News & Events

The Winnebago County Literacy Council’s annual spelling bee fundraiser, Spellbound for Literacy, a Grown-up Spelling Bee!

You’re invited to a fun and exciting night of team competition-an adult spelling bee!

It is team spelling so no individual pressure and it’s tons of fun! There is something for everyone! Wine Wall, Chocolate Wall, Basket Raffles (including Packers tickets), 50/50, and gift card raffle. Guests also enjoy plenty of delicious hors d’ oeuvres and a cash bar.

When: Thursday, April 4, 2019

Where: LaSure’s Banquet Hall from 5:00pm-8:00pm.

There are many ways to participate in Spellbound for Literacy

  • Sponsor a table
  • Player-gather your friends and family
  • Donate (gift baskets, bottles of wine, gift cards or gift certificates.)  No gift is too big or small. Contact Tom Perry at


If you cannot attend, but would like to donate, THANK YOU!!


For more information or to reserve a spot today, please visit Winnebago County Literacy Council online at, our Facebook page or contact:

Tom Perry, Executive Director




    Understanding the trends of individual Wikipedia pages

    One of the interesting thing that has been observed from the past few years for many different pages were the declining page views for the Wikipedia even for the number of popular pages.

    Understanding the page views mechanism on Wikipedia

    The foremost thing one should keep in mind is what the page views regard and what doesn’t. These page views are obtained by the Wikimedia foundation analytics team that is processed by raw user activity logs however, the page count mechanism is flawed in two ways;

    It only gets recognition of the page view on the main wikipedia website and not the page views on the websites that are operated with the smartphones

    In September 2014 as an active solution considering the above difficulty, a new tips named as page counts-all-sites was established. Since we had no record for the visits done by cellphones or of wikipedia zero at the scale of separable pages prior to it.

    Another question was of the page views made by the bots. The as per the research estimated 15% of the page views are done by bots. Though the percentage for it is relatively higher for the individual pages with the overall page views this is due to bots have the least crawling rate. Which means every page might have at least thrice bot crawls every other day, leading to a least 90 automated page views either there are a handful of human views

    Hence the trends refer to the trends in total page views for the main pages of Wikipedia websites inclusive of the pages requested by the bots however still exclusive of the visits made by mobile domains. Though the visits from the mobile devices to the main sites will be included however, the mobile devices are by default transmitted to the mobile site

    The reliability of the metrics

    From the above the counted states are somewhat unreliable due to the bot problem and the issue of only noting the traffic that is non mobile. As per the German Wikipedia experts 40% of the traffic in most cases is generated by the bots.

    Considering the trends for individual Wikipedia pages

    As far as we observe the behavior of the Wikipedia consultant and contributors is the indicator of what they are interested in learning about. The analysis of the trends in the views of pages can bring forth a crucial point that how keen are the individuals and how they satisfy their curiosity, and its evolving. Well, doing the sort of analysis for the individual pages all is needed is an account, and control for the prevailing trends in the views of wiki pages that have happened for a reason, despite than a change in individuals inherent interest in the subject

    Or in other case we may falsely conclude from the page view decline that a topic might be falling in popularity, whereas in reality what is actually happening is the overall shift in the usage of wikipedia to mobile versions

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    Refugee Simulation Workshop

    We are proud to announce our upcoming REFUGEE SIMULATION workshop, in collaboration with Dr. Fonkem Achankeng, a professor in the Human Services Leadership program at UW Oshkosh. He has a wealth of experience in this field; not least among his associations, he is connected to the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and a contributor to the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and Safeworld. Please join us!

    At the Refugee Simulation workshop, attendees will learn about refugees, how they come to the U.S., the choices they make, and the struggles they endure to reach our shores. During the workshop, each participant will take on the identity of a particular migrant, and leave with a better understanding of what our refugees have gone through.

