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Live, Learn, Connect, Grow

Arlington, Texas


Book It for Literacy

Above: Venture High School student

Andrea Aguilar learns the importance
of reading to her baby, Genesis Garcia,
in her Life Through Literacy class.

in this issue
Our Impact...........................2 O n August 14, 2010, Arlington
Reads hosted its inaugural 5K
walk/run, Book It for Literacy. Ninety-
ners, Arlington’s Departments of
Parks and Recreation and Police and
Fire, and by the generous donations
Minh’s Story.........................3
eight racers of all ages competed in given to us by The Runner, Whole
Partners for Workplace the event, held at the beautiful River Foods, and Costco. Mark your calen-
Legacy Parks in north Arlington. The dars for our 2nd annual 5K race on
Saving Lives through race was made possible by our part- August 13, 2011.
March of Dimes
Giving Back to Arlington........5 rlington Reads is grate-
In the Words
of our Students....................5 Partnership ful to its partner March
of Dimes, whose generous
Volunteers in Service donation of 2,000 books has
to Arlington..........................6 reached many students. March
Life at Arlington Reads..........7 of Dimes continues to sup-
port Arlington Reads through
a $500 grant, which has been
used to purchase copies of
Baby Basics, given to moth-
ers attending Life Through
Literacy classes.
Our Impact
Arlington Reads owes its success to the dedication of its students, vol-
unteers, and community partners. In the fiscal year 2010, we made the
following impact:

Arlington Reads offers the 189 volunteers served their community through Arlington Reads.
following programs
to the community: 4,923 hours were dedicated to Arlington Reads by our volunteers.
Adult Literacy
1,340 students participated in Arlington Reads’ programs.
ESL and Basic Literacy is the total number of hours our students and volunteers
Citizenship Preparation 11,763 spent working together.
English Conversation Circles
Online GED 110 ESL and Basic Literacy students advanced at least one level in Eng-
lish proficiency.
Youth Literacy
The Learning Zone 147 ESL and Basic Literacy students met a literacy goal.
Reader’s Theater 83% of Learning Zone students passed to the next grade level.
Junior High Tutoring
100% of parents with children in Wee Reads say they have learned
something new.
Workplace Literacy
Texas Industry Specific ESL 3 students passed the citizenship test.
Computer Classes
3 students got their GED, contributing $135,000 to Arlington annually.
Family Literacy 5 students obtained jobs.
Life Through Literacy
Wee Reads 62 families received free board books to help develop early childhood
Lee y Serás literacy skills.

Meet Rosaura
When Rosaura Ambriz first came to Arlington
Reads, she knew little English and had never
graduated from high school. “My goals are to
speak, understand, write, and read English,” she

Now, three years later, she speaks English so

well that family members in Minnesota rely on
her as an over-the-phone translator at the doc-
tor’s office and the supermarket.

“It’s different now,” she says. “I can help my

children with their homework.”
Rosaura, with her daughter Dayana, who participates
in Readers Theater, The Learning Zone, and Fitnessitas.



