PLS Literacy eNewsletter - October 2012

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PLS Literacy Newsletter


DEAR Visitor,

Thank you for all of your hard work. We appreciate all that you do as a tutor to teach English as a second language or basic literacy skills.

“All that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been; it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.”

-Thomas Carlyle

Health Literacy Month

According to Chase’s Calendar of Events, October is Health Literacy Month.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines health literacy as “the ability to understand health information and to use that information to make good decisions about your health and medical care.” 

Health information can overwhelm even people with advanced literacy skills. About one third of the adult population in the United States has limited health literacy. This can affect people’s ability to search for and use health information, adopt healthy behaviors, fill out complex forms, locate providers and services, understand how to take medicines, manage a chronic disease and act on important public health alerts.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a 2000 census counted 20 million people who speak poor English and 10 million who speak none. A 2002 report by the White House Office of Management and Budget estimates the number of patient encounters across language barriers each year at 66 million.

What can we do to improve health literacy?  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests the following:

  • Write down or record information from your doctors and their staff.
  • Ask your doctor, nurse and pharmacist to use familiar language.
  • Let your doctor and others who care for you know if you can’t understand what they are telling you about your health.
  • Request that local school curricula include health education
  • Encourage public libraries to include current and reliable health information resources as part of their collections.
  • Use local media to raise community awareness about the need for better health information.

Tip of the Month: Remembering What's Been Learned

Everything we do or think is recorded by our brain.  However, most of us forget over 90 percent of what we have learned in about four weeks.  Here are some suggestions to help your student – and you—improve memory:

  • Attention: students must be motivated and interested if they are to learn something thoroughly. Try to relate learning to a student’s daily life. Focus on the student’s goals and interests.  We all learn the things we need to know.
  • Do not overload: research says that we can remember about seven ‘chunks’ of new material.  Be selective. Don’t try to teach too many new ideas or concepts at one time.
  • Make associations:  attach new ideas to something the students already know.  Connect the learning with something in their background or experience.
  • Use all the learning senses:  teach to your student’s strength, but reinforce the information using a multi-sensory approach.  Incorporate something visual, auditory, and kinesthetic into your lessons and activities. That will reinforce the learning in a number of ways.
  • Recite: ask learners to summarize in their own words, orally or in writing, what they learned.  Without reciting immediately after learning, little information will be transferred from short-term to long-term memory.
  • Review:  frequent review is one of the most efficient methods for improving memory. It is said that a new word must be used fifty times before it is remembered. Take a few minutes at the beginning of every lesson to review previously learned material.  Incorporate practice games and activities into your lessons.

ProLiteracy America Information Center


Odyssey Book and Conversation Club

Book: Love Flute by Paul Goble
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Time:  7 p.m.
Location:  Norman Library - 
Room A/B

Join us for conversation and light snacks as we discuss this Native American lyrical tale about a young man who timidly professes his love for a beautiful girl through the lovely music of a ‘love flute.’

New Readers Book Club

Book: The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen
Date: Tuesday, October 30
Time: 3-4 p.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library

All tutors and students are welcome to attend.  Come practice reading and conversation skills.  Pick up a copy of the book ahead of time for you and your student.  For more information, contact Beth Lyle at 273-3334 or bethlyle@

Classes @ the Purcell Public Library

English as a Second Language Class
Date:  Mondays (except October 8th)
Thursdays (except October 18th)
Time:  7 – 8 p.m.
Location:  Purcell Public Library
ESL Conversation Class
Date: Saturdays
Time: 9-10:30
Place: Shawnee Public Library
Join us as we read together and practice speaking English in a lively conversational setting.
GED Class
Date:  Wednesdays
Time:  6-9 p.m.
Location:  Purcell Public Library
Citizenship Class
Date: Mondays (except October 8th)
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Purcell Public Library




Tutor Cafe

Date: Tuesday, October 30
Time: 4pm
Location: Shawnee Public Library
This month's topic is promoting health literacy with our students

Tutor Roundtable

Date: Tuesday, October 30
Time: 10a.m. or 7 p.m.
Location: Norman Library, Computer Training Center

Come and check out all the new print resources available for you to use with your Literacy or ESL students.

Strategies For Success: Community Resources

Date: Tuesday, October 16
Time 7 p.m.
Location: Norman Public Library, Computer Training Center

Literacy and ESL students will want to discover all the resources available to them in the community. Attendees will recieve free gift bags.

Saturday Morning Math @ the Shawnee Library

Date: Saturdays, October 6,13,20,27
Time: 9-10 a.m.
Location: Shawnee Public Library

Due to popular demand, Saturday Morning Math is continuing through October.  Register online or call the literacy office at 273-3334 to reserve a space.



Gentle Reminder

As always, don't forget to give us your tutoring hours for October. You may click on the link below, call or email us at 701-2682 or

Thank you!

For your convenience, you can now report your volunteer hours online! Click here to report your hours.

Not interested any more?