    When: Saturday, September 22 from 2:30 PM-4:30 PM

    Where: Oshkosh Public Library – Lower Level-Children’s Area-Room A/B)

    Please contact Dana Koch, or 920-379-2611 if you want to sign up for this rare and enlightening workshop.

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    Spellbound for Literacy Recap

    What a fun, entertaining spelling bee night it was!

    Award: Most donations raised prior to the event - "Wisconsin Street Irregulars"

    We congratulate "Stadium Spellarz" on their victory in our 2018 Spellbound for Literacy!!!

    Award: Best Creative Costume - "Sing One and Two"

    Award: Outstanding Team Spirit - "Spellebrities"

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    Success Story: Lisa and Achini

    The following success story was written by tutor and volunteer, Lisa Ann King Gehrke:

              Lisa and her learner, Achini

    I want to share something wonderful, and positive, and heart-warming that I have been doing the last few months! I have been teaching English to this wonderful woman, Achini. I am her tutor and she is my learner, (through our local literacy council ). But mainly, she has become my friend.   She is an immigrant from Sri Lanka. When I started working with her last January, she was very shy and her English skills were very rudimentary. I meet with her weekly, and she is very smart and works hard and has learned so fast, the difference a few months has made is amazing. Yesterday, she was able to tell me about how, and why, she and her husband and 3 young daughters left their family and homeland to come to this country. It was for the much greater education opportunities for their daughters, and they earned green cards through a lottery system. Their native language is Sinhalese, which has a different script and alphabet than English, and they are Buddhist. She was telling me about how they celebrate the full moon each month. Their country has a Christian population and her family observes Christmas, (her daughters like the tree and the lights), but she thinks our Thanksgiving is kind of strange, LOL. Achini is a wonderful cook and we often talk about food, and the other photo is a wonderful, spicy dinner she made for us recently.

    It has been a gift to me to spend time with a person from another part of the world who is a woman, wife and mother, just like me.

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    2018 Volunteer Orientation






    The Winnebago County Literacy Council (WCLC) is seeking volunteer tutors to help with a growing list of adult and adolescent learners who want to improve their literacy skills. We currently have many learners who are eager to begin receiving English language support. The tutoring time commitment is a minimum of one hour, once a week.

    If you would like to help, plan on attending an upcoming volunteer orientation to learn more about how you can help our learners. Below are the following days and times for our remaining 2018 Volunteer Orientations:

    • Friday, June 8th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
    • Tuesday, July 10th, 5:00-7:00 PM
    • Friday, August 10th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
    • Tuesday, September 11th, 5:00-7:00 PM
    • Friday, October 12th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
    • Tuesday, November 13th, 5:00-7:00 PM
    • Friday, December 7th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

    Orientations will include information about the WCLC, as well as training to understand the different types of learners, tutoring basics, and cultural considerations. These points of discussion prepare tutors to be learner-centered and matched with a learner quickly. Orientations takes place on the third floor of the Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Avenue, Oshkosh, WI 54901. To register, call 920.236.5219 ext. 4802, or contact Angie Fralish at We look forward to hearing from you!

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    Tutoring Opportunity: Boys and Girls Club Members

    Thanks to our wonderful partnership with the Boys and Girls Club (BGC), the WCLC has the opportunity to offer one-to-one tutoring to some of their middle school and high school attendees. We are eagerly searching for volunteers who are interested in this exciting opportunity to become a positive role model in these children/teens’ lives! This is an opportunity for both new and returning volunteers. Please see the following from our Education Coordinator, Julia Frascona:

    “I have been interviewing the BGC kids so we can make the perfect tutor match.  What I am learning about these young lives is sobering at best. It seems that all the girls want female tutors and the boys want males.  All the kids are adorable.

    Tutoring high school and middle school learners is all about making a connection and finding positive ways to experience the printed word. No worries! You will not tutor in algebra or chemistry. You might help with organization or showing your learner how to use the library for a research project. We focus on the primary interests of the learners and help them discover more about those interests using the printed word.