Partners For
Minh’s Story

A lmost 238,000 adults in Tarrant
County cannot read English
well enough to follow a bus sched-
Specific English as a Second Lan-
guage course, where she practices
the healthcare-related terms that will
ule or read a story to their children. help her reach her long-term goal: to
Minh Nguyen is no longer one of become a patient-intake coordinator
these adults. at a hospital.
For the past 16 years, Minh More important, however,
has lived in Arlington, unable to she says knowing English allows
speak, read, or write in English. her to better care for her children.
Encouraged by her husband and Because of her classes at Arlington
children, who speak the language flu- Reads, Minh is not only able to read
ently, Minh enrolled in three English stories to her son and daughter, ages
Maida, Rosa, Mira, and Maria Fernandez
as a Second Language classes at 7 and 10, but she can also help them (left to right) study English after work at
Arlington Reads. with their homework. With this in Arlington Memorial Hospital.
When asked what has moti- mind, she laughs easily when her
vated her to keep up her studies for children tell friends that “mommy With the genrous support of North
three years, Minh insists, “If I learn, goes to school, too.” Texas Future Fund and Texas Health
I can help others.” She speaks enthu- Resources, Arlington Reads has
siastically about her Texas Industry Minh (left), with her tutor Virginia. expanded its workplace literacy
programs into the community of
Arlington. In February 2010, Arling-
ton Reads began teaching English as
a Second Language classes and Texas
Industry Specific English as a Second
Language classes to staff members
of Arlington Memorial Hospital and
Hyatt Place.
The classes, which reach 26 adults,
teach basic literacy skills, while con-
centrating on vocabulary specific to
their students’ workplaces. By focus-
ing on job-oriented English, Arlington
Reads and its partners hope to facili-
tate communication between employ-
ees and customers. Results of a recent

 test measuring English profiency show

 that 84% of students at Hyatt Place
advanced at least one level. Arlington
Reads is grateful for the continued

support that NTFF’s Valerie Hodges
and Carl Hecht have provided for its
workplace literacy initiatives.


Saving Lives Clockwise, from left: VISTAs Kim
Tran (center) and Virginia Tran

through Literacy
(left) lead parenting and expecting
teen moms in a song that teaches
children vowel sounds; Life

Through Literacy student Melina
tudies shows that more babies city,” he says, “I cannot think of one
Flores practices asking her daugh-
die each year in Arlington than more serious than the potential loss
ter, Sophia, critical thinking ques-
in almost any other city in Texas. of life of a baby. The issue is forced
tions about the ball she’s playing
Arlington Reads has joined forces to become merely a statistic. We are
with; Kim (right) instructs moms
with Arlington Independent School standing up for them.”
to identify the title of a book
District, local non profit Life Through The teens attending the pro-
before reading it to their children;
Literacy, the Arlington North Rotary gram speak of how much they have
Life Through Literacy founder Joe
Club, and Rotary District 5790 to learned. Christina Cruz, an expect-
Bruner (left) awards Arlington
fight infant mortality. ing mom and senior at Venture High
Public Library with a $5,000 dona-
Arlington Reads’ Life School, says, “Point out the front,
tion from the Arlington North
Through Literacy program seeks to cover, and spine of the books. These
Rotary Club and the Life Through
counter one of the leading causes are skills children need to learn before
Literacy Foundation, to be used
of infant mortality -- poor mater- school. I have learned the importance
to support Arlington Reads’ Life
nal health -- by educating new and of engaging both sides of the
Through Literacy classes.
expecting teen moms about prenatal brain and to read a book over
care, healthy lifestyle choices, mater- and over again for my baby
nity resources in the community, and to learn.” When asked if “Of all the issues facing
early childhood literacy. Reaching they would recommend the
more than 60 students in seven local classes to others, 100 per- our city, I cannot think
high schools, Life Through Literacy cent emphatically said yes.
teaches students how to care for Through the gener- of one more serious than
their babies and create lasting bonds ous donations of Life
through reading, singing, and playing. Through Literacy, Arling-
the potential loss of life
Life Through Literacy founder
Joe Bruner sees the program as a way
ton North Rotary Club and of a baby.” -- Joe Bruner
Rotary District 5790, Arlington
to “create productive families” while Reads has been able to purchase cop- port the purchase of a laptop com-
reducing the rate of infant mortality ies of “Baby Basics” for each student puter and LCD projector, used when
and illiteracy. in the program. Funding from these conducting Life Through Literacy
“Of all the issues facing our organizations has also helped sup- classes in Arlington ISD high schools.
Giving Back to Arlington
V olunteer ESL teacher Seth
Bailey remembers a time
when he spent long days in the li-
pened” to him. In his classes, he
focuses on the practical applica-
tion of English. After teaching his
brary, enjoying the luxury of time students to write their addresses
that retirement offers. One day, and telephone numbers, for ex-
amid the silence of the library, he ample, he asks them to fill out the
heard a distressed voice trying to relevant sections of a job applica-
communicate in French. Fluent tion. Seth’s goal as a teacher is to
in the language, Seth approached help his students become indepen-
the man to help, unaware that this dent in everyday life and to impart
experience would change his life. a love of reading and discovering
Seth quickly learned that new things.
the man and his wife had recently “Arlington Reads fills a
immigrated from West Africa, great need for programs servicing
having won a visa through the immigrants,” Seth says. “Pro-
lottery system. With no knowl- gramming takes place with stu-
edge of English, the couple faced dents in mind. The students who
a daily struggle to adjust to life seek out Arlington Reads have the
in Arlington. The experience of will and drive to learn, they just
seeing this couple burdened by need a teacher.”
their inability to communicate The dedication Seth sees
with those around them motivated in his students motivates him to
Seth to volunteer with Arlington keep teaching. “This is my call-
Reads. ing,” he says, “my gift back to the
Seth describes teaching as community.” Seth Bailey (left) instructs his ESL students.
“the best thing that’s ever hap- “Keep working,” he said. “You can do it.”

