News

Running for Robin

Last year I came in second in the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon. But I did not get special recognition–it was second to last. A beautiful 13.1 mile trip around the LSU lakes, but a slow one. This year I’m determined to do better. Much better. I’m motivated, and you can add to that motivation.

This year I’ll be running for Robin (Feistel) and all who do ESL ministry in churches in Texas. We are aiming to raise $5,000 to replenish the Robin Feistel Memorial Fund and to support ESL volunteer teacher training. (Last year 377 volunteers were trained using Robin’s TEX–Teaching English with Excellence.)

That’s where you come in. Would you pledge a penny, a nickel, a dime or a dollar for each person I pass doing the half marathon in Baton Rouge on December 3rd? Here’s a link to race results for 2015 to give you some perspective on your pledge. (I’m hoping to pass at least 75 of the estimated 400 race participants.)

Here’s some added incentive. An anonymous donor has offered to match donations up to $2,500–half our goal of $5,000!

It’s simple to pledge. Just contact us with your amount. Race results will be available in a few weeks.

Your gift will be tax deductible and support ESL ministries like the one described above at FBC Marble Falls.

Thanks!

Lester

Teach or Die

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . .

Is it any wonder that the burden to teach adults to read was first felt and acted upon by the church?

Over 80 years ago, Frank Laubach became a literacy pioneer while working as a missionary with the Moro people of the Philippines. After a slow start, he earned trust by learning their language and enough about their Muslim religion to discuss and exchange ideas. He then developed a dictionary and simple method of teaching them to read in their language.

Laubach needed 20 teachers plus volunteers to keep up with the eager Moros. When his depression-era funding ran out, a native chieftain saved the day: “I’ll make everybody who knows how to read teach somebody else, or I’ll kill him.”

Frank Laubach stamp

Laubach wrote in his journal, “Everybody taught. Nobody died. Everybody liked it. I did not like the motto ‘teach or die’ and so changed it to ‘Each One Teach One.’” (Lawson, Gregory, Frank C. Laubach:  Man of Faith)

“Each One Teach One” incited an evangelistic harvest among the Moros, with conversions to Christianity the norm. Laubach spread the campaign globally over the next two decades with continued success.

Today Literacy Connexus is still helping churches provide a friendly, non-threatening environment to adults who may feel ashamed asking for help with reading. As one Chicagoan put it, “Admitting you can’t read is just as scary as walking out in the street in front of a car.” (Chicago Tribune)

On February 24 volunteers affiliated with the Forward Training Center in Granbury, TX, will gather to learn how to teach adults to read better. They’ll use the Laubach Way to Reading materials as a core curriculum. And they’ll be thinking about strategies to take the fear out of asking for help.

Join us. Contact us for more information about teaching adults to read better.

Great Books for Children

Mother and Children Reading by Arthur Boyd Houghton 1860We think books make the very best gifts for kids (ages one to 92). So, we asked expert Shelley Lowe, Literacy Connexus board member and owner of Monkey and Dog Books in Fort Worth, how to excite the young readers on our lists.

Here is Shelley’s list of absolute treasures:

Ages 2-3
Hooray for Hat!       Brain Won
Press Here                 Hervehell Tuillet
Bark, George            Jules Feiffer

Ages 4-6
Miss Twiggly’s Tree        Dorothea Warren Fox
Tops and Bottoms           Janet Stevens
I don’t Like Koala!           Sean Ferrell

Early Readers
Frog and Toad Series        Arnold Lobel
The Big Honey Hunt          Stan and Jan Berenstain
Mercy Watson Series         Kate diCamillo
James to the Rescue           Elise Broach

Middle Reader Series (ages 8-10)
Ivy and Bean Series               Annie Barrow & Sophie Blackwell
Little House on the Prairie Series   Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Doll People Series            Ann Martin
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Books     Betty McDonald
The One and Only Ivan          Katherine Applegate
The Penderwicks Series          Jeanne Birdsall

Older Reader (ages 10-12)
The False Prince                     Jennifer Nielsen
The Island of Dr. Libris        Chris Grabenstein
Under the Egg                        Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The CandyMakers                 Wendy Mass
Wonder                                    R.J. Palacio
Alabama Moon                      Watt Key

Monkey and Dog Books
3637 West Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, TX  76107
Mon. – Fri.  10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sat.  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Insight from ISAAC

Greetings to our friends of Literacy Connexus from the Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC)!  We are grateful for our partnership and for the many opportunities the Lord provides to us in order to serve our communities.

