Day 1 Adult Literacy Training Completed

Fantastic job by Literacy DuPage, part of Pro Literacy America. Professional. Cordial. Encouraging.

One interesting fact that came out is that several of the future tutors wish to tutor to WELCOME immigrants to America. To combat the negativeness of the tone toward immigrants. To let them know we welcome them.

We get matched with a student next week. Then two more training sessions until we are official literacy tutors.

We even get an official tote bag and card to identify ourselves at libraries where we will tutor.

Oh. These are all volunteers.

Well done. Well done. Seeing a positive side of this beloved America. I know there’s greatness there in her people.

More to follow. I’m exhausted!

Thanks for reading.

Cry, Beloved America

img_1024     Many educators become pensive at the end of the summer; as we get ready to return to the classroom, we cannot help but think about how we won’t have much time to actually *think* for months at a time as we enter a whirlwind of teaching activity.  Think now! Think!

This summer I have been thinking about a novel I read long ago, Cry the Beloved Country, a novel published in 1948 and written by Alan Paton. (See more here: Cry the Beloved Country.)

While this novel is a renowned novel about South Africa, the urgency, sadness, and beauty of the country strikes me to this day and the title–Cry, the Beloved Country.  This is how I felt after seeing Spike Lee’s latest movie, The Blackkklansman.  Cry, beloved America. Is there hope for us? Is there? Can we reach across the years and miles and truly love and respect all Americans?

The news from Washington? Cry, cry, beloved America.

And then I think of returning to the classroom next week and I could weep again for other reasons.

I so strongly believe in the power of literacy to improve lives, and I am so very proud to always have been a teacher of literacy in a nation that educates all students. All students.  I am no longer teaching high school, but when I see my class rosters and check into the background of my students I feel very proud, happy, a bit scared, but mostly so very excited to be a reading instructor at the community college level.

My students, as they usually are, will be those for whom English is not a first language, or those whom struggle with reading and writing.

That’s why I am there, to help them. To create lessons that will invite them to the literacy table, a great strong table.

I so desperately believe in the great promise of educating all students and I so strongly feel pride in our community college system.

So come to class students; I am waiting eagerly to meet you and start our literacy journey together.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Khaled Hosseini’s New Book, “Sea Prayer.” He’s a great humanitarian.

Khaled   Not only is Hosseini a great writer, he is a profound and important humanitarian.  He’s also a physician.  It’s only my thinking, but I bet if he wrote more novels he would make more money for himself.  Instead, he is using his fame as a way to help others, and has been all over the world trying to help. He especially is moved to help refugees worldwide.

https://www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org/

This site spells out some of the work his foundation does.

Well done, Sir. Well done.

Charles White: a Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago

soldier

(Soldier, Charles White)

A Charles White retrospective is at the amazing Art Institute of Chicago right now through September third.  The Art Institute, on its web page Charles White at the Art Institute of Chicago, states:

Charles White, born and educated in Chicago, was one of the preeminent artists to emerge during the city’s Black Renaissance of the 1930s and 1940s. A passionate mural and easel painter and superbly gifted draftsman, White powerfully interpreted African American history, culture, and lives in striking works that nevertheless have a more universal resonance

I’m not an artist, nor am I an art critic.  But what comes to mind and to heart while viewing his works was all of this: dignity, pain, suffering, caring, compassion, strength. These are not art words, and I cannot speak about what White used to create such art. But I can speak to how White;s artwork affected me, a highly sensitive poet.  I would like to find words deserving of the near reverence I felt in the presence of art that is not only great, but art from a great person. White felt people were basically good and his works are imbued with love and respect as well as with a painful knowledge of social injustice, racism, poverty, separation, loss.

I almost feel I should step back, use few words, and just show the photos, simple photos taken by my little phone camera. You can see I am not a professional or even a good photographer, but I believe you can sense the greatness of White’s art work even from my phone photos.

If you can get to the Art Institute of Chicago, I would highly recommend seeing this retrospective.  I will go again, and perhaps find some words. If you cannot get to the AIC, look here for insights and images: http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/charles-white-retrospective.

White’s creative compassion stays with me.

Charles White, a retrospective, now at the AIC through September 3rd. 

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http://m.artic.edu/node/7905

For the Cost of a Postage Stamp (Thanks to L.J. Bailey–Reblogging)

woman-typing-writing-windows         Writers! You can use your writing voice to help kids. Thanks to Laura Jean Bailey for the information. Please consider writing. I am right now.

Laura Jean Bailey

We can make a difference in the life of children separated from their parents at the border. We are not powerless. Heartland Alliance in Chicago is currently caring for 66 immigrant children.

Demonstrate caring and compassion by sending a brief letter with a positive message to a child at Heartland Alliance, 208 South LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60604. The letters do not need to be in Spanish.

Check out @heartlandhelps’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/heartlandhelps/status/1014157505486868480?s=09

20180630_112433.jpg Protest sign at Families Belong Together rally in Chicago on June 30, 2018. Photo by L.J. Bailey.

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Sad statistics on Puerto Rico from ScienceNews.org

Science News

Such a sad news story that up to 4,600+ people killed in Puerto Rico.  From the article:

Hurricane Maria killed at least 4,645 people in Puerto Rico, a study estimates

The new number is based on household surveys and surpasses the official count of 64

Hurricane Maria and its chaotic aftermath in Puerto Rico led to at least 4,645 deaths, according to a new estimate based on household surveys. That’s thousands more than the 64 official storm-related deaths counted from death certificates.

The Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Caribbean territory on September 20, 2017, bringing down trees, houses and the electricity system. From then until December 31, the death rate rose 62 percent compared with the same time period in 2016, researchers report online May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.