MBCAL Board Meetings 4th Thursdays, call for location and time No meeting July, August, and December
NEW WEBSITE NAME
While our website is undergoing updating, look for us at www.mbcal29.org.
The suggestion that the MBCAL would welcome the help of another group in planning the annual Spell-A-Thon made in the last newsletter has been answered by the Kiwanis Club of Twentynine Palms. The club has already been of great help the last few years and decided they could expand what they were already doing. This support is much appreciated. The MBCAL will still be the beneficiary of the Spell-A- Thon, and will be involved, though in a more limited way.
The collection of prizes for teams and spectators is already underway and will include the usual grand prize, donated by a local artist. See the enclosed flyer.
The twenty-eighth annual Spell-A-Thon, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Twentynine Palms to benefit the Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy, will be held March 16 at the Helen Gray Education Center on the campus of the Hi-Desert Medical Center. Teams of three adults will compete for "Best Spellers" of 2019. The winning teams and the teams with the most in pledges will receive prizes. Drawing prizes and refreshments will be available for all attendees. Spectators are always welcome free of charge to come for the fun or to cheer on favorite teams. For more information on how to sign up your team, email
Last year a new team from the Morongo Basin Blue Wave Club, made up of Phyllis and Francis Moss and Gayl Swarat took top honors, with Cathy and the Lascivious Lads of CMC second, and Unified Field Theory of Hi-Desert Publishing third.
Blue Wave Team
MBCAL newsletter, Jan. to Mar. 2019 p.2
This is the time of year to start or renew your membership in the MBCAL. Memberships are in all price ranges to try to accommodate everyone who is interested in teaching adults to read.
To our current Life Members, thank you.
VOLUNTEER HOURS 2018
Every year in January we look back at the hours of service in tutoring or other volunteering that were given to the MBCAL in the previous year, and more importantly, to adults in the Morongo Basin who need help to become more literate.
Special thanks go to tutors Marilyn Clark, Kelvin Easterling, MJ Fiocco, Phil and Anita Fultz, Mitchell Halicki, Sharon Resnick, Dan Stork, and Kathy Truesdell for their devotion to the cause of adult literacy.
Between tutoring one-on-one and assisting in the English as a Second Language class at the Student Success Center at Copper Mountain College, many hours are spent helping increase literacy in our adult population. Kelvin, Phil, and Kathy also attend community activities like the Health Fairs to hand out information on the MBCAL and give free books to children. The following numbers of hours are, of necessity, approximate. If it were possible to accurately tally all the volunteer hours given on behalf of the MBCAL, these numbers would increase substantially. Not included are the hours required to put together the Annual Report, help with the Spell-A-Thon, or keep the financial records necessary for a not-for-profit organization.
MBCAL Volunteer hours for 2018
ESL class, one-on-one tutoring, activities:
Irlen Syndrome was named for Helen Irlen, educator, therapist and researcher, who spread the word about this reading disability in the 1980's. The Irlen Institute describes the condition in this way.
"Irlen syndrome is a perceptual problem that can affect achievement, learning, and performance for struggling readers. For good readers it can limit the time an individual can read with comfort and comprehension. Irlen Syndrome is not detected by standard educational, visual, or medical tests."
"What is Irlen Syndrome?" Notebook published by ProLiteracy, Winter 2019, pp.10-11. www.irlensyndrome.org
MBCAL newsletter, Jan. to Mar. 2019 p.3
RELAX by Phil Fultz
These days, no one’s public positions are without all kinds of subliminal “meanings.” Everything, writings in particular, is deemed to encompass overtly, or attempt to encompass insights on race, feminism, society, politics, or some other part of the political correctness spectrum. Maybe. But consider this.
For literally thousands of years storytellers sought to select topics and ways of addressing those topics for the entertainment of their listeners and readers. I emphasize "listeners" because literacy was low for most of history. Among other things, that meant that those stories–many of which we would now call "yarns," simply couldn’t be subtle or have many hidden meanings or their audiences just wouldn’t get those subtle points.
Of course, there are some stories where the authors were seeking to make a point–Moby Dick, Silent Spring, 1984, and especially Huckleberry Finn–come immediately to mind, but first a work must sell, i.e. make the author a living. And that is the fundamental thing to be kept in mind.
I have said all that to say this. When you select something to read with and for your student, the main consideration must be whether it is a good story. Define “good” as interesting to your student, not necessarily to you. Almost always, regardless of your personal inclinations, you will not be seeking to teach your student anything except how to read (preparing for the drivers’ license exam is a major exception). Remember also that it’s unlikely that your student will tell you not to talk any more about the plight of the Great Barrier Reef, or whatever. I understand it’s difficult to conceal your ego, (especially when you have as much as do I), but please remember why you have been brought together. Your student will progress more quickly, and you will learn as well. Take a cue from the title of this piece.
Old and new, scams seem to be always with us, trying to get our money one way or another. Here are some red flags.
Someone using the name of a real bank wants you to call a number to find out about a loan you never had. Some fake letterheads can look very real.
No "dying person" wants to give you his/her money to give to charity.
No person who works for a bank in Thailand, where an account has matured with no beneficiary named, can then share the money with you.
No one at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. has verified a payment to be made to you from the "International Lottery Company," where your email address was "automatically selected" by an online balloting system to win $4.8 million USD.
Your grandson has not been in an accident and is not in a foreign jail needing money sent by Western Union. Call the grandson to confirm he’s okay.
Just because you have the same last name as someone who has left money to someone in his family, doesn’t mean that you are a legal heir.
The best way to deal with scammers is to hang up the phone or tear up the letter after reading the first few words.