You may have heard in the news about people from Syria fleeing their country due to violence, war and terror, as well as the debate in both Europe and our nation about whether we should accept any of them as refugees into our country.

Keep in mind that our Lord and Savior was once a refugee!  No sooner had Jesus arrived on our planet than an evil king by the name of Herod, who feared him as a threat to his power, was trying to get him killed.  His parents had to flee to Egypt with baby Jesus in order to protect him.

The ISAAC Project is a ministry of Texas Baptists that focuses on equipping churches and non-profit organizations to love and care for the immigrant community. We provide unbiased immigration information from a Christian perspective. Through its relationships with other literacy organizations, ISAAC can help your church find the training and resources it needs to set up an ESL, citizenship or other literacy ministries.

ISAAC also offers quality legal counseling and services at an affordable price to the immigrant community in San Antonio, Texas. We provide training to church representatives and non-profit staff in order to prepare them for recognition and accreditation from the Board of Immigration Appeals, should their goal be to bless their immigrant communities by providing these legal services.

Jesús Romero || Director
Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC)
8019 S Pan Am Expressway
San Antonio, TX 78224
(O) 210.924.4338 x347
(C) 210.633.6257
www.isaacproject.org
www.facebook.com/Isaacproject

Ready for School!

Ready for School! is a 10-week curriculum for working with young refugee families. These families often come from countries that do not offer children’s literature or a culture of parents reading to their little ones. Some of the refugee parents have limited English language skills and very few homes have children’s books in English.

The Ready for School! curriculum targets the following skill areas:

  • Reading, language, and reasoning
  • Math
  • Motor
  • Social
  • Parenting

Children and parents meet in a group setting one day a week for activities and instruction. Each week they are sent home with a new book, a bag of materials, and new skills to practice.

Click here for the Ready for School! Curriculum Guide

ReadyforSchool1

3rd Annual GCLC Cancelled

The Gulf Coast Literacy Conference scheduled for Saturday, January 31, has been postponed indefinitely due to low registration.

Please consider participating in two Houston in-service trainings for ESL on February 20-21. Second Baptist Church will host a workshop on Pronunciation on Friday evening, Feb. 20, and one on teaching higher level students on Saturday morning, Feb. 21. In San Antonio, the San Antonio Baptist Association will host a Basic ESL Training for New ESL Teachers of Adult Students on Feb. 6-7. Also, please consider participating in the Love in Deed Refugee Resettlement Conference, Feb. 27-28 in Houston.

3rd Annual Gulf Coast Literacy Conference

Click here to register for the GCLC!

GCLC for events

Sessions include:

Hispanic Education Initiative

Grow your program: Strategies for Deliberate and Effective Growth

Effective Multilevel Teaching Practices in the ESL/ABE/ASE Classroom
Hospitality: Just Do It!
ProLiteracy, the Benefits of Membership
ESL-Awake, Alive, and Fun–Round 2
Hope for Refugees
Favorite Teaching Techniques from a Sample Lesson on “Family”    
Using Lipson Lessons & Picture Sequence Pages
Critically Rethinking Literacy in the 21st Century
Pronunciation
How to Transition your ESL Students into College
Higher Level Activities
Focus on EL Civics–Great, Engaging Lessons on the Topics We All Teach!

New Readers Press

Family Literacy

A Big Success

Many families will be blessed thanks to your generosity this Christmas season through Nuts over Reading.

We’re thankful, also, to Leonard Farms, for wonderful participation and support.

Merry Christmas to all!

Nuts over Reading

We’re one week into the shopping season and maybe you’re looking for something special that you just can’t find in a store. Nuts over Reading is an opportunity to give the gift of delicious Texas pecans to friends and loved ones, and at the same time, the gift of literacy to families in need. What could be better than that?

Please click here to learn more.