectors in government, academe, and the public and private sectors. I have worked in local and international development programs, such as providing essential services to migrants living in city slums and establishing education programs in the Philippines. I have committed my work to social development and inclusion, and it comes from my own lived experience. I migrated to the US not knowing English. I wrestled with the challenges of a new language, culture, and dual identity. The journey led to many lessons learned, and what kept me encouraged and inspired were the incredible educators, volunteers, mentors, and community leaders like you. Their support and help gave me access to the opportunities I have today. 

This is why Literacy Source is important to me. The work we do together to provide adult basic education with the lens of equity and social justice opens opportunities. It also empowers, gives confidence, and allows people to see their potential. I know firsthand the impact it can make in the life of one person and their family, through my own lived experience. We can't do this work without you. Your time, knowledge, and patience with each of our students and team at Literacy Source is valuable, and so important. 

Thank you for your commitment. Also, thank you to the Board of Directors and team at Literacy Source who have been so welcoming, especially Lynn Livesley. She has done an amazing job with the organization and has been a great support in my transition. 

With Service and Gratitude, 

Eileen Aparis
Literacy Source Executive Director
Snow Day Policy
With so many school closures and delayed starts due to the snow, we thought we'd remind everyone of our snow day policy.  Literacy Source follows the Seattle Public Schools closure schedule when there are severe weather conditions. Therefore, if Seattle Public Schools has a school closure or late start, Literacy Source will too. It's also a good idea to  check our website or Facebook page for updates, which will be posted by 7 am the day of the closure or delay. We hope this helps clarify things, and that you all have been staying safe and warm throughout these snowy weeks!
Library Data Collection Project
We are asking volunteers and students to help us collect data on informal library usage, by marking the books they use at Literacy Source (that are not checked out) with these sticky notes.
Volunteers - we need your help! Former Literacy Source Americorps member and current volunteer Amanda Chin  is doing her Master of Library and Information Science capstone project at Literacy Source, with a small group of other library science students. The purpose of the project is to assess how the Literacy Source library is being used, what challenges there may be in using or browsing the collection, and what users want to see in it. This will help Literacy Source with future book purchases, collection design, and maintenance. 

At the moment, there are two pieces of data collection you can help with:

1) What books are being used, but not formally checked out

The group is compiling information on books used at Literacy Source without  being formally checked out through our computer check-out system. To do this, they are asking students and tutors to do the following after using a book at Literacy Source that they don't check out:
  • Put a sticky note (provided near the checkout area) on the book, and check off whether it was used by a student or tutor 
  • Return the book to the returns drawer (instead of re-shelving it)
There is signage near the returns drawer to remind folks to do this. If you could please follow this procedure, it would be much appreciated!  We will collect this book data through March 14 (the last day of winter term at Literacy Source). 

2) How users (including tutors and instructors) use and perceive the reader collection

The group is also conducting a user needs assessment to examine how users perceive and browse the books in our reader collection. They will send out a survey to all volunteers on February 20 to help them gauge how the collection is being used and what the potential future needs are. If you are working with students in any capacity - whether it be tutoring, instruction, or some other student support (or if you have in the past), it would be a great help if you could fill the survey out by March 7. The survey will be available digitally as well as physically in the library area. You can return physical copies to Marisa's desk. 

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda or Marisa. Thanks for your participation!
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience: Perspectives from KCCF
GED graduates from our most recent ceremony in November.
In addition to the on-site classes at our center in Lake City, we partner with Seattle Central College to offer GED tutoring at King County Correctional Facility and Maleng Regional Justice Center. One of the challenges in working with incarcerated individuals in these programs is understanding how to best support students who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Some examples of ACEs are emotional or physical abuse or neglect, abandonment, domestic violence, or having family members with an incarceration, mental health, or substance abuse background. These can increase the likelihood of individuals developing certain risk behaviors, diseases, or mental health issues.
How do we address these issues in our work at KCCF and MRJC, and how might we apply this in other contexts when working with individuals who have experienced ACEs or similar forms of trauma? By shifting the conversation and developing awareness and protective factors, we as educators can foster a supportive learning environment (yes, even in a jail!) that encourages resilience, or the ability to respond to an adverse event and emerge strengthened and more confident. Here are some approaches to consider:
  1. Understand that survivors of ACEs have been coming from a position where they are in survival mode (fight or flight mode), and not in cognitive mode, so be a stress detective (have awareness of your students' baselines). Shift the conversation from "What is wrong with this person?" to "What has this person been through?" and "What can I do for you today?" At the same time, it's important to adopt a mindset of cultural humility by never assuming anything about an individual and honoring the strengths and expertise they bring from their own lived experience.
  2. Build a relationship so students feel like they have a voice. Give them a safe space so they can move into the mindset that allows them to engage in upper level thinking. Encourage and allow them opportunities for problem solving, self-regulation, optimism, mindfulness, and relationship building.
  3. Build protective factors into the relationship:
    • Expectations: Communicate expectations about opportunities for students to think for themselves and begin problem solving.
    • Community Participation: Get students to buy into the education process and community projects.
    • Healthy Communication: Help students understand that we may get frustrated by learning new things. Work with them on ways to respond - not react - to frustrations.
    • Recognize Triggers and learn slowly how to communicate that frustration properly.
The good news is that through developing these protective factors, students are not evading these adverse events, but are instead coping and becoming even stronger. With increased awareness of brain science and resilience becoming part of the community conversation, we will hopefully continue to move in the direction of embedding ACE/resiliency awareness and principles into teaching practices. If you have any questions, contact Liz Wurster, who coordinates our tutoring programs at KCCF and MRJC.
Take Action for Adult Education!
As preparations for the 2020 funding cycle are underway, we need to encourage our members of Congress to make adult education a priority for funding. The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) has made it very easy to send a letter of support or make a phone call to make your voice heard. Take action today to let your legislators know that Adult Education is important!
Celebrating a Year of Service
We'd like to take a moment to recognize Anne Bagdon, Heather Zamudio, Karen Erikson, Liz Sims, Lori King, and Susan Monas for reaching one year of service at Literacy Source. Thank you so much for your hard work and commitment! 
Community Event Calendar 
Our community event calendar highlights some of the events happening in the greater Seattle area that pertain to social justice, diversity, and equity. If you know of any other events to share with the Literacy Source community, please let us know!   

