Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Photographers Strut Their Stuff

DSLR cameras are just part of the picture

What are you doing on Wednesday mornings?

We are taking a free basic photography course (Introduction to Digital Photography) from Alison.com’s stock of free coursework.

Our first lessons included sharing and critiquing our photographs as we learned about cameras and photo techniques.

Gallery Show

Soon, we weren’t content with just snapping and sharing. We determined that we should host a show of our finest shots. While we won’t finish the photo course until October, we set the date for our first photo show for August.

Why so soon? Why before we finish the course? Because we decided to send two winners of our first gallery show on to the 2019 Utah State Fair. Since the due date is the end of August, our first gallery show has morphed into a contest.


Details. Anyone in our Wednesday group may enter one or more photos. Not just any photos but photos taken since May 15, 2019, using the principles we've learned. Photo content must fit into one of the 2019 Utah State Fair categories. For the gallery show, photos will be printed on paper, then displayed for class gallery show.

Criteria. Group will develop scoring criteria. Then they'll rank each entry based on their criteria.

Results. Two winning entries may be moved forward to compete in the 2019 Utah State Fair. An anonymous donor will pay for printing, mounting, and entering fees for the top two winners of Literacy Action Center’s August gallery show.

What's in your camera?
What images would you enter into a gallery show?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

2019 Fall Benefit

Join us for an unforgettable evening!

Three of A.E.Cannon's books.

Meet Ann Edwards Cannon, author of books for young readers and a regular column with the Salt Lake Tribune. You may recognize some of her work, such as I'll Tell You What, Charlotte's Rose, and Sophie's Fish.

You'll also get to:

  • Enjoy both live and silent auctions.
  • Listen to the tunes of our guest musician.
  • Mingle as you enjoy delicious small bites.
  • Meet Literacy Action Center learners and tutors.

All of this, plus your donations helps functionally-illiterate, English-speaking adults improve their reading, writing, and math skills! With your support, they transform into skilled, passionate, critical readers, writers, & mathematicians, who are career-minded and tech savvy. Because of you, these individuals are better able to get and keep jobs, teach their kids, and give back to our community.

Date:  Thursday, September 12, 2019
Time:  6:00 - 9:00 PM
Place: Pioneer Hall (1137 West 7800 South, West Jordan)

Evening Features

Silent & Live Auctions

Author A.E. Cannon

Small bites and music

Friends Welcome!

Join us! 
4 Options:

Option 1:
Send checks to Literacy Action Center for $65/person. Postmark checks by 9/5/19 
(Mail checks to Literacy Action Center, 3595 S Main Street, Salt Lake City UT 84115)

Option 2:
General: $65 + $5.59/person from 8/15 - 9/11 

Option 3:
Pay cash or check $75/person at the door. 
Or Last Minute: $75 + $6.20/person at Eventbrite

Option 4:
Can't come? Help us anyway. Send a donation.
Make a donation: send a check or via Eventbrite.

    We are a qualified 501(c)(3).

    Your support helps another functionally-illiterate English-speaking adult transform into a skilled, passionate, habitual, critical reader, writer, & mathematician, who is career-minded and tech savvy.


    What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

    You can take the red line trax to Historic Gardner Station or drive to 1137 West 7800 South in West Jordan.

    If Pioneer Hall's parking lot is full, you can park at the Historic Gardner Station parking lot which is right next door.

    What's the refund policy?

    We thank you for your donation. No refunds. All money goes towards serving the adults in our community who need literacy instruction. These adults are focused on changing their lives and thank you for your help.

    Questions? Call Deb at 801/265-9081

    Friday, April 26, 2019

    What am I most proud of thus far in my life?

    Proud as a Peacock
    Image by Free Photos from Pixabay.

    That was today's writing prompt. If you were here, and given only a moment to think, what would you have written?

    Here's what our group wrote.

