Posted tagged ‘Literacy Volunteers’

Games to Help Build Vocabulary

December 6, 2016

Tutors looking to spice up their lessons have many options. Try adding a few games to the mix! This link gives games that are being used by the blog author who is a third grade teacher. LV trainer and tutor, Suzie Stover, suggests that most of these can be easily converted to use in a one-on-one tutoring situation. She plans on using them with her student. Give them a try and let us know how it goes by leaving a reply on this post or emailing LV-A with your experiences.

We’ll be sharing and discussing building vocabulary with games at the next Sharing What Works lunch time tutor gathering on Friday, February 10, at the Auburn Public Library.

Games to Play With Any Vocabulary




Who Is This Suave, Masked Man?

January 15, 2015
Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin Tutor

Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin Tutor Perrin Lumbert

Behind the artistic self-portrait is a man that is familiar to many in the L/A community. You may know Perrin Lumbert as an intrepid procurer of academic research materials and adventurous traveler, but did you also know that he is a skilled Literacy Volunteers tutor? Below is a short interview with Perrin regarding his most recent experience as a tutor.

Many people find the idea of serving as a volunteer tutor intriguing, but daunting. They worry that they will fail to help their students reach their all too critical goals. Perrin went through the same doubts when he first signed up to become a Literacy Volunteer, but he pushed forward due to his love of language and his desire to help.

People question whether the lack of a teaching degree will hamper their ability to be a successful tutor, but many are drawn to volunteer due to positive, past experiences where they provided some type of instruction. For Perrin, it was teaching photography classes to large groups of people, some of whom did not speak English. He drew on this experience as well as his minor in linguistics and a certification course to work with English language learners. Most individuals have had the opportunity to teach someone informally, whether it be helping their children with their homework or training someone at work.

Perrin’s student was a woman from Brazil who immigrated to the States. She wanted to qualify for a decent job and needed to improve her English in order to pass a C.N.A class. After a year of hard work on both of their parts, she met her goal, scoring 97 points on her final exam. Perrin said that he initially doubted that he could be an effective tutor, but found he enjoyed the experience and could be a real help to his student.

When asked what he had learned from his student, he explained that they were about the same age, and she reminded him that new challenges could be faced at any age. He said that it was never too late to take risks, study and learn.


Become a Literacy Volunteer tutor. Learn the simple but effective methods developed by Literacy Volunteers for teaching adults and help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.

Our next Tutor Training Workshop will be held on two consecutive Saturdays, January 31 and February 7, 2015, at Bates College. Pre-registration is required. Visit for information and an application or call 207-333-4785 or email:

More from author Elizabeth Scott

April 29, 2014


Stuck in the bottle nice and tight.

Suffocation is a fight.

Overly protective is a might.

In the bottle is not so light

Over caring is not so bright.

Slice the behavior and make it right


The day I was born, I was unwanted. I was born to two young people that had no heart to care for themselves or for the children they had. The best thing they loved was partying. They would create children and never want them. I was unwanted and I had to learn to be a parent to the other children that they created. I would feel bad for them because I knew they were also unwanted.

We were made from two young people. I had to learn fast to be a parent, not just for myself but, for my siblings. We were often left alone and no adults were ever around. When they were around, we wished that they were not there. So much happened that DHS removed us from our parents.

I always felt unwanted. Twenty nine years later, my birth mom found me. After some time of talking over the phone, we decided to meet. I was trying to have my mom back in the hopes of being wanted. So, I took a trip with my son. In four days, things went horribly wrong. On the fourth day, I heard the most crushing words from my mother’s mouth. She said, “I never wanted you. I wish that I never had you as my daughter.”

And still today, I feel unwanted.

WHAT BEING PUBLISHED MEANS TO MELiteracy Volunteers-Androscoggin


Publishing my work is a great feeling of pride. As a child, I was called so many things that tore me down. I was told from parents and classmates that I was a retard and that I was a nobody. I believed them as time went by. My life was rough. I would dream of writing to help not just myself but to help others. I do believe that we should help one another rather than tear each other apart.

So, what does being published mean to me? It’s a great’s feeling to me!!! I am not stupid. I am not a retard.  I am a person with feelings. Yes!!!! I have made it!!!!

I am truly proud of myself for having the courage to write and follow my dreams of being a somebody.



Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin

Elizabeth Scott and her LV-A tutor Linda Connally

Elizabeth Scott, although she loved school, was rarely able to attend due to an abusive home-life, then a host of moves to various foster homes. When life became more stable and she was finally in a place where she could go to school regularly, she was enrolled in the fifth grade. School was no longer a joy as she struggled with so many gaps in her education. She graduated from high school with minimal reading skills.