Friday, Feb. 22
Saturday, Feb. 23
Tuesday, Feb. 26
Saturday, Apr. 20
5th Annual Equity and Inclusion Conference

UW Bothell
9 am-2 pm
More information here.
Under Our Skin:  Seattle Times Project Conversations About Race

Shoreline City Hall Council Chamber
2-3:30 pm
More information here.
Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network Rapid Response Trainings

Morning Session:  
Shoreline Center
9:15-11:15 am  
More information here.
Evening Session:
Shorewood High  
6-8 pm  
More information here.
North Puget Sound Conference on Race

Everett Community College
8:30 am-3 pm
More information here.

Ongoing Programming
UW Black History Month Events
University of Washington campuses
Events throughout February

More information here. 
Seattle Asian American Film Festival
Various Locations
February 21-24

More information here.
Sanctuary: Design for Belonging
Center for Architecture and Design
On view through February 23

More information here.
Living the Dream, Dreaming the Life (Edwin Pratt)
Shoreline City Hall
On view through April 26

More information here.
Staff Reads
Staff Reads features   books that Literacy Source staff are currently reading or would recommend. Read along with us and let us know what you think!

Staff: Kody Janney
Staff: Heather Zamudio
Staff: Jennie Snow
Staff: Sarah Olson
Staff: Cat Howell

Staff: Lauren Plitkins
Current Volunteer Needs and Upcoming Trainings
One-on-One Tutors
Daytime and evening tutors needed for ESOL, reading, writing, math, GED prep, and citizenship
2 x 1.5 hrs per week (6 month commitment, flexible times)

Student Assessment Proctors 
2-5 hr shifts every 7-10 weeks (daytime or evening)

Sight Words and Phonics Testers
1-3 hr shifts, 2 times every 7-10 weeks (daytime or evening)

Fundraising Help
Our Annual Breakfast Fundraiser is 3 months away and we need help planning! 

Interpreters and Translators
As needed basis (1-3 hrs each time)
Languages needed: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, Somali, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese
Outreach Helpers
As needed basis. Mulit-lingual a plus!

Training and ongoing support provided for all positions. For more information, please visit our website or contact Caroline.
Upcoming Trainings:

Literacy Foundations: Strategies for Teaching Reading & Writing

Friday, February 15
9 am-1 pm
Location: Literacy Source

Register here.

Beginning Literacy

Saturday, March 2
9 am-1 pm
Location: Literacy Source

Register here.

Tutor Orientation Training

Saturday, March 9
9 am-12 pm
Location: Literacy Source

Register here.

Citizenship Toolkit

Tuesday, March 19
5-7:30 pm
Location: Literacy Source

Register here.

Saturday, May 4
9 am-1 pm

Keynote (9-10 am): Navigating the New Immigration Landscape
Session 1 (10:15-11:45 am): ESOL Teaching Techniques
Session 2 (Noon-1:30 pm): Working with Adult Learners

Registration available soon. Please save the date!

*Icons made by  Iconpond from
New Volunteer Orientation
Please help us spread the word!

Our upcoming New Volunteer Orientation will be on Wednesday, March 6at Literacy Source. Sessions will take place at 1 and 7 pm. 

Individuals can  register online here !
Important Dates and Center Closures
Literacy Source is open:

Mon and Wed, 8:30 am-8:30 pm
Tues and Thurs, 8:30 am-7:30 pm
Fridays, appointment only

Upcoming important dates and office closures:

February 18: Center closed for President's Day
March 11-14: Last week of winter classes
March 18-21: No classes, tutoring only and center open for New Student Registration 
March 25-28: First week of spring classes

Miss any of our past volunteer newsletters? Check out our last one here for 
additional tips and resources. You can also access the newsletters at the bottom 
of the  Volunteer Resources page of our website.
Literacy Source is on the traditional lands of the Duwamish people, 
and we pay our respect to elders both past and present.

Literacy Source recognizes the inherent dignity, equality, and value of every person and strives to create and maintain a learning community that is respectful and welcoming. To foster and maintain a safe and inclusive community of respect, openness, understanding, and civility, it is crucial that students, volunteers, and staff are aware of their rights and options when confronting a discriminatory or bias-related incident. To read more, click here.