Volume III, Issue 1, March 2012 Pat Peck, Superwoman!PPat ... · Pat Peck, Superwoman!PPat Peck,...
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Pat Peck Super-
Bookstock 2012 2
President Letter 3
On the move 4
Coming Event 5
Dear Pat & Julie 6
Incase you missed
Reach for the Stars
2012 celebration 8
Inside this issue:
2250 S. Telegraph Rd., Ste., 103
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
www.oaklandliteracy.net [email protected]
Volume III, Issue 1, March 2012
Pat Peck, Superwoman!Pat Peck, Superwoman!Pat Peck, Superwoman!Pat Peck, Superwoman! Many of us associate Pat Peck with
Bookstock. But, her connection with the
Oakland Literacy Council goes back much
further than her leadership of the Council’s
relationship with that event. She began as
a tutor in the 1990’s. Her first student had
many disabilities but his goal was to learn to
read the comics in the newspaper. He suc-
ceeded in his goal and was also thrilled
when he could read the words “Kentucky
Fried Chicken” even without seeing a pic-
ture of Colonel Sanders!
Her next students were a couple from
Vietnam who later became American citi-
zens. Even though the tutoring ended
some time ago, they call Pat “Mom” and
their children call her “Grandma,” so they
are still part of Pat’s life.
Pat and her husband raised four chil-
dren. Now Pat has eleven grandchildren
and numerous great-grandchildren! As if
that wasn’t enough, Pat worked for Oakland
County for 33 years, the last 17 with Pro-
bate Estates and Mental Health. But she
retired in 2000 because of her husband’s
health and they were spending winters in
Florida. At that point she had to give up
tutoring. However when she was available,
she was the helpful voice on the phone for
tutors who needed support in various ways
for their tutoring.
Pat’s love of books goes way back.
She read a lot as a child, finding it a good
escape from difficult times. She also recalls
reading the paper to her father who only
had a 3rd grade education.
“He required that I read slowly and put my
finger under the words as I read, so he
‘would know I was doing it right’ as he said.”
Years later, Pat realized this is how he taught
himself to read. Her dad continued to read
the newspaper daily (if slowly) until his death.
In Pat’s high school they had a card sys-
tem for checking out books. Most students
had a card, but Pat had a whole file box to
hold all the cards for her records!
As if reading and tutor-related activi-
ties weren’t enough, one of Pat’s goals is to
write a book! She spent November of 2011
writing 50,000 words in 28 days as part of the
National Novel Writing Month.
(continued on page 2)
(continued from page 1)
She says her novel is turning out to be more
about her journey through life. The next step is edit-
ing and proof reading.
Since her husband died in 2007, she has trav-
eled to Alaska, Rome, and Greece and is looking
forward to possible trips to Quebec and Montreal, as
well as France.
Just in case she gets bored, Pat sometimes takes
“road trips” without a destination in mind. She waits for
inspiration about which way to turn! Now that’s an ad-
Bookstock has been a “wonderful event for me,” Pat
says, because she has met so many great people who
inspire her to do even more with her life. And, she
says she’s “not done.” So, stay tuned. There no doubt
will be more to tell about Pat in the future.
April 22 - April 29
Laurel Park Place Mall in Livonia
The Oakland Literacy Council is in charge of sales at the 2012 Bookstock* on Friday, April 27, from 5 p.m. to
9 p.m. and Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We need as many volunteers as possible for all shifts.
Or to quote Pat Peck, we need “lots and lots” of volunteers.
Meanwhile, before the sale even begins, volunteers are needed to help sort books at the Jewish Community
Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and again on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. When you sign
in for the Oakland Literacy Council, money is given to the council for each hour you spend sorting. This is a
great way to see how this huge event all comes together.
For those who have worked previous years, Pat says “I don’t have to remind you of how fulfilling and fun it
is.” Come and see for yourself this year!
*Bookstock is a fund raiser put on each year by the Jewish community to support literacy and education projects. Volunteers from
organizations which assist in the effort receive a share of the profits.
News from our tutors and students
Volunteers who keep on giving
Many of our tutors volunteer for other organizations as well as the Oakland Literacy Council. John Schmittroth is one of
those who not only has been a tutor since 2009, but also participates in the AARP’s free tax preparation for individuals
who cannot afford such help. According to John:
AARP’s Tax Aide program provides free tax preparation for taxpayers of all ages with middle to low incomes, with spe-
cial attention to those aged 60 or over.
Electronic filing is used to ensure accuracy and provide returns quickly. This tax assistance is limited by the training pro-
vided to the AARP Tax Counselors. Complex returns will be referred to other tax preparers.
AARP’S tax preparation services are provided at a number of libraries, community centers and other public locations
throughout the metro area. More information, including a locations list, can be found at
We all appreciate so many of you who donate your talents to those who need your help!
(AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons)
When I receive my e-mail from our E-Bulletin editor Ellie Robertson, gently nudging me to write my President’s letter, I’m rarely hard pressed to find a topic. And once again it was easy to put “pen to paper.” I entitle this missive “Oakland Literacy Council’s Unsung Heroes”. On any given day, our office staff fields dozens of calls, meets with tutors, students, volunteers and donors, deals with requests, and mountains of paperwork all with humor, smiles and skill. Thank you sometimes doesn’t seem adequate so how about this: to Julie Hoensheid, Robert Bechler, Hamida Rahman and Pat Ojala -- we admire and respect your knowledge, warmth and service and most of all we appreciate the fine job you do for the Oakland Literacy Council. We are also lucky to have so many talented volunteers. These men and women have been work-ing tirelessly in our office, writing grants, doing research, writing press releases, finding donors, hosting parties and so much more. My fear is if I start listing all of you that I will leave one of you out. I only hope that you know how much we value your work and how indebted we are to your contribution of time and expertise. Applause, applause to all of you. As usual, what is my President’s letter without my reminder that we are always on the look out to spread the word about our organization and in turn find new tutors, students and donors. Here are some things to consider....we just received a wonderful check from Meritor for money they col-lected for “Dress down Friday”. We have received similar checks from Oakland County and the Bloomfield Township Library. If your company has a casual day please consider the OLC as one of the participants. Volunteer Cathy Hodson suggested a terrific idea to host house parties in our own homes (think ice cream socials, teas, cocktail parties, garden parties -- limitless possibilities) and invite friends, neighbors, co-workers, bowling pals, book club members, etc., to attend with the understanding that the function will be literacy related. Guests will gather and have a grand time and at some point will hear about the Literacy Council. Cathy has agreed to have our first house party and will extend an invitation to anyone who would like to see how this works. And no, it is not a “hard sell”, just a way to get the word out. A large group of volunteers are scouring Oakland County businesses to find sponsors for our Run 2 Read event on June 9th. We already have 20 runners signed up and we are hoping for an addi-tional 480 participants. If you frequent a business and are willing to pass along materials regarding Run 2 Read please contact the office. Finally thanks to Bob Gaylor and Mary Rosenbusch and Assaggi Bistro of Ferndale for supporting our Leap for Literacy day and to Brady’s restaurant for their donation for this event Cheers!
President, Oakland Literacy Council
From our president
We are on the move.....but, not too worry-- you won’t have any difficulty finding us as we are moving right next door to suite 103. The move was prompted by two events, one a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation (see related story) and two, the ability to sign a long term lease as opposed to the month to month we have been relying on these past two years. If you’ve been to our current office you know how cavernous it is for our small staff. Our new office, while smaller, has been transformed to meet our specifi-cations including the carpet and paint colors. It will also allow us to hold tutor training sessions, along with continuing our new tradition of Breakfast Club meetings in the office. Our thanks to building owner Gabe Schuchman for his support in our hard work and mission.
For years one item on our “wish list” seemed forever outside the realm of possibilities. That is until the Veri-zon Foundation presented Oakland Literacy Council a substantial check that will enable us to create a computer lab for both our basic and ESL students. Our new office (see above story) will provide room for this additional learning tool, aptly named the "Thinkfinity First Resource Center." Needless to say, this would not have happened without the hard work of two people-- volunteer Judy Joyce, who spent days writing and researching the grant and Dave Vehslage, Verizon’s State Director - Government & External Affairs, who is a strong believer in our organization. We will be sending out an open house invitation as soon as we are up and running. We encourage all of our students to use our resource center.
Congratulations! Taking and passing the written driver’s test is no small accomplishment for some students. Rosemarie
Gancer’s student did just that recently. Congratulations to you both!
To attend training, please register by calling the office
(248.253.1617) at least five days before the first session.
Step Into History: A Fieldtrip for Tutors and Students!
Troy Museum & Historic Village 60 W. Wattles Road (17 Mile) just west of Livernois
Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
RSVP by June 7, 2012 * Admission is $5 per person *
Please join us at the Troy Museum & His-toric Village for a fascinating day of exploration and fun! A tour guide will take us on a journey back through time as we visit a place that existed long ago. The Troy Museum & Historic Village includes ten historic structures in a charming two-acre village located in the heart of Troy, Michigan . Here visitors of all ages can explore the lifestyles of the pioneers who established homes and farms in rural Troy Township during the 1800s. The carefully restored and fully furnished buildings include a log cabin (1840), a Greek revival home (1865), a brick one-room school (1877), print shop, wagon shop, and town hall (1900), a general store (1918) and a turn-of the-century church and parsonage. Visitors may also explore the exhibit gallery and gift shop located in the main museum building. * If you would like to stay and enjoy a picnic afterward, please be sure to bring a sack lunch.
Run 2 Read
Saturday June 9, 2012 9: a.m. Stoney Creek Metro Park
This is our 2nd annual 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run
in conjunction with Macomb Literacy Partners. It will
be held on Saturday, June 9th at Stoney Creek
Metro Park with a course that will span both Oak-
land and Macomb counties. Last year we had
nearly 250 participants. Interested parties can go to
www.r2read.com for more information and to
Tutor Training Schedule
Bloomfield Township Public Library 1099 Lone Pine Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Saturday May 19, 2012 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, May 21, 2012 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
West Bloomfield Public Library
4600 Walnut Lake Road,
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
Saturday, June 23, 2012 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, June 25, 2012 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wed. day, June 27, 2012 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Laurel Park Place Mall – Livonia
Friday April 27, 2012 4 p.m. – 9 p. m.