Once she became a mom and her son entered the public school system, Elizabeth recognized that she needed to improve her reading skills in order to help her child succeed in school. She connected with a Literacy Volunteers tutor and has been working hard on her education ever since.

Today, Elizabeth is able to help her son with his school work, and she has become a published poet.

On Being a Child Educator at LVA

April 1, 2014

Welcome to the Child Educator area of our office space!


LV-A Child Educator Sue Reilly’s Desk

This is my desk, which is surrounded by projects done this year. The family has several school age children and both they and their mother enjoy the craft projects. The projects are often seasonal and offer much opportunity for the use of language concepts andpracticing English.

Literacy Volunteers

LV-A’s Child Educator’s Area

The scarecrow, turkey, and owl were done in the fall. The turtle was late summer. The gingerbread kid garland and snowmen were from the winter. We ended the winter crafts with the colorful snowflakes that were inspired by one of the books we read.

Our family literacy area is colorful and includes toys, games and books for a variety of ages. Items range from rattles to noisy toys that are appropriate for learning the connection between doing something and getting a response, to puzzles and games.

The challenge is to bring age and developmentally appropriate toys and activities that can be used around smaller children. Most little ones go through the “world according to the mouth” stage where there is much oral exploration. Safety is a constant factor.

We have a number of toys that fit many interests. Most children like building

Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin

LV-A’s Toy and Book Library

toys. We have foam blocks that mimic wooden ones but are much easier to carry, Megablocks and Duplos. There are single piece wooden puzzles and more complex jigsaw floor puzzles as well as smaller, simpler jigsaw puzzles. Drawing paper and crayons, markers, scissors and glue sticks are a basic as are white boards and dry erase markers. Little cars are a staple for some children along with toy animals, puppets and doll house items. There are many pre-reading skills that need to be practiced to help children be ready for school.

—Sue Reilly, LV-A Child Educator

My Little Bundle of Joy

December 19, 2013

Since the day I had you my little boy, you have brought back my heart and filled it with plenty of love and joy. Since the day I had you my little boy, you have brought me tears of joy. As I hold you in my arms and I feel the warmth from your little body and as I hold your little hand, I cry from all the different emotions that have gathered up inside of me.

Since the day that I had you my little boy, it was the best day that I have ever had in my whole entire life. Since the day I had you my little boy, it has been truly the best gift that I have ever had. Thank you God for my little bundle of joy. Since the day I had you my little boy.

By Elizabeth Scott

Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin

Elizabeth Scott and her LV-A tutor Linda Connally

Family Literacy

December 11, 2013

KAP (Knowledge as Power Family Literacy) has been busy this fall. In one family,  there are four school age children in the family. The ages range from four to twelve, which makes group activities something of a challenge, but we have fun. We start with snack and a read aloud, then some academics and homework, followed by games, building or simple crafts. The children are enjoyable.


KAP Family with Pumpkin Head Scarecrows

We all work on a larger, more involved craft as a family – mother, all the children, the tutor, and sometimes the father. We have made designs with colored rice, turtles from paper bowls, owls with card stock, egg cartons, and feathers turkeys from hands and feet, glittered pine cones and pumpkin head scarecrows with movable arms and legs. More, even messier crafts are planned for Christmas. It is nice to come back the next week to see them still displayed on the walls.

– Sue Reilly, LV-A Child Educator

The Day I Gave Birth to You

December 10, 2013

The day I gave birth to you was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me.  I had never felt so much pain and excitement in all my life. I had all kinds of different emotions. I first felt the inner joy of having you in my stomach. A bit of peace came over me.

As I gave birth to you, you came out not breathing. My emotions quickly changed to a shock of feelings of numbness and sadness as I cried. I heard the doctors say, “He is not breathing.” Then, “Now we got him breathing.”  I quickly changed that emotion to a feeling of excitement and feeling truly blessed.

The doctors checked you over and said “He’s a healthy baby.” I started to cry with the overwhelming emotions. The doctors asked if I wanted to hold you but, I couldn’t because the emotion of feeling that I would fail as a parent scared me to death. So much that I said, “No, I can’t, I can’t.”

As the doctors gave you to your father to hold, I cried feeling exposed. I watched you being held and all I could think of was what a beautiful baby you were. As your father held you, he looked at me and said, “If you don’t hold him now, you may never bond with him. I know you may be frightened you need him as much as he needs you.” So, he slowly placed you in my arms and smiled. I looked at you and I started to feel the emotions of strength and belief that I would be a great mother to you. To my baby, I love you with all that is within me.

By Elizabeth Scott

Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin

Elizabeth Scott and her LV-A tutor Linda Connally