    Ellen wrote - I'm most proud of these things:
    1: I have confidence in my school work.
    2: I am able to live on my own.
    3: I am able to teach others what I have learned.
    4: I am able to write my own stories.
    5: I am able to speak in front of people.
    6: I am able to read harder books.
    7: I am able to do harder math and help others.
    8: I am able to save a lot more money.

    Danny wrote: I know this is going to sound really conceited, but after I moved to Salt Lake, I'd have to say that the thing I feel most proud of in my life is me. I used to not care about much in my childhood. Now I've held up a job and plan to get another one soon. I'm going to school to get ready for college. I'm managing my money more.

    Karen wrote:  The thing I am so proud of is that I stay within my limited budget. I live within my means. I always pay my bills on time and say no to almost everything. When I need something, I save up for it and I have money in my savings account for a rainy day. This is being honest!
         Instead of going out and blowing my money, in my spare time I read and try to gain wisdom and knowledge.
         I stay in tune with God and pay a full-tithing. I always have the necessities of life. I never have to ask others for money and my possessions automatically multiply because of tithing.

    Kathy wrote: Although there are many gifts given to me for which I am grateful, and throughout my life I have taken pride in, so very many small and large accomplishments these may actually mean little in the big picture of life. I beam with pride that what I brought into the lives of my daughters has helped them to become politically, environmentally, socially adept and artistic, personable, loving, responsible citizens. I know that I played a role in even the negative qualities I see in them, and the ways they have learned to cope with who they are and the lives they have chosen. So far, I am most proud that I have contributed these two wonderful women to the world.  

    Ray wrote: My proudest moment was when I got my Eagle Scout award at the age of fourteen on July 4, 1976. It took me about three years to do it. 

    What are you most proud of thus far in your life?

    Friday, January 25, 2019

    Let's Get Out There...

    overhead one learner reading her first draft of her speech aloud today. I asked permission to share this snippet with you. Enjoy.

    "No one can take your education away from you!" is one thing I have been taught through this wonderful, outstanding, excellent program. I thank the outstanding volunteers and Deb for keeping this program running. There are a lot of people out there who need the help. So let’s get out there and tell them about this wonderful place. -  Anonymous

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    Group Story: A Panda, A Tiger, & A Turkey

    Story written by Tuesday's Feasters

    Panda riding Siberian tiger.

    A long, long time ago in China, a big, fat panda was chomping on succulent green bamboo. The sky darkened. A herd of rhinos stomped quickly under the panda. 

    Frightened, the panda plunged to the earth, landing on a Siberian tiger. Surprised, the tiger bolted and the panda clung on for dear life.

    After several hundred yards, the cranky, annoyed tiger spotted the source of his back pain – the big, fat panda. He immediately said, “You better be tasty!”

    Panda sheepishly said, “I’ll get off at the next corner, please.”

    The tiger was quick to reply, “Oh, no, you don’t. No stops until the end of the line."

    As they got closer to the first village house, the tiger smelled the enticing aroma of roasting turkey. Sidetracked, the tiger slowed down. Seeing an opportunity, the panda quietly and quickly slipped off the tiger and ran home.

    Thursday, November 1, 2018

    People's Rights & Responsibilities

    Miranda rights: "You have the right to remain silent.
    Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
    You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you."

    Do you know your rights? We thought we did!

    Come on -- we've all watched those police dramas where the accused, as he's handcuffed, is told, "You have the right to..."

    We discovered that we are wrong about what we know. A retired police officer enlightened us -- detectives read you your rights, not the patrol officers who handcuff and haul you away. Huh.

    So, how did we get here? With College Career Readiness Standards guiding our way, we examined job opportunities and pathways to law-related jobs. (In fact, one of our learners was hired as a security guard as a result of this exploration. Yahoo!)

    Most importantly, we studied the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the US Constitution) and examined Supreme Court case materials for Miranda v. Arizona (1966). 

    We also "acted like" attorneys as we determined if an action was a crime. What would you decide? 

