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Remaining 2017 Volunteer Orientation Times

Are you interested in volunteering with Winnebago County Literacy Council (WCLC)? If so, there are four remaining volunteer orientation times through the end of the year to learn more about how you can help our learners. We’re always in need of volunteer tutors to help learners one-on-one. Below are the following days and times for our “Volunteer Foundations” courses:

  • Tuesday, September 12th at 5:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, October 13th at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • November 14th at 5:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, December 8th at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

“Foundations” 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 Marisa Wegener at wegener@winlit.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Remaining 2017 Volunteer Orientation Times | 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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Fall 2017 Tutor Training Sessions

Fall 2017 Tutor Training Sessions } Winnebago County Literacy Council

If you are a tutor at the Winnebago County Literacy Council, or you’re not yet but would like to be, there will be three informational workshops that will be helpful as you continue to support your learner. Tutor Coordinator Dana Koch will lead the following fall sessions:

  • Workshop #1: Ways to Teach Reading Comprehension and Fluency

Monday, September 25, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

  • Workshop #2: Encouraging Oral Fluency for ELL

Monday, October 16, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

  • Workshop #3: Teaching Phonics for Spelling and Pronunciation

Thursday, November 9, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

In each workshop, we’ll practice effective teaching techniques, review a variety of learning activities, and discover ways to use our resources. There will also be time to socialize and discuss tutoring successes or issues. These workshops will be held in the classroom on the third floor of the Oshkosh Public Library.

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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: http://www.newamericaneconomy.org/research/from-struggle-to-resilience-the-economic-impact-of-refugees-in-america/. 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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Celebrating Refugees, By the Numbers

Winnebago County Literacy Council | Celebrating Refugees, By the Numbers

Today – Tuesday, June 20, 2017 – is World Refugee Day. Take a moment to consider the numbers behind the world refugee crisis. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

  • Each day, 28,300 people are forced to flee their home because of conflict and/or persecution.
  • Approximately 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced, worldwide.
  • There are 22.5 million refugees around the world.
  • Ten million are stateless.
  • Only 189,300 refugees were resettled in 2016.
  • Of all refugees, 16 percent are hosted in the US.

From Beirut to Belarus to the Vatican City, people around the world are coming together to celebrate and recognize refugees. Recognize is one thing; celebrate is another. Why celebrate? Because of the incredible endurance and fearlessness it takes to leave home, journey elsewhere, and begin again somewhere new.

What can you do to show your support for refugees right now?

  • Sign a petition like this one, Stand #With Refugees, then share it with your friends and family.
  • Join local initiatives that have a hand in assisting refugees. In Oshkosh, consider learning more about:
    • World Relief Fox Valley: According to a recent Northwestern article, World Relief Fox Valley has been hard at work since the late 1990s. The agency helps refugees with “finding work, setting up bank accounts, enrolling children in school, and assisting with legal services.”
    • Oshkosh Area United Way: United Way organizations work to increase health, education, and financial stability within the community, including newly resettled refugees.
    • And the Winnebago County Literacy Council (WCLC): Our work is rooted in helping language learners become self-sufficient and “realize his or her potential through literacy.”
  • Contact state legislators to let them know you care about refugees. See below for a complete list of phone numbers and mailing addresses for Wisconsin Congressional Representatives and Senators: Contact-Information-for-Wisc.-Congressional-Representatives-and-Senators.pdf
  • Simply hear some of the harrowing stories of what it takes to leave home for the unknown with PBS Frontline’s “Exodus”

The plight of refugees around the world impacts you, and us, right here at home in the Fox Valley. When refugees arrive, we are enriched. Refugees can contribute to the overall diversity of our communities as with new and different cultures, languages, and views. Unfortunately, in January and again in March, two executive orders were signed severely limiting refugee entries. In terms of economics, the Fox Valley counts as an industrial hub with an excess of manufacturing jobs into the future. Needed is a workforce ready and willing to fill those jobs.

Refugees are eager to learn and work hard. At the core of WCLC’s mission is opportunity creation “for people to read, write, and speak English, and perform everyday skills with confidence.” Today and every day, WCLC stands #WithRefugees.

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Summer 2017 Volunteer Orientation Times

Are you interested in volunteering with Winnebago County Literacy Council (WCLC)? If so, there are three upcoming volunteer orientation times through summer to learn more about how you can help our learners. We’re always in need of volunteer tutors to help learners one-on-one, too. Below are the following days and times for our “Volunteer Foundations” courses :

  • Friday, 23 June, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Tuesday, 11 July, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Friday, 11 August, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“Foundations” 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 Mylia Yang at yang@winlit.org or Bethany Lerch at lerch@winlit.org. We look forward to hearing from you!


Summer 2017 Volunteer Orientation Times | Winnebago County Literacy Council

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Summer Classes Begin June 13th

Winnebago County Literacy Council | Summer Classes 2017It’s not too late to register for Winnebago County Literacy Council (WCLC) English Language Learning (ELL) classes for Summer 2017.  WCLC provides different classes:

  • Family Literacy: Tuesdays, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Conversational English 1 Beginner: Thursdays, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Conversational English 2 Intermediate to Advanced: Wednesdays, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Homework Help for ELL & ABE learners at Fox Valley Technical College: Tuesdays, June 13 & 20, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

For more information about classes or how to enroll, please click here.

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Spellbound for Literacy 2017


Save the Date:  Spellbound for Literacy 2017

Date:  Thursday, April 6th, 2017
Time:  5pm – 8pm
Where:  LaSure’s Banquet Hall
3125 S. Washburn St.
Oshkosh, WI 54904

CLICK HERE to register for Spellbound for Literacy 2017

Spelling Bee Team Competition for Adults

Start forming your team today!
$240 per team up to 6 people (plus $40 each additional person up to 8 max. per team)
$40 for individual spectators ($45 at the door)
All fees are due by March 31, 2017

You will enjoy spirited team rivalry and:
• Delicious hors d’oeuvres
• Cash bar
• Raffles for spectacular gift baskets
• Purchase wines from around the world

For more information on registering a team or sponsoring this event, call 920-236-5185 or email hansen@winlit.org

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