In the Words of our Students

The following message was sent to Arlington Reads’ Workforce Literacy
Coordinator Catherine Wilson from a student in our GED program.
I just wanted to say thank you to you come in contact with, through the with the program who don’t make
and this program. While I have not Arlington Reads program, so far, you feel stupid or inferior, that was
personally met you, I have met Yoko, has made me feel very comfortable, a huge concern of mine, but after
and a few other people who have motivated, and good about the pro- meeting Yoko that first day to sign
made this journey so positive. I have cess. Especially Richard, the com- up, I felt her sincerity in wanting to
my own personal struggles with munication in his class as well as help me. Her enthusiasm in the ori-
feeling humiliated, having to get my the emails he sends, makes you (and entation class was wonderful! Even
GED, and even having to confess to hopefully everyone in class) feel like your emails, indicate the “want” to
my 14 year old, mom is not perfect! he not only wants you to succeed in help everyone learn..... very refresh-
It was very hard to tell my son, but math, but to genuinely succeed pe- ing!
he is my biggest supporter (along riod. I appreciate his time, it means
with my husband). I just wanted you alot. Just wanted to thank you, for Thanks again! Maria
to know, that EVERYONE, I have having such good people helping
VISTAs in Service to Arlington
W hen Arlington Reads was first estab-
lished as the literacy branch of the
Arlington Public Library, it was staffed by
VISTAs Kayce (far right) and Rachel (far
left) pose with their Reader’s Theater
students. .
one AmeriCorps VISTA, or Volunteer in Ser-
vice to America. Today, Arlington Reads is
home to nine VISTAS, who have expanded
its programming from one early childhood
literacy class to 13 programs, which span
youth, adult, family, and workplace literacy.
VISTA leader Kayce Green has spent
nearly two years dedicated to Arlington
Reads. Raised in Missouri, Kayce was drawn
to the opportunity to work with a literacy
organization by her desire to learn how to
best serve others. In college, she had worked
with refugees, teaching English as a Second
Language and preparing her students to sell When Kayce’s second leave behind a math and science-
items at a farmer’s market. year of service ends in February, based youth technology center,
At Arlington Reads, Kayce has she hopes to pursue the field of where college and high school
focused her attention on developing teen human rights. “Education ties students introduce junior high
and “tween” literacy programs. Through her so much into human rights,” she students to the branches of
Junior High tutoring sessions and Reader’s says. Often, “ESL students get engineering. Arlington Reads is
Theater program, she helps her students not taken advantage of because they thankful for her dedication to the
only build their reading and writing skills are scared, they don’t speak Eng- community of Arlington.
but also gain self-confidence. “It’s small lish, and they aren’t citizens.” AmeriCorps VISTA is
communities we’re helping,” she says. By For now, Kayce is work- the national service program
helping young adults to become literate, ing to ensure that Arlington dedicated to fighting poverty. For
Arlington Reads is breaking the cycle of Reads serves the community well more information, visit www.
poverty. into the future. She hopes to

