PLS Literacy eNewsletter - April 2013

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PLS Literacy Newsletter


“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” Chinese Proverb

Dear Visitor,

It’s Time for the Big Read!

Each year, as the season turns to spring, the Pioneer Library System unveils a new Big Read book discussion series. This year the title selected is Old School by Tobias Wolff. This coming of age novel is set in a private boys' school in the early 1960s.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The 2004 report "Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America" by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.

The NEA inaugurated The Big Read as a pilot project in 2006 with ten communities featuring four books. To date more than 1,000 grants have been awarded to communities in the U.S.

From The Big Read kickoff on March 27 at the Beaird Lounge on the OU campus to the final Commencement on April 25 at Longfellow Auditorium, Longfellow Middle School in Norman, there will be a month of activities and local book discussions throughout the system. Check out the calendar of events at your local library and on the PLS web page at And don’t forget to come to the literacy book discussions at the Norman and Shawnee libraries. Details are outlined below.


Tip of the Month: Just A Note

It’s important to encourage students to write notes. They need to be exposed to both formal and informal writing styles to enhance their speaking, reading and writing skills. Be sure to exchange notes and messages, even in class. Encourage the use of a dialogue journal and daily journal. In between sessions, jot down notes to each other and mail them or collect them and bring them to class. Write letters or send post cards to one another on trips. Notes written to each other are informal and match the language patterns that are used in speaking English much more than the formal writing pattern used for other writing activities.
Tutor Survival Kit, Evelyn Renner & Associates


Tutor Roundtable: Hidden Gems

Date: Tuesday, April 23
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Norman Public Library-Room A/B

Here is your opportunity to exchange ideas with our seasoned tutors and explore print and non-print ‘gems’ that may be just the thing you need to use with your student. Don’t miss out!


Book Clubs

Odyssey Book & Conversation Club

Book:  Old School, by Tobias Wolff
Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Norman Public Library, Room A/B

Cindy Stevens, PLS librarian, will lead a lively discussion of this New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Award finalist. According to The Seattle Times, Old School…” takes as its subject the slippery nature of truth and fiction, honesty and seductive delusion.”

Call the literacy office at 701-2682 to reserve a copy for you and your student.

New Reader's Book Club

Book:  Old School, by Tobias Wolff
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library Conference Room

To reserve a copy call the Literacy office at 273-3334.


McClain County Classes

English as Second Language
Date: Mondays -
April 1, 8, 22, 29
Thursdays - April 4, 11, 18, 25
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library

GED Class
Date: Wednesdays – April 3, 10, 17, 24
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library

Citizenship Class
Date: Mondays – April 1, 8, 22, 29
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library


Pottawattomie County Classes

Saturday Morning Math @ the Shawnee Library
Date: Saturdays -
April 6, 13, 20, 27
Time: 9 - 10 a.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library Conference Room

Register online or call the literacy office at 273-3334 to reserve a space.



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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