    Crime or no crime
     A man puts gas in his truck, and then drives away. A block away from the station, he realizes that the pump handle was still lodged in his gas tank.

    We also went to South Salt Lake Justice Court. The presiding judge, with help from two prosecuting attorneys and one defense attorney, explained the judicial process. We watched people go through arraignment, pretrial, trial, and sentencing. The experience was nothing like Perry Mason or Law and Order.

    An APP Officer also came to us - to explain his work and share his tools of the trade. You know, like all those gadgets on his belt. And, yes, he even let us explore the inside of his police vehicle. Pretty cool. 

    Tuesday, October 30, 2018

    "...very hard on me..."

    Dear Deb,

    I want to thank you for helping my in school. From the time I been here I have learned to read. Not just read but read a whole book. I most important helping stay happy by letting me use the shower and understanding me being homeless. It has been very hard on me and I am shur it has been hard on your working with lots of people. There has been times I wanted to give up on school and you being very kind with letting me go to school when I can. It makes it workable with my life back together. Your great teacher and wonderful person to do this for all of us. You take the time to work with each one of us that is cool of you.

    Dear Reader,

    Sometimes you don't know the impact you have on a person's life until that person leaves you...a note.

    Please notice that I reproduced this note as given to me. That means that I didn't change any word choices, spellings, grammar, capitals, or punctuation.

    I watched RK over several years grow as a reader and writer. Some of you - people reading this blog - probably don't really understand just how little many of the adults enrolling in our program can read when they first enter. RK was no exception. The fact that RK wrote this note is pretty noteworthy on its own merit! Sadly, I haven't seen RK since this note was left for me. I hope RK is well and thriving.

    RK was initially driven by the thought of getting back RK's three children. Early on during RK's tenure with us, RK lost a permanent residence. RK couldn't get paid employment, so RK took up panhandling. Over time RK stopped talking about seeing and giving RK's earnings to the children. Instead, these earnings were used to add to a growing amount of tattoos running up RK's arms and legs. RK had a plan for these tattoos. Eventually, RK's living arrangements - homeless shelter alternated with the streets - led to anxiety and paranoia. Medications became a part of keeping RK's stability. In the last few months before the note appeared, conversations with RK illustrated that RK's mindfulness and clear-thinking had greatly deteriorated. Long-term homelessness had taken its toll on RK.

    While not all homeless people have literacy issues, the price of homelessness is far greater than just being without a permanent residence.

    Thank you for listening.

    Thursday, October 25, 2018

    CWC Reading: Imaginations Engaged

    West Vallley Library Picture
    West Valley Branch Library, Utah

    Thursday, October 18, found forty-seven of us gathered in West Valley Branch Library's large meeting room munching on veggies and chatting about writing. We were all part of SLCC Community Writing Center (CWC) DiverseCity Writing Series - semi-annually public gathering to share our words. 

    Shortly after 6 PM, forty-six anxious faces watched each writer share his or her tales - stories and poems. Within moments, the audience's response relaxed the writers. And, each writer shared an awesome story or interesting poems.

    Want to know what you missed? 
    Here are three highlights.

    • Siri routed a driver up a steep, narrow dirt road in the dark to find an obscure bookstore on the edge of San Diego. Realizing its mistake, Siri screeched, "Make a u-turn," at the driver. This unrelentless nagging continued as the driver sought a remedy. How do you make a u-turn when the road is really narrow and both sides of the road have sharp drop offs?

    • A couch wanted some space and relief from the couch potato firmly rooted in its cushions. With fair warning, the couch ejected the couch potato out of the apartment. What happened next?

    • A mother and her children were waiting at the airport for their flight. When the flight's called, the mother asked her son, who was lying motionless under the waiting room chair, to get up so they could board the plane. The boy didn't respond even after his mother shook his leg and called his name louder. Was the son okay?

