The Open Book - Masthead
May 2012

The Open Book

* * * * *

Spring SCRABBLE Results

May 18 is National Museum Day

Volunteers Voices

Greater Augusta Reads - Mt. Vernon

Tutor Support Info

Quotes of the Month

* * * * *

Return to LV-A Home

See Spot Run for Literacy

On June 3rd, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta will host the 3rd Annual 5K See Spot Run, Jog Walk for Literacy as a fundraiser. Open for all runners, joggers, and walkers the course will follow the Greenway Trail along the east shore of the Kennebec River. It’s a short gravel and dirt trail that runs between Old Fort Western and the Kennebec Arsenal (more information about the trail). And don't forget Spot! Dogs on leashes welcome.

If you register early you will receive a t-shirt featuring Spot! T-shirts are given out on a first-come, first-served basis, so not wait until the day of the race to sign up.

When: Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 8:30 am (site registration/check-in opens at 7:30 am).

Cost: $15 pre-registration; $20 on race day.

Complete details and registration forms are here

Spring SCRABBLE Success

I'd rather be playing ScrabbleThe 5th Annual Spring Team SCRABBLE® Tournament was a big success! The banquet room at the Senator Inn quickly filled with happy players. The room was abuzz, starting at the registration table at the entrance.  Some teams came together in a group and others had members arriving separately, but all of them were directed to the correct game tables, already laid out with Scrabble boards and informational leaflets. While the early-birds waited for the arrival of all the teams and for the tournament to start, they mingled, enjoying the Senator Inn’s refreshments side-board and the snack baggies laid out by LVA volunteers.

Soon everyone, including a few very welcome last-minute players, had arrived and settled into their seats.

LVA Affiliate Director Jenny Small kicked things off at 1:30pm. After a brief run-down of the time limitations of the games, the room quieted down—though it was no less full of energy—and the clack of the tiles punctuated the players’ conversations.

Our guest Judge, Augusta Mayor Bill Stokes, was eager to do his part by ruling on challenged words. Fortunately (or unfortunately, perhaps) there was little call for rulings during much of the tournament—our players were largely happy to hash things out on their own.

Drawings for door prizes were held in between rounds while players had the opportunity to stretch their legs and top off their coffee cups. The players seemed particularly pleased with the selection of signed books that had been donated by local authors and publishers. Then, it was back to the games!

This year, there were two competitive teams. J&S Scrabble Friends and Team Sleek fought hard for the title, pitting their wits against each other while playing three games back-to-back. The winners of the competitive division were J&S Scrabble Friends.

Twelve Scrabble teams played in the social division. The social Scrabble winners - Scrabbled, Not Stirred - were a late-entry team, but they swept the boards. Second place went to the DA Scrabbleteers, and third place went to the Muppet Alliance.

Thank youOn the fundraising side of the tournament, between sponsors and donations and registrations, over $4000 was raised to benefit our adult literacy programs!

Thank you - we could not have done it without you!

Complete Spring SCRABBLE results and scores.

^ Top

Tutors CornerMay 18 is National Museum Day - Get Out!

When was the last time you visited a museum? May is a great month to get out and visit one of our area museums with your student. Both ESL and basic education students will appreciate and enjoy the experience of learning about Maine’s history at the Maine State Museum in Augusta. One of our tutors recently told me that he had taken his ESL students there and was very impressed! He hadn’t visited the museum in many years and it was an entirely different experience seeing it through someone else’s eyes.   There are several other historic places nearby that are great too. Check out their websites for hours and more information!

Maine State Museum: 230 State Street, Augusta; open Tuesday-Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Phone: 287-2301.

Old Fort Western: National Historic Landmark built in 1754; located in Augusta; open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Phone: 626-2385.

Readfield Historical Society: Located in an old schoolhouse in Readfield; open May – September 10:00 am - 2:00 pm on Thursday & Saturday. Phone: 685-4662

For more ideas, check out the Maine Guide to Museums & Historic Sites at Travel Maine.


^ Top

Volunteers Voices

Ellen and Pat Speak

Ellen is a student here at LVA, and Pat is her tutor. Together, they wrote the following:

Ellen: We’ve been working together for 1 ½ years. I’m reading a lot better. I’m starting to read books with another friend and I’m spelling better also.

Pat:  It’s not "work" with Ellen. Since she’s started reading out loud, I have the luxury of sitting next to her and listening to the story. We’re reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and it’s only on occasion that I help her with a word. She’s an amazingly hard worker. My favorite answer to a question of hers is "I don’t know why they use THAT word instead of something simpler; I didn’t write the book."

A year and a half later, we’re still laughing.

Help, To Be Helped!

by Hoang (Henry) Lam

In 2005, I left Vietnam and came to Maine to find a better life in the “hope country.” I couldn’t understand or speak English with Americans around. I became a “deaf and mute” person. I felt very sad and questioned, “Why is this happening to me? How can I improve my English?” My uncle, Tinh Thai, took me to Literacy Volunteers of Bangor where I started to learn English with my tutors. It was a hard work trying to learn English as quickly as I could. I spent most of the time studying and listening to American Channels. I tried many different ways to learn English with my tutors such as watching movies, reading books, writings short stories, and correcting pronunciation.

