The Blog

Upcoming Training Available for New Tutors

The Portage County Literacy Council (PCLC) is looking for additional volunteers to tutor adults in our community and is excited to announce an upcoming training opportunity with Wisconsin Literacy.

Wisconsin Literacy will present an English Forward training on Friday, Nov. 30, 5pm-9pm, and Saturday, December 1, 9pm-5pm, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2000 Roosevelt Drive, Plover. The training includes how to use the English Forward framework and extensive, hands-on practice of teaching strategies for working with immigrants and refugees who are learning English.

The English Forward training is free for new and ongoing tutors with the Portage County Literacy Council, which is a member of Wisconsin Literacy. Learners choose to come to PCLC for services and are motivated to learn. Tutors are matched with learners and meet one-on-one on a weekly basis to provide individualized assistance based on the learners’ language level and life goals. This helps adults achieve more at work, with family, and in their everyday lives. Common learner goals include improving English to understand more at work, read to their child, apply for citizenship, or participate in the community.

Steve Faber has been a tutor for over a year. He helps his learner improve his English for work and in social situations. “Going in, I knew I would like it, but now I look forward to it.” said Faber. “Our relationship…it’s a friendship.” Steve enjoys the challenge and personal growth of tutoring. “I know this is not something I have to do by myself. [PCLC] provide training, materials and a chance to meet other tutors at roundtables.”

If you are interested in becoming a PCLC tutor and attending this training, please contact PCLC at 715-345-5341 or director@pocolit.org for an application and orientation.

Literacy Can’t Wait: Tutors Needed for Adults in Portage County

The Portage County Literacy Council (PCLC) is looking for additional volunteers to tutor adults in our community. PCLC and other Wisconsin Literacy members are working together for Literacy Can’t Wait, a volunteer tutor recruitment drive that encourages local residents to change lives through literacy. Approximately 1.5 million residents statewide are in need of literacy support. Literacy Can’t Wait, supported by Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Family Dreams Foundation, Vernon Library Supplies, and WEA Trust, will recruit, train, and match new volunteer tutors with adults seeking much-needed literacy service.

The PCLC helps adults achieve more at work, with family, and in their everyday lives. With the help of trained volunteer tutors, adults improve their reading, writing, and math skills. Immigrants and refugees learn English and civics information. New tutors help learners achieve their goals. Tutors help parents gain the confidence to be more involved in their children’s education. They offer basic skills to help adults get better jobs through improved computer and math skills, along with basic literacy services. Some learners want to get a GED or become a citizen. Time spent tutoring impacts the adult learner’s entire family, including their success at work, their children’s success in school, and their ability to positively engage in their community.

Tutors meet one-on-one with their learners on a weekly basis, typically 2-4 hours/week, and provide individualized assistance based on the learners’ language level and life goals. Julie Marie has been tutoring twice a week since last fall. She and her learner work on reading and writing, with an emphasis on helping the learner understand more at work. “It’s very rewarding,” she said. “I like working one-on-one with someone and it’s a way for me to continue to learn myself.”

PCLC and Wisconsin Literacy provide tutor trainings, materials, and ongoing support. “Our learners choose to come to us for services and have a lot to offer our community,” said Kristy SeBlonka, PCLC director. “They really appreciate the time our volunteers take to help them reach their goals.”

Wisconsin residents in Portage County need literacy services. Become part of the solution by signing up to be a volunteer tutor today. Contact PCLC at 715-345-5341 or director@pocolit.org for an application and orientation in July and August. The group portions of the next new tutor training will start in early September.

Those who cannot tutor can still make a difference. Donations in support of adult literacy can be sent to PCLC at 1209 Fremont Street, 209 Nelson Hall, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Learn more at www.pocolit.org.

Sign up a team for Words & Friends for Literacy 2018!

 

The Portage County Literacy Council’s annual fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 6:00 PM at Memories Banquet Hall, 2811 Plover Springs Drive, Plover, Wis. Community members, students, businesses, and other organizations are invited to sign up their teams now. No experience necessary!

Words & Friends for Literacy is a high-energy and fun event. Teams of four participants play a collaborative game of Scrabble®. The teams pool their letters to make as many words as possible during three timed rounds. The team with the highest score is declared the winner.

Teams work together to raise at least $100 for adult literacy programs, and enjoy a fun night out, catered meal, and great door prizes. A cash bar is also available. Teams should register by April 19 by calling 715-345-5341 or signing up online at http://pocolit.org/fundraiser/.

Proceeds from the event support PCLC’s programs, which include one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction for adults. “By participating in PCLC’s programs, adults can build their skills and achieve their goals,”  said Kristy SeBlonka, PCLC Director. “Our learners want to get better jobs, read to their children, understand health information, and so much more so they can support themselves and their families.” PCLC serves adults who want to improve their reading, writing, and/or math skills, along with immigrants and refugees who want to learn English.

This year’s event sponsors include Worzalla, a full-service printing and binding company based in Stevens Point, and Worldbuilders, a nonprofit that funds education, opportunity, and sustainable self-sufficiency for families and communities worldwide. Triple word sponsors include the Sentry Insurance Foundation, Associated Bank’s Central Wisconsin Cultural Awareness Network, and Marshfield Clinic Health System, including Marshfield Clinic and Security Health Plan. A full list sponsors can be found on the event website.