    Want to know more? 
    These finished pieces will be published in sine cera and released in April 2019. These books can be bought through Salt Lake Community College's Community Writing Center in April 2019.

    Join us
    Interested? Then join one of the writing groups. 

    Two groups meet at Literacy Action Center: 
    = 1st & 3rd Thursdays from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
    = 1st & 3rd Fridays from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM (We start with lunch.)

    Other groups meet around the county. Click here for locations and times.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2018

    New Topic: Reading Comprehension

    Tuesday afternoon group has changed topics. We brainstormed then envisioned what we might investigate and produce. Finally, we narrowed the vote to one winner. We selected reading comprehension as our next focus. Then we voted on a genre. Adventure won.

    At our next group session, we'll fill in a KWL* chart about reading comprehension. I'll also review with them the key information needed to learn and incorporate any comprehension strategy into their repertoires: what it is, when to use it, and how to use it.

    Using what they tell me during our work on building the KWL chart, I will map out a set of strategies and adventure stories.

    At our second group session, I'll introduce our first strategy and our first reading.

    As we incorporate strategies into our personal repertoires, we will build note pages to remind us about what the strategies are, when to use them, and how to use them . We'll also include examples for each strategy.

    The end product of this new topic will be increased comprehension skills and a set of personalized note pages to refer to until they become second nature.

    What strategies do you use to help you 
    retain and analyze story information?
    Please tell us in the comments below.

    *KWL chart =
    K: What do I know?
    W: What do I want to know?
    L: What have I learned? (This part is filled in as we learn.)

    Thursday, October 18, 2018

    Plan, Shop (& Drink Smoothies)

    Blend all the ingredients in the blender.

    Plan & Shop was the theme of this week's nutrition class with Laureen from USU's Food $ense course. Over the next few weeks Laureen will be engaging us in thinking about our food choices and their impact on our health and budgets. (Click here to read more about this course.)

    You Do The Math

    Laureen showed us several examples about the impact of our choices on our food budgets. 

    Here were two examples:

    Example 1Store-brand brown rice in a bag costs 5 cents per ounce. The rice in the microwavable pouch cost 18 cents per ounce. Which one is best for your budget? 

    Image result for smithsbrown rice
    Store-brand brown rice was 79 cents* for a 16-ounce bag.
    Total price was 5 cents per ounce.
    (Prices based on web search on 10/18/18.)

    Image result for smiths rice in pouch microwavable price
    Rice in a pouch was $1.50 for 8.5 ounces.
    Total price was 18 cents per ounce.

    Example 2Store-brand low-sodium chicken broth costs 4 cents per ounce. Chicken-flavored cubes (stir 1 cube into 1 cup of hot water to make 8 ounces of chicken broth) cost 2 cents per ounce. Which one is best for your budget? 

    Image result for kroger canned chicken broth price
    Store-brand low-sodium chicken broth was 50 cents for 14 ounces. Total price was 4 cents per ounce.


    Chicken-flavored cubes was $3.19 for 3.25 ounces (or 25 cubes or 25 cups of broth). Total price was 2 cents per ounce. 

    Food Choices Matter

    While Laureen presented us with these choices "to do the math," she never told us what which products we should buy. Her point was that sometimes, depending on the budget, we have other needs and concerns that need to be addressed. In which case, we may want to buy the more expensive item. 

    Laureen's point was that we needed to think about our options before we make purchases to be sure we are getting the most for our food dollars.

    Delicious (but inexpensive) Smoothie

    Laureen  finished our session with Pumpkin Smoothies. Everyone who tried them agreed that they were great! Thank you, Laureen, for showing us this treat.

    Here's the recipe. You try it. 

    Pumpkin Smoothie
    1 cup almond milk
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin (use the brand with pumpkin spices or add your own spices)
    2 cups fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt
    1 cup ice 
    a dash of nutmeg

    Put all four ingredients in the blender. Blend. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

    Tell us what you think.