Total Volunteer Hours in October
Volunteer Hours in 2018-19 School Year
Hello volunteers! We hope classes are going well for everyone and that you are looking forward to the long holiday weekend. This month, we are busy promoting our 15th Annual Stay at Home Tea. Each year we mail out cards, tea bags, and donation envelopes, inviting individuals to sit back, relax, drink some tea, and donate to Literacy Source. If you haven't yet received yours, we have a stack of donation envelopes sitting on a table in the front near our waiting area. Please consider taking some to send and distribute among your friends and family, or share this online invitation. Our goal this year is to raise $50K. This fundraiser also serves as a great way to introduce others to Literacy Source if they haven't heard of us before. If you have any questions, please email Anshika.

This Monday and Tuesday we also held focus groups during classes to gather student feedback about our current and potential programming, and to invite students to present their own ideas for us as a center. Thank you to all volunteers who served as interpreters, facilitators, or in general support roles, and to our students who actively engaged in the discussions. We're excited to compile our notes and share them in December. 

We wish everyone an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. As always, thank you so much for all that you do here at Literacy Source. We are thankful for you!
IMPORTANT! Public Charge and Citizenship Comment Deadlines Approaching
 Photo courtesy of Children's Alliance.
Citizenship May Get Harder

The U.S. citizenship application costs each applicant $725, a steep barrier for many immigrants. Fortunately, it is possible to have the fee waived for people with financial hardship (Literacy Source helps most of our clients to have this fee waived). Currently, USCIS accepts proof of the receipt of a public benefit as evidence of low income. 

USCIS is trying to implement a policy change which would eliminate public benefits as a way to demonstrate financial hardship. Instead, USCIS has proposed that applicants use tax returns. The problem with tax returns is that people with very low-income are not required to file taxes. Without a tax return, it will be nearly impossible for many permanent residents to apply for citizenship.

Probably close to 90% of our students or clients who apply for citizenship through Literacy Source will be affected by this proposal which will remove pubic benefits as a way to prove low income status for the application fee waiver. Please consider expressing your concern with the new proposal before the deadline on  November 27th  here.

Public Charge Proposal

Additionally, the Trump Administration has released proposed changes to federal immigration rules that, if approved, will impact the ability of immigrant families with legal status to access community safety net programs without putting their future in jeopardy. The new proposed rule could force millions of poor immigrants who turn to public assistance for food, shelter, or 
healthcare in times of need to choose between accepting help and seeking a green card to live and work legally in the United States.

Learn more and add your voice  - public comments about the public charge proposal are being accepted until December 10th. NOW is the time to speak out
Political Organizing Panel at Literacy Source: Monday, November 26
Lake City Collective's Wish Tree project, where community members write their hopes for Lake City. (Photo by Lake City Collective)
We are excited to be organizing a panel during our evening classes this coming Monday, November 26, from 6:30-8 pm. Our ABE 4/5 and ESOL 2/3 classes will attend during class, but other students or volunteers are more than welcome to join. The topic of this event is on political organizing in Lake City, and will take place in the Mennonite Church meeting room right next to Literacy Source.
Our guest speakers will be Cesar Garcia of Lake City Collective, and Mark Mendez of Lake City Teen Mural Project, both of whom are doing interesting work in Lake City to build community and create more opportunities for residents. The intent of the evening is to talk about real and meaningful ways of engaging with community and local politics, especially when it means having to navigate or circumvent traditional institutions that exclude people of color and those of non-dominant culture. Feel free to join us for what should be a really great discussion!

If you'd like to learn more about Lake City Collective or make a donation to them, click here, or check out their facebook page. They are also organizing an upcoming Lucha Libre event at the Lake City Community Center on December 8 at 5:50 pm - feel free to spread the word, or come enjoy the event yourself!
Reminder: Literacy Source Gift Policy
As the holidays are drawing fast upon us, we want to take a moment to re-visit our gift policy here at Literacy Source. We appreciate that gift giving is a lovely way to wish your student/s a happy holiday, but please remember that it can put students in an awkward position if they are not able to reciprocate. We ask that you use your best judgement, refrain from giving gifts that cost money, and maybe think about giving something homemade - cookies are always a good bet!

Policy from our Volunteer Partnership Agreement:
Gifts and Donations: giving and receiving gifts, or doing special favors, can obscure the line between a tutoring or teaching relationship and a personal one. Also, some students may feel that they can't reciprocate, so please use good judgement. A small gift (for example, something less than $10 in value) can be a symbol of respect in some cultures, and can be accepted with courtesy. It is not acceptable for you to give gifts of money or valuable items to your student - if you want to give something, please make it a homemade gift instead. Your time spent volunteering is a gift in and of itself. 
New Citizen Spotlight
Literacy Source student Alem Wondayehu shortly after achieving her citizenship!
12 Literacy Source students or clients gained citizenship this October! Congratulations to everyone, including Alem Wondayehu (pictured above). Alem and others enjoyed an informal celebration in the sun room with dessert shortly after this photo was taken. Congrats, all!
Congratulations to LS Volunteer Lia Preftes!
Congratulations to Literacy Source volunteer Lia Preftes for winning the Washington Association for the Education for Speakers of Other Languages (WAESOL) Sally Wellman Volunteer Award! Lia volunteers in our morning Citizenship class, and was nominated by her colleagues at Cascadia College for her volunteer work there and with us. This award recognizes Lia for her hard work and dedication to the TESOL field, and is  co-sponsored by WAESOL and Dr. LaVona Reeves of Eastern Washington University. Click  here  to learn more about Sally Wellman and her contributions to the field.

Citizenship Instructor Heather Zamudio has this to say about Lia: "Lia is an amazing instructor. She has the ability to make any difficult concept click with our students. Above all, her presence is like a ray of sunshine. We are so lucky to have her. "

Thank you, Lia, for your time and dedication to working with adult learners in our community!
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: Caroline Socha
Staff: Cat Howell 
Staff: Sarah McCormick

Staff: Sarah Olson
Staff: Heather Zamudio

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)

One-on-One Reading Tutors
Daytime or evening, 1 x 1.5 hrs per week
(1 term 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 6 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:

Tutor Orientation Training

Friday, December 7 
9 am-12 pm
Location: Literacy Source
Register here.
*Icons made by  Icon Pond  from  
New Volunteer Orientation
Please help us spread the word!

Our upcoming New Volunteer Orientation will be on Wednesday, December 5, at Literacy 
Source. Sessions will take place at 1 and 7 pm.  
Please note: Our January orientation will take place on January 9, to avoid potential conflicts with the holiday - it will resume to being on the first Wednesday of every month for the rest of the year after that.

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

Mon and Wed, 8:30 am-8:30 pm
Tue and Thu, 8:30 am-7:30 pm
Fridays, appointment only

Upcoming important dates and office closures:

November 21: Center closes early at 5 pm (no evening classes)
November 22: Center closed for Thanksgiving
December 24-January 3: Center closed for the holidays
January 7-10: No classes, tutoring only and center open for New Student Registration
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.