Whatcom Literacy Council Newsletter
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Friends of Literacy

A publication of the
Whatcom Literacy Council

July 2018
Congratulations to Ryan!

Big congratulations to Ryan! He passed the written exam for the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) this month.

He and tutor Julianne have been meeting weekly over the past year, going over the thick CDL study manual.  Julianne wrote that she learned so much about commercial trucks by helping Ryan study for his exam that she’ll never look at big rigs on the road the same way.

Kudos to you both for your CAN-DO attitude!  Way to go!
New Book Series Spotlight: Laubach Way to Reading

In June we received the Laubach Way to Reading series as part of
the National Book Fund Award granted to us by ProLiter
acy. We are thrilled to have this addition to our library, which is available to any tutor to check out. The Laubach series is divided by four levels, starting from the basics of letter formation and sounds to more complicated vowel sounds and spellings:

Level 1: Sounds and Names of Letters
Level 2: Short Vowel Sounds and Consonant Blends
Level 3: Long Vowel Sounds
Level 4: Other Vowel Sounds and Consonant Spellings.

Within each level there is a textbook, a Focus on Phonics book, a workbook, a teacher’s guide, a book of short stories, and a Laubach Way to English teacher’s guide to assist tutors in adapting the books to the needs of English Language Learners. If you are working with a learner who is just learning to read, or reading at a very basic level, these books might be of use to you. Let us know if you would like to come by the office to have a look at this series or any of the other new materials that we received through the ProLiteracy grant.
I would like to be a sponsor for the 2018 Literacy Breakfast with Nancy Pearl
5 Fun, Relaxed Summertime Activities to do with Your Learner
1. Hilarious Wish-You-Were-Here Postcard Activity:

Ask your learner to make a list of verbs, nouns, adjectives, and other new vocabulary words from recent lessons. Then, on a blank postcard, the learner writes a vacation message on it, inserting words from the list. Think of silly sentences together. Great conversation starter: favorite summer spots, holiday customs, traditional games, food
and beverages.

2. Meet at the Park

Bring your classroom to the park.
Pack a picnic, take a walk, enjoy the best summer has to offer.

3. Field Trip to the Farmer’s Market or a You-Pick-Berry Farm

Great way for ELL Learners to pick up new vocabulary. What better way to check out our local fresh produce and enjoy together!

4. Attend a Free Summer Concert

Take time off from formal lesson planning and meet at Boulevard Park for a free Saturday evening concert (August 4-18th) from 7 to 9 PM; or Thursday concerts, from 6 to 8 PM at Elizabeth Park. You can also check out Downtown Sounds on Bay Street.

5. Taking a summer break?

Give your learner a call to say hi.  Or if you’re in the area, set up a time to meet for an ice cream, iced tea or coffee.
A Warm Thank You to One of Our New Partners

The Whatcom Literacy Council feels very fortunate to have the First Presbyterian Church as our friend and neighbor. The First Presbyterian Church offers our tutors and learners a safe and quiet space to meet weekly and we appreciate their partnership and hospitality.
Whatcom Literacy Council
Help us on our mission: CLICK HERE
In This Issue:
Congratulations to Ryan!
New Book Series Spotlight:
Laubach Way to Reading
2018 Literacy Breakfast

5 Fun, Relaxed Summertime Activities
to do with Your Learner

A Warm Thank You to One of Our New Partners

Be an Agent of Change for Adult Literacy

Save the Date: Trivia Bee 2019

Unity Care NW's Reach Out and Read

Project Homeless Connect

Fancy Bingo at Boundary Bay
Change a Life -
Become a Tutor
Tutor Reports
This is just a friendly reminder to all tutors that we need to receive a report from you each month to keep us up to date on how things are going with your learner. See the links below:
Education vs. Incarceration

Literacy helps the under-educated escape welfare, lowers incarceration rates and even improves voting rates and civic participation, other studies have shown.