For more information about the event, call 715-345-5341 or email director@pocolit.org. Donations can be sent to PCLC at 1209 Fremont Street, 209 Nelson Hall, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

Sign up now to become an adult literacy tutor!

The Portage County Literacy Council (PCLC) is looking for additional volunteers to tutor adults in our community. The program has learners on the waiting list, and tutors are needed to work with adults in our community.

Tutors meet one-on-one with their learners on a weekly basis, typically 2-4 hours/week, and provide individualized assistance based on the learners’ situation and goals. We work with immigrants and refugees who are working to improve their ability to communicate in English. We also work with fluent English speakers that want to improve their reading, writing, or math skills.

Community members interested in becoming tutors should contact the PCLC at 715-345-5341 or director@pocolit.org for an application and orientation. Teaching experience is not required, just a desire to share the basic skills that are so important for adults to have a good quality of life and help their families.

Sign up Teams Now for Words & Friends for Literacy

The Portage County Literacy Council’s annual fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 27 at 6:00 PM at Memories Banquet Hall, 2811 Plover Springs Drive, Plover, Wis. Community members, students, businesses, and other organizations are invited to sign up their teams now. No experience necessary!

Words & Friends for Literacy is a high-energy and fun event. Teams of four participants play a collaborative game of Scrabble®. The teams pool their letters to make as many words as possible during three timed rounds. The team with the highest score is declared the winner. Teams raise at least $100 for adult literacy programs, and enjoy a fun night out, catered meal, and door prizes. A 50/50 raffle and cash bar are also available. Teams are encouraged to register now by calling 715-345-5341 or signing up online at pocolit.org/fundraiser/.

Proceeds from the event support PCLC programs. The event sponsor is Worzalla, a state-of-the-art, full-service printing and binding company in Stevens Point, Wis. The triple word sponsor is Sentry Insurance. A full list sponsors can be found on the event website. For more information about the event and the PCLC, call 715-345-5341 or email director@pocolit.org.

 

Literacy Tutors Needed for Adults in Portage County

The Portage County Literacy Council (PCLC) is looking for additional volunteers to tutor adults in our community. The program has learners on the waiting list, and tutors are needed to work with English language learners and adult basic education learners. “Community members looking for a fulfilling volunteer experience should consider becoming a tutor,” said Kristy SeBlonka, PCLC director. “Literacy impacts every aspect of our learners’ lives.”

Tutors meet one-on-one with their learners on a weekly basis, typically 1-3 hours/week, and provide individualized assistance based on the learners’ situation and goals. English language learners are working to improve their ability to communicate in English, and in many cases are immigrants or refugees. Adult basic education learners are typically native English speakers that want to improve their reading or writing skills. They may have dyslexia or another learning difference.

Lisa Krenz recently became a new tutor in Portage County. A recent University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate, Krenz wanted to volunteer in order to stay active in the community. She meets weekly with a Spanish-speaking gentleman who works in the agricultural industry and wants to improve his English in order to understand his boss better. “Becoming a tutor will make a positive impact on someone else’s life,” she said. “Working with these adults also teaches you things about yourself.”

Community members interested in becoming tutors should contact the PCLC at 715-345-5341 or pocolit2013@gmail.com for an application and orientation. Teaching experience is not required, just a desire to share the basic skills that are so important for adults to have a good quality of life and help their families.

After completing an orientation, new volunteers will attend a tutor training. The next tutor training for working with English language learners will be on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. It will be presented by Deb Aeby, who has more than 25 years of experience working with English language learners. The next tutor training for working with adult basic education learners will be held over two Saturdays, February 6 and 13. This training will be presented by Anne Schauman, the director for the Alternative Center for Education, who has 20 years of experience working with learners with learning differences.

 

Free Educational Program Helps Hmong Residents Better Understand Medication

Wisconsin Health Literacy, with the assistance of a grant from Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., is presenting a series of educational programs entitled Let’s Talk About Medicines around the state in July and August to help adults better understand medication.

At 6pm on Monday, August 31, Wisconsin Health Literacy will be holding a Let’s Talk About Medicines presentation in partnership with the Portage County Literacy Council and CAP Services’ Hmong UPLIFT program. The program will be held in the Stevens Point Area YMCA Conference Room. Sally Topinka, a retired nurse and trained presenter, will present the program. Hmong interpretation will be provided by CAP Services. To register to attend call 715-345-5341 (English) or 715-343-7139 (Hmong).

“A lot of people take different kinds of medication each and every day. But many of us don’t have a good understanding of when and how these medicines should be taken. And how they might react to other medications we’re taking,” said Kari LaScala, with Wisconsin Health Literacy. “These programs offer practical, useful information about prescription medicine.”

Let’s Talk About Medicines fosters more effective use of medications, thus avoiding extended illnesses, adverse drug events and costly hospital or clinic visits related to use of medication.

The programs feature plain, easy-to-understand language about such topics as:
• The main parts of a medication label
• Types of containers and labels for solid and liquid medications
• Dosage instructions, and how to determine how much, how often and when to take medications
• How to read and interpret special instructions on the label
• Basic storage techniques and expiration dates
• Potential interaction between prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
• Strategies for remembering when to take your medications
• The importance of asking the pharmacist for clarification or follow-up questions.

Each workshop participant will receive a free pill box and workbook, plus the chance to enter into a cash prize drawing at the end of the program.