Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Citizenship Classes

Did you know LEARN and the San Diego County Library offers free citizenship classes?  For over three years, many people have taken advantage of our citizenship classes at different library branches.  Several of the class attendees have taken and passed the citizenship exam, becoming new U.S. citizens.  Currently, classes are offered at the 4S Ranch, Potrero, Ramona, San Marcos, Spring Valley, and Vista branch libraries.  Please check out the video below highlighting our citizenship program.  If you have any questions about our citizenship classes or would like to help out, please contact LEARN at 888-466-0668. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Penguin Readers for Adult Learners

Trying to select interesting reading material for your learner?  Penguin Readers are an excellent resource housed in both the El Cajon and Vista Literacy Centers.  Often called "high-low readers" (high interest-lower reading level), Penguin Readers are essentially abridged versions of classic novels, biographies, or movie adaptations.  There are different levels within this series which accommodate most adult learners, from lower level readers to more advanced readers.  You will find an array of genres and titles, including Sense & Sensibility, Heart of Darkness, Black Beauty, 1984, and even biographies of famous people, such as Martin Luther King Jr.  You can view more Penguin Readers titles by following this link:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Check out The Bee!

What is The Bee?  The Bee is a spelling bee that consists of teams of three competing against teams from other companies, schools, and non-profit organizations from San Diego County.

When is The Bee?  The Bee will take place at The Pavilion at The Four Points by Sheraton San Diego in Serra Mesa: 8110 Aero Drive, San Diego, CA 92123 on Thursday, February 23, 2012, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  There will also be a reception beforehand beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Whom does The Bee benefit?  The Bee benefits the San Diego Council on Literacy and its 25 affiliated literacy programs, including LEARN!

How much does The Bee cost?  Tickets for spectators are only $10 and this includes hors d’oeuvres, prize giveaways, and cash bar.

For more information visit the San Diego Council on Literacy's website at

Monday, February 13, 2012

SCLLN Literacy Conference

The Southern California Library Literacy Network is hosting its annual literacy conference on Saturday, February 25th in Buena Park (Orange County).  This all day conference is full of informative and practical workshops for both tutors and adult learners alike.  Please follow this link to view this year's workshops and for registration information:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monthly Tutor Reports - FAQ

All tutors must submit a monthly tutor report to the LEARN staff by the 5th of each month.  Although the monthly tutor report helps keep us informed of your learner's accomplishments, these reports cover more than just your learner's progress.  The monthly tutor report also helps us keep track of your learner's goals (set and met), materials usage, and any areas of concern.  The monthly tutor report also informs us of what type of hours were kept by you and your learner.

Below are answers to tutors' frequently asked questions: 

1)      Do I submit a report if little or no progress has been made?
Answer:  Yes!  The monthly tutor report is not a progress report.  Although we want to keep abreast of any and all progress, we realize that at times the learning process moves at a snail’s pace.  If this is the case with your learner, add this to the report, plus any other developments (positive or negative).  We definitely want to know things like, “Joe hasn’t made any progress lately.  He lost his job and had to miss a couple of sessions.”  This information gives us some insight into what’s going on with you and your learner.  It also helps us assist you if you feel things are stagnant.
2)      Do I submit a report if we only met once or twice?
Answer:  Yes!  LEARN tracks the hours kept by all tutor/learner pairs, including any tutor preparation or travel time.  We, in turn, pass this information to the San Diego County Library’s administration and the California State Library.  Both the County and the State want to know how many volunteer hours are spent teaching adults how to read and write.  Based on the information included in tutor reports, from July 2010 – June 2011 LEARN tutors spent over 7,800 hours teaching their learners literacy skills!
3)      What if my learner’s goals are still the same and not much has changed?  Do I still submit a report?
Answer:  Yes!  We’ll refer you back to the answer for Question #1.  Additionally, maybe this is a good time to sit down with your learner and set new goals.  If his/her goals are more long-term, maybe you can both set some goals that will help his/her progress in the short-term (i.e. complete Challenger Lesson 3 in the next two weeks, each week this month read one chapter in my book, etc).
4)      Do I submit a report if we did not meet and/or have not met in a while?
Answer:  No.  You do not have to submit a report if you did not meet; however, we would like to know about any breaks in tutoring that have taken place (planned or unplanned).  You can either send us this information via phone, email, in person, or in a tutor report.
5)      I haven’t submitted a report because my learner and I stopped meeting a while ago.
Answer:  The last one was a statement and not a question, but we do have an answer!  If you and your learner are no longer meeting, please contact us!  Let us know if you are interested in being paired with a new learner.  There are always several learners waiting for tutors.  We are constantly updating our database, so please keep us informed as to you and/or your learner’s status.

Please submit your monthly tutor report by the 5th of each month.  You can download a copy of the monthly tutor report by following this link: If you have any questions regarding the tutor report, please post your questions in the comments below or give us a call at 619-588-3740. Thank you!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tutor Training and Orientation

LEARN offers one tutor training and orientation session each month of the year (except December).  The purpose of the tutor training and orientation session is to give incoming volunteer tutors an overview of LEARN, introduce the various resources available to our tutors, and prepare them for working with an adult learner.  Attendance at a tutor training and orientation session is required before a volunteer tutor can begin working with an adult learner.  To view our 2012 tutor training list, please follow this link:

There are a number of ways you can register for an upcoming tutor training and orientation session.  To register by phone, please call 760-643-5144 (North County) or 619-588-3740 (South/East County).  You can also call our toll free line at 888-466-0668.

For electronic registration, email us at or follow this link:

Tutor and Learner Requirements

Whether you are a learner or tutor, one must meet certain requirements when getting involved with LEARN.  The requirements are as follows:

Learners must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age or 16 years of age and not in school;
  • Be willing to make a minimum commitment of 6 months;
  • Be willing to meet with a tutor for 1-1/2 hours twice a week;
  • Be willing to meet with a tutor at a San Diego County Library branch.

Volunteer Tutors must:
  • Be at least 18 years old, with the equivalent of a high school diploma;
  • Pass the County of San Diego's Volunteer Background Check;
  • Successfully complete LEARN's Tutor Training program;
  • Commit to a minimum of six months as a tutor;
  • Meet with a learner for 1-1/2 hours twice a week at a County Library branch;
  • Be patient, flexible and supportive with a sense of humor.
Please call 888-466-0668 toll free or visit for more information.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What is LEARN?

LEARN is the adult literacy program of the San Diego County Library.  We help adults improve their English literacy skills in order to achieve their full potential as community members, family members, workers, and life-long learners.  Adult learners who participate in our program accomplish their literacy goals by attending one-on-one or small group tutoring, ESL classes, English conversation classes, or citizenship classes.  All tutoring and classroom instruction is provided by volunteer tutors and instructors.  All of LEARN's services are provided free of charge in all 33 branches of the San Diego County Library.

If you need help, know of somebody who needs help, or would like to volunteer, please call 888-466-0668 or click  Change a life!  Help an adult to read and write!

LEARN Mission

  • To help adults improve reading and writing skills to achieve their full potential as community members, family members, workers, and life-long learners;
  • To teach non-English speakers ESL (English as a Second Language) skills;
  • To tailor services to individual needs, with confidentiality;
  • To foster understanding and use of public libraries;
  • To educate communities on the importance of literacy.