    We require a one hour workshop about working with adolescents prior to the first session with your learner. BGC tutoring takes place at the library. Each session is one hour any weekday after school. The day and time are determined by you, BGC, and the learner’s after school schedule.

    If you would like to be a part of this wonderful opportunity, or at least learn more about what it entails, please contact Julia at (920) 236-5219 ext. 4830 or at

    Tutoring Opportunity: Boys and Girls Club Members | Winnebago County Literacy Council

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    Success Story: David and Wayne

    David and Wayne play games to build Wayne's reading and writing skills. Recently when they met together they played Brain Quest. David says Wayne has an endless supply of jokes, facts, and stories. “He teaches me more than I teach him,” David said.

    Wayne enjoys science. Books about science are his favorite. Outside reading, Wayne likes shows about aliens.

    David works with Wayne one day at a time. They focus on what is going on in his life and what he may need assistance with. For example, David has taught Wayne how to pay his bills. Now Wayne can do it on his own. Both men have diabetes so their time is a great opportunity to read labels together, too.

    “Wayne is doing very well!” David said.

    Success Story: David and Wayne | Winnebago County Literacy Council

    David and Wayne before they played Brain Quest at their weekly tutoring time.

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    Success Story: Andrew and Tony

    Andrew and Tony have been meeting together for about a year and a half. Andrew has seen improvement in Tony since they first started. Tony’s biggest goal is to be able to read to his 3-year old daughter, so Andrew and Tony are working on phonics, spelling, and words.

    Andrew says being a tutor is very rewarding. He gets to give back and learns a lot about the English language as he tutors Tony. Andrew would like to see Tony become more proficient to get an even better job someday. Tony is doing very well being as a host at his family’s restaurant. Andrew said he believes Tony’s confidence has greatly improved over time.

    Success Story: Andrew and Tony | Winnebago County Literacy Council

    Andrew with his learner, Tony, right before their weekly tutoring time together.

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    Success Story: Gary and David

    Gary has been a learner at the WCLC for over 10 years. This summer he is signed up for the summer reading program at the library. He loves to read about animals.

    Gary works on his reading and math skills with David; he has his own math books and he learned how to use a calculator. David said that in the past year Gary has done very well on his reading and phonics, and he likes to keep Gary up to date and keep him practicing. Gary loves to read on his own and knows that practice is the best way to continue to learn.

    Right now Gary works at Lakeside Packaging but wants a new job soon. His goal would be to work in a zoo because he loves animals. David and Gary have gone on field trips together to the zoo.

    Success Story: Gary and David | Winnebago County Literacy Council

    Gary and his tutor, David, reading through a new book on big cats.

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    New Study Examines Economic Benefits of Refugees

    "While refugees receive initial assistance upon arriving...they see particularly sharp income increases in subsequent years." – NAE   (Photo credit: Winnebago County Literacy Council)

    When conversation about refugees begins, it generally centers on safety and security. Less talked about – and just as, if not more important – are the benefits refugees bring to American communities, especially in terms of local economies. A June 2017 report by New American Economy examines exactly that.

    On its website, New American Economy notes that it “brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic, and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today.” New American Economy members include the mayors of more than 35 million people and leaders of companies that “generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech and Media to Manufacturing.”

    According to New American Economy, more than 3.4 million refugees have made the United States home since 1975. They pay taxes, purchase new homes, and even found businesses that create jobs. The 2017 report highlights multiple cities that owe some positive growth to refugee and immigrant communities: Bosnians in St. Louis, Somalis in Minneapolis, work-seeking refugees in Louisville who reinvigorated a slumping manufacturing economy.

    New American Economy’s report, “From Struggle to Resilience,” is available here: Although the prevailing idea about refugees is how much they may cost to bring in, just a few minutes spent skimming the infographics and statistics, and it’s easy to see how refugees don’t strain local economies across the United States. Rather, refugees help sustain them.

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