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Volunteer Tutors: The Lions of Literacy

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Tri-Library Tutor Conference

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ABE Conference

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Storylines 2012

Welcome to Tutor Hub!

This site is a resource and a sharing space for volunteer tutors at the Centers for Reading and Writing (CRW) in the New York Public Library.  Please contact Danica Draper, Literacy Specialist, for more information about this site:


Lesson-Sharing Bonanza: Friday, Feb. 10th, 2-4pm at the Mid-Manhattan Library (6th Floor)

A great big "Thank You!" to all of the tutors who made it to the Mid-Manhattan Library on Friday.  We shared many ideas, including:
  • Icebreakers for unleashing creativity (Judy S. - AG)
  • New Yorker covers as writing prompts (Maida - SA)
  • Teaching Langston Hughes: Planning, tips, poem, and author bio (Maddy - AG)
  • "Ideas and Suggestions," from Sara V. (SA)
  • High-interest Lessons from the New York Times (Elmera - HL)
  • Advice Column and Writing Prompts (Betty C.)
  • Symphony Space lessons
  • Authentic Materials - Hellen (BLC)
  • ...and more to be posted soon!
 I will be duplicating and scanning these lessons this week and will get them out to you soon!
With much appreciation and admiration,

Tutor Profile of the Month

Tutors are encouraged to reflect on their own learning, and to think how they have felt while learning something new. Here is tutor Alexandra (Alex) Steedman’s reflection, also featured on the NYPL Blog Channel!

"You’re never too old to learn" the old adage says. Taking this to heart, I decided to finally pursue a long standing dream of learning to play the piano. At the ripe old age of 42, I was ready to take on this new challenge. I rented a worn but trusty old upright, found a local teacher, and began the adventure.

It just so happens that my first few weeks of lessons coincided with another challenge — my first few weeks of tutoring at The New York Public Library. Almost instantly, I saw the parallels between what I was experiencing as a new student, and what my students must be experiencing.

There was the excitement and eagerness of taking those first steps. The bewilderment of looking at a page full of notes and wondering, "Will I ever be able to read that?" The realization that there were a few things I already knew (I played trumpet for a few years in high school) that might help me along the way. There was the need to keep my impatience in check — I wanted to be good right now, right away. But it was going to take time. It was going to require lots of practice, repetition, and perseverance.

One evening I arrived early for my lesson, and had the pleasure of hearing another adult student play. She played beautifully, almost flawlessly. I found myself thinking, "I will never be able to play like that. So what’s the point?" When she finished I said, “Please tell me you’ve been playing for 20 years!” She laughed and said, “Almost 30, actually.” After she left, my teacher said something that I still take to heart. “Don’t keep comparing yourself to others — you are doing yourself a disservice that way. Remember — it’s a personal journey.” And so it is.

My piano teacher funnily enough, is also an adult literacy tutor. And he could not be better suited for it. With me he is consistently encouraging, patient, warm, and understanding. He makes me feel good about my progress, however small. He listens, and we laugh. A sense of humor can not be underrated in any tough endeavor.

And yes there are still times I want to quit piano. It is still mix of great enjoyment and reward, and hitting "walls" and dealing with frustration. But I am not ready to give up. I can actually play some easy songs now — which is a lot more than I could say three months ago, even if I still play the wrong note now and then.

As for my two wonderful students at the Library, I am looking forward to continuing the journey of learning together, for it is a mutual one.

Learning Piano and Learning to Read: Reflections from a CRW Tutor

Recent Updates to The Hub

  • Post Recent Announcements
  • Literacy Review 2012 - Congratulations to Students, Tutors, and Staff! You keep the love of writing alive by participating in Literacy Review 2012...   LITERACY REVIEW, VOLUME 10: FINAL CHOICES     Aguilar CRW Wilawan Thirapararapong, "My Teacher"  Julio Rodriguez,"Aroma" Adjowa Maglo ...
    Posted Jan 20, 2012, 11:42 AM by Danica Draper
  • "The Best Thing..." -- A Story for Learning Sight Words Most of the students in the Centers for Reading and Writing read below the 4th grade level, and the majority of these students do not know the 220 Dolch sight ...
    Posted Dec 30, 2011, 4:21 PM by Danica Draper
  • Students Goals: Passing the Driver's License Learner's Permit Exam Barbara Martinez, Site Advisor for Bronx Library Center, is proud to announce that Ada C., student at BLC-CRW, passed her learner's permit exam in December.  Congratulations, Ada!  Ada ...
    Posted Dec 30, 2011, 8:27 AM by Danica Draper
  • 2012 Adult Basic Education (ABE) Conference 33rd Annual New York City Adult Basic Education Conference: "Innovating and Connecting in Adult Literacy," SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012, at Fashion Industries High School, New York City, NY.The Planning ...
    Posted Dec 30, 2011, 7:59 AM by Danica Draper
  • February 24th: Building Literacy through Oral Interpretation, Drama, and Storytelling Building Literacy through Oral Interpretation, Drama, and Storytelling February 24, 2012: 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. 161 William Street – 7th floor Computer Training Room Presenter: Stacey Miranda, Literacy Staff ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2012, 8:21 AM by Danica Draper
  • Online Presentation: English Language Learners Those of you with English language learners in your group have noticed the big differences between learners who are literate in their native language, and those with little or no ...
    Posted Dec 1, 2011, 4:54 PM by Danica Draper
  • Fluency Lessons for Beginning Readers A fluent reader is able to read with accuracy (few or no errors), appropriate pacing (not too fast or too slow), and phrasing (grouping words together as in natural speech ...
    Posted Nov 15, 2011, 12:14 PM by Danica Draper
  • Featured Tutor Lesson: Late Again! Karen Pell, tutor at Bronx Library Center, designed the following lesson to compliment Late Again!, once of the most popular new books in the CRW collection.  Open the attachments below ...
    Posted Oct 20, 2011, 9:43 AM by Danica Draper
  • Featured Comment from the Tutor Sharing Space Here is a great tip from Maddy Lee, tutor at Aguilar: I’ve just found a website that will generate a Bingo card using whatever words you want to put ...
    Posted Oct 20, 2011, 6:52 AM by Danica Draper
  • Featured Event: St. Agnes Takes a Field Trip to the Metropolitan Opera House In November, students, tutors and staff from the St. Agnes Center for Reading and Writing went on a fieldtrip to Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera house. Prior to the trip ...
    Posted Dec 30, 2011, 8:03 AM by Danica Draper
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