Saturday April 28, 2012 9 a.m. – 9 p. m.
3rd Annual Potluck Dinner3rd Annual Potluck Dinner3rd Annual Potluck Dinner3rd Annual Potluck Dinner
Bloomfield Township Public Library
1099 Lone Pine Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Wednesday May 3, 2012 5:30 p.m.
Pat & Julie
If you’re planning to come to the office to get materials or for other reasons, please call first
to make sure someone will be available to help you. Often staff and volunteers have to
leave the office for various reasons and they would like to coordinate with you. A reminder
that office hours are M-F 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and our phone number is 248.253.1617
(Note: December's Breakfast Club was chock full of terri-
fic information as tutors shared their tough questions and
My student has a very thick accent and I
have a very difficult time understanding
what he is saying. We have met three times
and I don't want to discourage or offend him
by having to keep asking him to repeat him-
self. I'm afraid he's getting frustrated. What
should I do?
Explain and ask him to slow down.
With time you will come to understand. His ac-
cent and cadence of speech will become famil-
Hooked on Phonics, available at most libraries,
is a very helpful tool for reading and pronuncia-
Another great way to give your student an opportunity
to hear himself is by using a plastic PVC "U" joint. He
can speak into one end while holding the other up to his
What we hear and what our students hear can be two
different things. Use a tape recorder to tape your stu-
dent and then play it back. Your student might be very
surprised and come to recognize what you have been
trying to tell him!
Bob Bechler picked up a tip from a new ESL student re-cently. He told Bob that a TV channel that was very helpful to him in learning the English language was The Shopping Network. When you think about it, there are visual examples, descriptive language and acting out to some degree. It makes sense: the programs on the Shopping Network really want to get their message across and will use any and all means to do so. Tutors may wish to suggest this to their students (just not to shopaholic students!) for extra listening practice.
Julie Hoensheid has found a new website from the California Library Literacy Services. You will probably want to browse the entire website, but the part about Roles and Goals could be particularly useful in planning ap-propriate lessons for your student. Go to www.libraryliteracy.org and select “Roles and Goals Curriculum here” under “What’s New…”
Breakfast Club provides an opportunity for tutors to gather, share stories, ask questions, and offer help
Pat & Julie, our trainers, met with 31 tutors on Saturday, December 3, 2011 for breakfast (or you might
call it brunch) at the OLC office. Tutors brought delicacies ranging from delicious homemade desserts and dips,
excellent egg dishes, magnificent muffins, scrumptious salads and tons of other tasty treats!
Ah, but they did come for more than the food! Pat and Julie shared a thematic unit on winter that in-
cluded a “Snowman Fashion Show” activity that focused on listening, speaking and following directions. Also
included were a number of pages of suggestions for lessons in comprehension, poetry, writing prompts, discus-
sion topics and activities to do with children.
Following the unit on winter, the floor was opened up for tutors to ask questions, share stories and offer
help and ideas for other tutors. Tech savvy tutor, Jim DePaoli, was kind enough to share a list of apps that he
finds are quite helpful with his students. These include: Dictionary, Howjsay, Voice Memos, Youdao, Newy-
ork Times, Flashcards, Spelling Words, PicDictionary, A Kindergarten Story Book, Yahoo, Google,
Teach Me, Word Bingo Alphabet Fun, and Wattpad.
The Oakland Literacy Council has lost three wonderful friends recently.
On December 23, 2011, Thomas Hallisy lost his battle with cancer. Tom was the husband of Cathryn (Weiss) Hallisy, the first director of the Oakland Literacy Council. Tom will be remembered for his wonderful
sense of humor and his many interests in life. Memorials may be made to the Oakland Literacy Council or
Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor), both organizations Tom valued.
Evelyn K. Cogan, retired tutor, died January 16, 2012 at the age of 104. After a full life, she became a tutor for the Oakland Literacy Council at the age of 90, and at the age of 98 was honored as the Council’s Tutor of
the Year. The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Oakland Literacy Council.
Jeffrey Zaslow, a writer for the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Sun-Times and the author of several books died in an automobile accident in northern Michigan on February 10, 2012. Jeff was the speaker at
our 2007 Ex Libris dinner and was a supporter of literacy programs.
On January 9th a large group of tutors, students and friends of the Oakland Literacy Council joined together
to celebrate our accomplishments during 2011 and to announce our Honor Roll recipients. The 56
attendees got together at the First United Methodist Church in Birmingham and shared a light buffet dinner
before the awards presentation. The following awards were announced:
Tutor of the Year: Susan Lipson
Basic Student of the Year: Ernestine (Missy) Buckner
ESL Student of the Year: Unju An
Volunteer of the Year: Ann Weber
Congratulations to all the heroes of the Oakland
From left: Ann Weber, Unju An, Ernestine Buckner, Susan Lipson Group pictures of attendees
Group enjoying the buffet Mary Kroneman and Ernetstine Buckner