Meet Our Staff

Left column, descending: Right column, descending:
VISTA Lori Frola VISTA Catherine Wilson
Public Relations Coordinator Workplace Literacy
VISTA Rebekah Welch
Volunteer and Student VISTA Kaley Horton
Coordinator Learning Zone Coordinator

VISTA Virginia Tran VISTA Kim Tran

Special Programs Coordinator Special Programs Coordinator

VISTA Kayce Green VISTA Rachel Foster

VISTA Leader Learning Zone Coordinator

Center left: VISTA Cheirieamour Smith, Workplace Literacy Coordinator

Center column, descending: Yoko Matsumoto, Library Service Manager - Literacy, Glory Dalton, Programming Specialist,
Mary Arnold, Literacy Coordinator (Not pictured: Ivonne Kieffer and Dyan Anderson, Programming Specialists)
Friends of Arlington Reads
Arlington Reads’ literacy programs are funded entirely through grants and donations. We would
like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, donors, and partners, who make our work possible.


Debbie Viragh
DADS Advisory Fund
Sandra Brown
Life Through Literacy
Joe Bruner


Arlington, TX

Arlington Unitarian St. Joseph

Universalist Church Catholic Church 77
Make a Difference!
Arlington Reads empowers children and adults to break the cycle of poverty and underachievement.
We need your support to continue our work. By becoming a volunteer, you can improve the lives of
others through the power of education. No previous teaching experience is required.

Above: VISTA Rachel Foster reads with her

Learning Zone student Edwin Alvarado.
Right: Learning Zone student Kevin Palacios
practices reading strategies with his tutor,
Quaneshala Johnson.

Left: ESL student Yanping Ling

(right) works with tutor Ryan Gal-
lagher to improve his speaking

“The best part of this
opportunity is that Arling-
ton Reads offers flexible
schedules and formats for
the volunteer. You want
to teach a small class?
They got you covered.
You want to be a one-
on-one tutor? They can
get you set up with that,
too. I encourage you to

-- Ryan Gallagher, ESL Tutor

Above: In Life Through Literacy class, par-

ents practice songs that their babies will
love to sing along to!

Below: Readers Theater participants Steve

Avila, Paola Cepeda, Luna Shqeir, and Aidee
Barajas perform the script they have written
for the book “Peter Pan.”

Other Ways to Help

If tutoring is not for you, please consider giving in one of the following ways:

Purchase an item on our Amazon Wish List. Find the link at
Become a sponsor or participant in our annual Book It for Literacy 5K
Race and Fun Run.
Host a book drive at your church or workplace. We have bags avail-
able for collection.
Did you have a favorite book as a child? Share it through donation.

Challenge your friends on Facebook to pledge a small donation on the

Arlington Reads Facebook page.
Donate online at or call 817-275-3321.
Join Us!

Yes! I support Arlington literacy programs

I would like to volunteer with: I would like to donate a tax-deductible gift of:
Adults Early Childhood Learning (0-4 years) $10 $50
Children (grades 1-3) Other Duties $25 $100
Other amount of $__________________
Donor/Volunteer Contact Information
Address:_____________________________ City:____________________ State:_______ Zip:________
Phone:__________________________________ Email:_______________________________________

Payment Options
Check is attached (made payable to the Arlington Public Library Foundation)
Credit Card (circle one) AMEX VISA MC Disc
Name as it appears on card:___________________________________
Card #:_______________________________ Exp. Date:____________
Signature:____________________________ Date:________________

Mail to: Arlington Public Library attn. Arlington Public Library Foundation
101 East Abram Street
Arlington, TX 76010