PLS Literacy eNewsletter - January 2013

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PLS Literacy Newsletter


“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope... [it] is the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” - Kofi Annan

National Mentoring Month defines a mentor as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher; an influential senior sponsor or supporter.”  January is designated as National Mentoring Month but the origins of mentoring are often obscured.

Mentoring dates back to ancient Greek times. The original Mentor is a character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.  When Odysseus, King of Ithaca, went to fight in the Trojan War he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor, who also served as teacher and overseer of Telemachus, Odysseus’ son.

In modern times mentors can be seen in the business arena, social and community settings such as the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and in many educational settings including tutoring and literacy programs. A mentor helps the mentee to believe in himself and boost his confidence.  A mentor asks questions and challenges, while providing guidance and encouragement. 

The benefits of mentoring often effect everyone involved: mentees- exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences, mentors-satisfaction from imparting wisdom and experience to others, and the organization- enhancing the community at large. 

According to Business Finance Magazine (2000), employees who have had mentors earn between $5,610 and $22,450 more a year than employees who have not had mentors. 

Tip of the Month: Analyzing

Students learn a great deal from analyzing things.  It doesn’t have to be a very technical conversation, either. For example, a student can analyze the difference in tastes between a piece of candy and a lemon; or using pictures, the differences between a sports car and a van.

The analysis will depend on their level and fluency.  Lower level students can compare tastes, how things feel (smooth or rough), or pictures of things.  Higher level students can compare concepts or philosophies.

Encourage students to use graphic organizers (charts or graphs) to visually represent their analysis.  Even low level students can get a great deal from such visual activities.  For example, discuss differences in culture, food, clothing, or education using a chart to graph, and then analyze the similarities and differences.

Evelyn Renner: Tutor Survival Kit, 2002


Saturday Morning Math @ the Shawnee Library

Date: Saturdays – January 12, 19 and 26
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.


Shawnee Library Closed

The Shawnee Public Library is planning to close for the week of January 21.  As you may have noticed, there has been some remodeling. New furniture will be received and installed the week of January 21-26. 

McClain County Classes

English as a Second Language Class
Date:  January 7, 10, 24, 28, 31
Time:  7 – 8 p.m.
Location:  Purcell Public Library

GED Class
Date: Wednesdays - January 9, 16, 23, 30
Time:  6-9 p.m.
Location:  Purcell Public Library

Citizenship Class
Date: Mondays - January 7, 28
Time:  6 - 7p.m.
Location:  Purcell Public Library       


Book Clubs

Odyssey Book & Conversation Club

book jacket for The wishBook: The Wish by Elle van Lieshout and Erik van Os
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Norman Library, Room A/B

As this short book illustrates, even small wishes can bring joy and happiness. Originally published in the Netherlands, this fable will make you smile. Pick up a copy for your student and join us on the 8th.

New Reader’s Book Club
Book Club and Tutor Café will be off for the month of January.  Watch for the next meeting times in the February edition of this newsletter.


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

Thank you!

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