Redlands Library Celebrates Writings of Adult Literacy Students in New Anthology – Redlands Daily Facts

By Diane Shimota

The community of Redlands is invited to join the adult literacy program in its ‘celebration of authors’.

Adult learners will read excerpts from their work which has been published in the adult literacy anthology, “Our Stories, A Collection of Writings”. Community leaders, including Mayor Paul Barich and Library Administrator Kate Pretorius, will describe their own literacy journeys and the impact of literacy on lives.

The community of Redlands is invited to this festive event in appreciation for their continued support of adult literacy, especially during the difficult years of the pandemic. The celebration will take place at 2 p.m. on September 25 at the Contemporary Club, 173 S. Eureka St. Registration is required. Registration for the free event is required and will begin September 1 at www.akspl.org.

The 2022 edition of “Our Stories, a Collection of Writings” is the fifth anthology published by the Redlands Adult Literacy Program.

Mark Corrin wrote about his work at Martha Green’s The Eating Room for the latest volume of “Our Stories: A Collection of Writings” produced by the Redlands Adult Literacy Program. (Courtesy of Martha Green)

This year, Mark Corrin, one of four authors who submitted writing for all five volumes of the anthology, wrote “My Work at Martha Green’s.” In his story, Corrin wrote that he started working when he was 20 and how much he loved his job, his clients and colleagues, and even his favorite menu item at Martha Green’s.

Ma, Isabel Vidrio has also published works in each of the five anthologies. This year, she wrote two stories: one to RJ Palacio, the author of the book “White Bird”, and another personal story about a fire in her kitchen. Corrin and Vidrio have shown enormous growth in their ability to express themselves. Their writings are a gift to the community.

Many adults who enroll in the Redlands Adult Literacy Program worry about their writing skills. The Redlands Adult Literacy Program uses several strategies to address this common concern and to help learners develop the skills needed for employment and communication with teachers, family and friends. For example, tutors and learners use dialogue logs to write short messages to each other. Computer classes integrate writing with technology classes. Literacy teams practice the steps of the writing process, starting with brainstorming ideas and continuing through the final stages of editing, then publishing their writing. Topic ideas are generated through picture books, model poems, story starters and conversations.

Each edition of “Our Stories, A Collection of Writings” honors the hard work of learners and tutors by including learners’ unique stories in the curriculum.

The 2022 anthology includes selections from learners’ memories, experiences that changed them, moments captured, and reflections on the books learners have read. This volume also includes a new selection of group submissions from adult literacy computer classes and collaborative stories from children in the family literacy program.

Joan Wells, Chair of the Adult Literacy Anthology Committee, shared her thoughts on the Literacy Anthology: “As I reflect on the writings of Our Stories over the past five years, I am inspired by the journeys that brought learners to our adult literacy community. and resulted in so many accomplishments. Some grew up in Redlands. Others have traveled great distances and crossed cultures to join us. All demonstrated resilience and a dedication to learning. Likewise, our tutors come from many walks of life, joining the community to give back through their love of reading and writing. Working together, learners and tutors have given the community five volumes of authentic essays, reflections and poems. Their literacy journeys enrich ours because they bring to life the library’s mission to serve as a center of lifelong learning where “the only entrance fee is curiosity”. “

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program relies on its wonderful volunteer tutors to provide one-on-one tutoring to adults in our community. The next orientation session for volunteer tutors is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on October 12 at the library. Maybe you know someone who needs help with reading and writing, encourage them to take the first step to changing their life by contacting the Redlands Adult Literacy Program.

If you have questions about the Authors’ Celebration, would like to become a tutor, or would like literacy services, please call 909-798-7565 ext. 4138 or email [email protected] Literacy services are free and confidential.

Diane Shimota is Adult Literacy Coordinator at AK Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine St., Redlands.

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