In this Issue: Big Read, Tutor Reunions, Funding Update and more

In this issue:

  • Big Read Fahrenheit 451 Activity
  • New Tutors
  • Tutor Reunions!
  • New Readers for New Life Conference
  • Funding Update


Big Read Fahrenheit 451 Activity

The Waukegan Public Library is participating in the Big Read this year, a National Endowment for the Arts Program.  The Big Read gets a whole community together to engage with one good book.

Fahrenheit 451is our Big Read book.  To engage your learners, we would like you to read a short excerpt from the book with pre- and post-discussion activities.  The reading is at a 2nd or 3rd grade level.  We would like to have all ABE tutoring groups complete the activity.  If your ESL learners can handle the vocabulary, please join us as well.  Click here to download the activity.

After the reading and discussion, you will write a letter giving advice about how to be happy.  Please send all of your writings to with the subject “Big Read” or Josh Anderson, 128 N County St., Waukegan, IL 60085.  We’ll share all of the letters here through the Literacy Connection so you can read each other’s advice.

newNew Tutors

Welcome new ABE tutors to the program!  Tanya Burgess, Gary Stern, Doreen Desjardins, Brenda Balin, Marta Tucker, Jean Hansen, Senneca Brown, Nancy Davey!

partyTutor Reunions!

Mark your calendars for:

Saturday, February 13th
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

We’ll be starting a new tradition for the program.  The culmination of each new tutor training series will be a chance for all of our current tutors to gather and to welcome the new class of tutors into the fold.  It will be a Snack-luck.  Bring your favorite dessert or snack to share.  Beverages will be provided.

new readers for new life conference

New Readers for New Life Conference

The New Readers for New Life of Illinois will be presenting their 18th annual state conference on Saturday, November 21st at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Literacy.  The event is by and for adult learners, though you and your learner(s) can attend together if you like.  Click here for more information about the conference.  For the registration form, click here.

Update on Funding Situation

Many tutors have been asking about the funding situation for the program given the impasse over the state budget.  Up until this year, the Program’s primary funding source has been an Adult Volunteer Literacy Grant through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Literacy Office.  We are unsure at this time if we will receive any funds for the state, how much we might receive, and when those funds might be available.  The Waukegan Public Library is committed to serving the needs of Lake County’s adult learners through the Adult Literacy Tutoring program with or without state funding.  Thank you for all your efforts as volunteer tutors.  We’ll do what it takes to keep supporting you.

Funds have been raised to navigate this crisis for the short term.  Creating a plan to sustainably fund the Program long term without state funding will take more effort and creativity.  If you’d like to help, you can:

  1. Contact your IL representatives to share your support for continued funding for the Illinois Secretary of State Adult Volunteer Literacy Grant Program and encourage the speedy passage of a budget.  Even a budget with zero funding for our program would end the waiting game and make it easier to plan for the future.  Click here to find contact information for your representatives.
  2. Participate in fundraising efforts through the Waukegan Public Library Foundation or become a member of our Literacy 2020 365 Club.  Contact Carmen Patlan, Community Engagement and Outreach Manager at 847-775-2564 or for more information.