Remember to "Like" the Whatcom Literacy Council on Facebook! 
Whatcom Literacy Council Facebook
Follow the Whatcom Literacy Council on Twitter! 
Be an Agent of Change for Adult Literacy

Part of what makes adult literacy so important is that it intersects with so many other socioeconomic problems. Improving adult literacy impacts not only the adults, but their children, their communities, and it can help break cycles of inter-generational poverty. Adults become more likely to succeed at work, at home, and as citizens if they are better educated.
ProLiteracy illustrates the potential monetary gains by improving adult literacy by showing how much low literacy rates can cost: Low literacy costs the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. These same costs are present in the healthcare industry, where an excess of $230 billion per year is linked to low adult literacy skills.
According to The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), “The U.S. mean literacy score was below the international average—ranking 16th out of 24 countries,” and “those with lower skills proficiency also tend to report poorer health, less trust, and lower civic engagement.” Adult literacy is a global issue that can impact so many fields, from incarceration to workforce and healthcare.

There are many ways you can help be part of the solution and become an agent of change:
  1. Reach out to your elected officials and let them know how important adult literacy is
    1. Download the Advocacy Toolkit from ProLiteracy’s website:
    2. Find your elected official:
  2. Become a tutor at the Whatcom Literacy Council to make a difference for someone in your community:
  3. Take part in ProLiteracy’s Letters for Literacy Campaign to remind our representatives of the importance of literacy resources:
To read more about adult literacy and see the key findings of the PIAAC survey, visit ProLiteracy’s website:

Unity Care NW's Reach Out and Read

The Whatcom Literacy Council is proud to be working with Unity Care NW on a project to connect with local parents.
Unity Care NW is one of several local health organizations that participate in Reach Out and Read, a national program that partners with
health care providers to encourage and support early childhood literacy. Children between the ages of birth and five receive a book during each of their well-child visits, and providers work with parents to support their child’s literacy development.
When a person becomes a parent they often are motivated to strengthen their literacy skills as they realize they would like to read to their children, navigate services for their children more effectively, and communicate with child care and school staff.  Research has shown that strengthening the literacy skills of the parent is one the most effective ways to impact the literacy level of the child, and one of the critical ways to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
With this in mind, Unity Care NW is putting a flyer about the Whatcom Literacy Council’s free adult literacy services into the books that are given to parents at the well-child visit.  We appreciate this wonderful opportunity to let new parents know about our services.
Project Homeless Connect
Once again the Whatcom Literacy Council participated in Project Homeless Connect (PHC) on Friday, July 20th from 9 am to 4 pm at Bellingham High School.  This exciting event is part of a national initiative launched by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and is now implemented in well over 700 communities across the United States as well as Canada and Australia.

Bellingham/Whatcom Project Homeless Connect is a 1-day,
1-stop event focused on mobilizing community volunteers and local service providers in order to:
  • Invite and welcome people who are homeless
  • Reduce barriers to service
  • Provide immediate and service outcomes
  • Create sustainable and long-term service partnerships
  • Track and publicize results that connect to the Plan to End Homelessness
First adopted in 2007 as part of the Whatcom County Plan to End Homelessness, the project’s cornerstone is generous hospitality.  Services available included everything from vision screenings to haircuts, voter registration to pet care. It was impressive to see all of the people and organizations who turned out to help. 
Many of the people in the homeless community have challenges with literacy.
It is our hope that this type of outreach helps people know about our services, and how they can reach us if they want help.
Fancy Bingo at Boundary Bay Brewery
Fancy Bingo for the Whatcom Literacy Council will be held in the Boundary Bay Mountain Room (entrance through the alley) on Tuesday, August 21st, between 8 pm - 11 pm, with doors opening at 7:30. Bingo cards are $2 each or three for $5. All bingo funds raised will go towards The Whatcom Literacy Council, aside from $100 + 10% of Bingo sales which will go to the hosting organization Glitt3r Lyfe .

We are looking for 1-2 volunteers to help out. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at

If you have a resource or activity that you would like to recommend to other tutors, please share!

Give us a call or email us!
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If you have any questions or need help, please contact us at (360) 752-8678 or by email:

Katherine Freimund, Executive Director -
Maureen Cooley, Small Group Class Coordinator -
Linda Chrisman, Adult Learning Program (ALP) Coordinator -

Cari Chan, Education Language Learning (ELL) Coordinator -

Thank you for supporting the Whatcom Literacy Council!

Copyright © 2017 Whatcom Literacy Council, All rights reserved.

Mailing Address
Whatcom Literacy Council
P.O. Box 1292
Bellingham, WA 98227
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Whatcom Literacy Council · P.O. Box 1292 · Bellingham, WA 98227 · USA

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