Adult Basic Education
Adult Basic Education offers lessons to adult students who want to improve their reading comprehension, writing, or math skills. Students in the ABE program are diverse. They take lessons for a variety of reasons including putting an end to being illiterate, to prepare for the GED test or to acquire additional skills in English which is their second language. As with ESL classes, we partner of the Literacy Council of Williamson County, providing volunteers for their program. Our tutors work one-on-one with students for approximately two hours a week. Day, time, and place are flexible. Most lessons happen online via Zoom. In addition to teaching, we can use volunteers to give administrative support.
Please consider joining our team. We can make a real difference in people’s lives.
For more information, contact Kim Ono.
Monthly Reports 2021
One – to – one lessons continued for the students. One decided to suspend lessons in order to work more hours and prepare for her citizenship test. Kim asked an advanced student to read on raz-plus.com with a new student. This is working well – stimulating for both. It sharpens the skills of the student tutor while giving the new student someone they can relate to student to student. Kim held a free chat for the ABE students and one for tutors. Those who attended enjoyed talking about their lives during Covid, their family, their experience communicating in English, and more. The tutors gave each other ideas how to help a student with a particular problem. They even decided to meet in person to loan workbooks.
LCWILCO, led by Kimberly Goode, held a virtual meeting for all ABE, ESL, and staff. The attendees learned that Kim needs to report the progress of our students in some way. It was decided that changing to a new level textbook shows progress, so this is what will be reported. For some of our lower level students, we will administer a simple Dolch Word test. (Dolch Sight Word Assessment – Give each student a copy of the Dolch Sight Word List for the level you are assessing. Highlight the words correct or circle the words that are incorrect .Calculate the number of words correct and percentage correct. This will make it easy to track progress using a simple progress monitoring.)
ABE September Report
Change was in the air this month. Some tutors and students returned from summer holiday and resumed study, three students decided to suspend ABE lessons while they look for jobs, one student began a pre-GED class through LCWILCO so stopped her lessons. One of our students got a higher paying job which requires more use of English. Most students continued on with their studies.
A new student started in September – a young lady planning to apply to college next year. We added a new tutor to the program, and she is working with this student. We began intake for two more students – a parolee who is required to take lessons and a middle-aged man who had to drop out of high school in his senior year.
ABE program during August highlights included getting more students using the online reading website, raz – plus.com With its range of books (very short ones) from those featuring one letter or phonetic sound, to children’s classics ,the appeal is great. Three of our adults learning to read have embraced rap-plus as have several of our adult students who simply wanted more varied reading material. The LOUU budget allocated to sign up for this website has surely been worth it.
Two of our students got better jobs – obtained a full time job in his field of cyber security. Before taking ABE lessons ,his written English was really not understandable. Now he communicates in writing on a professional level. Another student got a part -time job at HEB using reading skills and as well as verbal, honed in her lessons. Both expressed their gratitude for the ABE program.
The highlight of July was wrapping up the eight week summer reading program we did with Bartlett Elementary School .Initiated by Kimberly Goode of LCWILCO, our own team really built the program and carried it out. Our team included Mary Hengstebeck, Audrey McCann, Paula Irrgang (original tutor/tester ABE and official Friend of Live Oak UU), and myself.
We provided live zoom readings and Q & A sessions of thirty minutes a day, four days a week. Readers were our own ESL and ABE students, as well as their children in a few instances. Mary can tell you exactly how many readers we had. The audience was a class from Bartlett ranging from K thru 4th grades. The kids seemed to enjoy hearing stories read to them, for the most part. They did become squirmy at times.
Our readers really got into the project, practicing a minimum of one and a half hours with a tutor. Many students wanted to practice with us even more. Several new people from Live Oak participated as ‘audience of 1’ practice partners. They seemed to enjoy the experience, and we hope they will continue volunteering with our group.
Due to my heightened attention to ‘customer’ feedback thanks to many SJM meetings, I put together a list of survey questions for the teachers at Bartlett asking their experience of the zoom reading summer project. Since none of us have ever met face to face, hearing their responses will be even more valuable than in regular times. We’ll discuss their comments on our own and with Kimberly Goode and Bartlett Elementary School to see if we want to do the program again and how we want to do it.
There were two highlights for Adult Basic Education this month. These same things occurred in ESL.
One was that some of the twenty-two computers purchased by LCWILCO using money donated by LOUU Endowment Fund made their way to students. These laptops have working cameras making them useable for zoom meetings. As you know, ABE lessons have been taking place online rather than in person during the pandemic. The computers are considered on loan ,and students have to fill out a form promising they will take care of them, not loan them to other people, etc. Mary Hengstebeck set up some good language study websites on the computers before they went out.
I was particularly pleased to provide our student originally from Liberia with a laptop. The larger viewing area, compared to a smartphone, will aid her as she communicates with her tutor in during lessons. Another ABE student receiving a loaner laptop hopes to continue his studies all the way through to getting a GED. This will help him.
The second big event in June was the start of a new program – Bartlett Elementary School Summer Reading Program. Conceived by LCWILCO’s Kimberly Goode, the set up and implementation fell almost completely on our team. Mary Hengstebeck used her computer skills to set us up with a great web site with reading material for kids. Paula Irrgang, a long time ‘Friend’ of LOUU and a member of ABE team, along with myself and new team member, Audrey McCann have also spent hours organizing students to read for the Bartlett kids. The feedback we’re getting from the principal of the school is that the kids are enjoying the four days a week zoom reading meetings we are giving them. The program continues until the end of July.
One benefit of the Bartlett Reading Program is that several LOUU members have volunteered to practice with our students before they read to the kids. The time commitment to do this is small – about forty-five minutes a week, and there is no preparation required. This new mode of volunteering with our ESL/ABE programs is something we want to incorporate into our programs going forward. We want to provide volunteer opportunities in small, medium, and large (tutoring a student or teaching a class) sizes.
Other than these things, ABE lessons continue as usual.
ABE May report –
ABE program continues throughout the summer. We are pleased that the woman originally from Liberiais making good progress through her lessons with Alison Dieter.
The summer reading program – reading children’s books via zoom to kids at Bartlett Elementary School ,is keeping both ESL and ABE busy. We have been signing our students up, practicing reading with them ,and working out the technical details of the Zoom meeting. Audrey McMann has been helping with that.
By next month, we’ll have a report on how it actually panned out.
The highlight of March was enrolling three new students. One hopes to get his GED but didn’t score high enough on the LCWILCO placement test to enter their pre-GED study program. Another is truly illiterate. This woman did not get to attend school at all due to a civil war in her home country of Liberia.(The language of Liberia is English, so her spoken English is good.) She came to the US as a refugee. After more than a decade living here, she has found (us) help learning to read and write. We are truly starting at the beginning with the sounds that the letters make. The third student is Nepalese and wants to learn to read and write English better to understand the world around her as well as make herself understood. None of these students is Caucasian. Thus you can see that the ministry of literacy intersects with the ministry of social justice/anti-racism.
Nuts and bolts stats for the month are: approx. 81hours of instruction, given by 14 tutors, to 21 students.