Moreover, I went back to Bangor Adult Education High School and graduated in 2006. While I studied at school, I still improved my English with Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. After I graduated from high school, I moved forward to Eastern Maine Community College for Associate Degree and University of Maine for Bachelor Degree in Electrical Programs. Again, I graduated in honors with the sharing of my tutor, Dr. Phil Locke, and my family.

Now, I am working as an Electrical Engineer at TRC Solutions while I am still learning English with Mr. Brad Brown, a tutor of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta. The Literacy Volunteers of Maine has helped me improve in English for almost 6 years. I think that Literacy Volunteers of Maine is a helpful, friendly organization for our communities in Maine. That is the primary reason that I would like to join the Board of Directions for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta. I will try my best to help our communities; however, I know that “One bird cannot bring the spring back”-Vietnamese Proverb.  Hopefully, we together will improve this wonderful organization, so we can help more people who want to have a better life.

Henry Lam is our newest LVA Board member. He joined the board in April 2012. Welcome, Henry!

Greater Augusta Reads

This month:
Mount Vernon Reads

Mount Vernon, Maine, originally named Washington Plantation, was settled in 1774 as early settlers came to the area to farm. Captain William Whittier was the first to recognize the area for its great potential for water power. He first built a dam in Mount Vernon Village and an upper dam at the outlet of Flying Pond. Later, he also built a grist mill and a saw mill at the village and stories tell that he carried the up-and-down saw on his back all the way from Hallowell.

Dr. Shaw Memorial LibraryThe Mt. Vernon town library was built as a private residence in 1841 and in 1883 became the residence and office of Dr. Herbert Shaw and his wife. Dr. Shaw stipulated that upon their death, the home be given to the town to be used as a library. This beautiful home has been a public library since 1943 and still houses many artifacts from the original owners.

Alice Olson has been the Head Librarian there for many years. She was enjoying some vacation time, so we spoke with the Library Assistant, Mary Anne Libby. Mary Anne is the newest member of the library staff and has been there a mere 14 years!

Mary Anne is particularly interested in WWI and enjoys both fiction and non-fiction works taking place in the early 1990's. She is currently reading To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild and Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson. 

To End All Wars examines the loyalty of those in Great Britain who felt passionately about the necessity of WWI, as well as those who were passionately against it.

Singled Out deals with one of the great consequences of WWI. As millions of men had lost their lives in the war, there were simply "not enough men to go around." An entire generation of women had to learn to survive on their own - both financially and emotionally. Nicholson bases her book on the biographies and works by many of unmarried women writers at that pivotal time in our history. Fascinating reading.

Photo Credit: from the Dr. Shaw Memorial Library website.

Your Local Library

Library cart by Steve LambertLibraries are great places for people of all ages! They offer books, magazines, and newspapers, and may also have public computer/Internet access.

Many libraries have an inter-library loan system, which lets you borrow materials from other libraries, if your local one doesn’t have what you want.

Here are a few local libraries, listed by town. Why not visit?


Maine State Public Library
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9:00 am - 6:00pm; Tuesday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Lithgow Public Library
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday: 9:00 am – noon; Sunday: Closed.

Mt. Vernon

Dr. Shaw Memorial Library
Monday 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Wednesday 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.


Readfield Community Library
Monday: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm; Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm; Thursday: 10:00 am – noon; Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.


Charles M. Bailey Public Library
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Tuesday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am -3:00 pm; Closed on Thursdays.

^ Top


Tutor Support Sessions: Student Success

sharkDuring April's tutor support workshop, one of the big topics discussed was student success—"It doesn't seem like there have been any great successes/goals reached by my student." Jenny Small, one of our tutor trainers and the leader of the workshop, offers the following insights into student success.

It is very exciting when a student gets a job, promotion or drivers' license, obtains their citizenship, or passes an important exam. Those milestones are a big deal for most people in general. However, what we might view as a small advance for most people, may be a big advance for our particular student – getting a library card, finishing a book or writing a letter. It may be that just showing up for an appointment is an accomplishment, making eye contact, or being comfortable enough that they are willing to extend themselves and possibly make a mistake.

Any time your student steps out of their comfort zone is a success. Imagine if someone asked you to swim with sharks. It isn't a big deal for people in that profession, but it would be extremely intimidating for most of us. Remember that our students may initially feel that we are asking them to swim with sharks.

Follow this link for the full discussion from this tutor support workshop. - PDF - requires plugin

Quotes of the Month:

"Books... are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development."
- Dorothy L. Sayers

"If you can read this, thank a teacher."
- Anonymous teacher

"Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life."
- Mortimer Jerome Adler

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."
- J.D. Salinger

^ Top