PLS Literacy eNewsletter - December 2012

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PLS Literacy Newsletter


"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." - Mark Twain

Dear Visitor,

Happy National Fruitcake Month!

This leads to the question: Where did the tradition of holiday fruitcake come from? And how did it become such an inside joke?

According to the TLC website the ancient Egyptians placed an early version of the fruitcake on the tombs of loved ones. But it wasn’t until Roman times, when cakes of pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and barley mash were made into ring-shaped desserts, that fruitcakes became common. Roman soldiers often brought fruitcake with them to the battlefields.

Sixteenth century fruitcakes contained cups of sugar, and fruits from the Mediterranean were candied and added to the mixture. In the Victorian era alcohol was added to the recipe. By the early 18th century fruitcake was equated with decadence and outlawed in parts of Europe.

In recent years fruitcake has remained a popular item to send to soldiers. One American soldier claims he forgot about his and discovered it forty years later in his attic. Mail-order fruit cakes in America began in 1913. Maybe because of the festive look they have devolved into a holiday tradition.

According to Wikipedia it was Johnny Carson who started the trend of ridiculing the cake. He would joke that there really is only one fruitcake in the world, passed from family to family.

December 27 is National Fruitcake Day and December is National Fruitcake month.

Tip of the Month: Reading for Speaking

For students to begin to absorb the sound system and intonation of our language, be sure to read to them at each session. Ask them to bring something to the lesson to use for this activity. Afterwards, discuss what was read. Reading helps them with speaking the language with the right tempo. - Evelyn Renner: Tutor Survival Kit, 2002


It's Party time at PLS Literacy

Please join us for one or all of the parties we are hosting in December. All tutors, students, volunteers and families are invited and encouraged to attend:

Cleveland County Literacy Program
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Time: 5:30-8 p.m.
Location: Norman Public Library Lowry Room

Once again the Altrusa Club of Norman is hosting this holiday party filled with food, crafts and singing.

New Readers Book Club Holiday Party
Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library Conference Room

Tutor Cafe Holiday Party
Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library Conference Room

McClain County Classes

English as Second Language
Date: December 3, 6, 13, 17
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library

GED Class
Date: December 4, 12, 19
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library

Citizenship Class
Date: Monday, December 3
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library


Pottawattomie County Classes

Saturday Morning Math
Date: December 1,8,15
Time: 9-10 a.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library Conference Room

Saturday Morning Math is continuing through December. Register online or call the literacy office at 273-3334 to reserve a space.


Stressed Out? Try this Soothing Drink

Candy Cane Cocoa
4 cups milk
3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 peppermint candy canes, crushed
4 small peppermint candy canes

In a saucepan, heat milk until hot but not boiling. Whisk in the chocolate and the crushed peppermint candies until melted and smooth. Pour hot cocoa into four mugs and garnish with whipped cream. Serve each with a candy cane stirring stick.

A Note of Thanks

From all of us at PLS Literacy we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our tutors, students and volunteers who make this program such a success. We couldn’t do it without you.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!


As always, don't forget to report your tutoring hours for the month. You may report your volunteer hours online, call 701-2682 or email us at

Not interested any more?