Welcome to Write Away!
The writing forum for Project Read learners.

We've redesigned our blog so that adult learners working at Project Read can share what they have written with other learners, tutors, and the public. There are a few simple guidelines to be aware of.
  1. This is a moderated site, so submissions and comments will first be reviewed before being approved and published.
  2. Adult learners submitting their writing have the option of using their first name (only) or using "anonymous" for authorship.
  3. We wish to honor the writing efforts of the adult learner/authors, so no major copy editing will be applied, but we may suggest minor corrections in consultation with the author.
  4. Only active Project Read learners are eligible to submit their writing to the Write Away blog and there are two ways of doing this: send submissions via email to projectread@sfpl.org, or stop by the office with a hard copy of your writing.
  5. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not represent those of the San Francisco Public Library and/or the City and County of San Francisco.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Don't Let This Happen to You

    This short story is about Mr. John. John was a very good man. He went to church every Sunday. He went about helping the poor, and they that were down on their luck. But after doing so much for others and really caring for them, and showing his love for others, someone took advantage of his kind heart. That made him change drastically.
    Mr. Melvin was a married man. He had been married for many years. After he caught his wife committing adultery with one of his closest friends, it sent Mr. Melvin into a space where he thought he was all that and a bag of chips. He had always wanted something to hold over his wife's head and this was the perfect thing. Melvin began destroying her name and treating her badly. Mr. John became very upset because Mr. Melvin's wife was his sister.
    Mr. Melvin began bad mouthing her and the family members. Mr. John wanted to do bodily harm to Mr. Melvin for revenge. Mr. John was a Christian and his thoughts made him no longer feel like a Christian. After Mr. John had let Mr. Melvin change him so much, he felt he had nothing to live for. The shame of losing the dignity of his sister and of his family made him feel like it was all over.
    Mr. John felt like he wanted to get back at Mr. Melvin, but he didn't know how or what he was going to do. Mr. John had always been a strong Christian and believed in God. That night when he went to bed, he said a prayer and asked God the Father to help him do what is right since Melvin made him feel so low and ashamed. When he awakened that morning, he had a different outlook and respectability on all things. He made the opinion to just let God deal with Mr. Melvin and after making that decision, he felt better and happy.
 -- J.C.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Breaking Silence 3

Did you know that the average literacy level is 8th grade in the U.S.A.? As a 44-year-old, it was time to Break Silence to literacy at the SF Public Library at Project Read. I have struggled all my life reading and writing with ADHD and Dyslexia. So, what is the average literacy level in a low income community? Living in SFPH more than 10 years, I have been uncomfortable reading and signing legal documents. Not understanding what I'm signing year after year. Are we all at risk of becoming victims of housing displacement and not even know? Regardless of education level, I know that we must Break Silence by educating each other on the new housing laws and understanding what's on the ballot that directly effects our low income community. Let's vote and show that our Black Lives Matter.

Break Silence to literacy and our vote does matter!

-- Ms. D. Gigante

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Revenant - Review by Project Read Book Club Member

The Revenant is a remarkable tale of nothing short of dying. It is a relentless thrill ride that hurtles the reader into dark and interesting places.
-- Anonymous

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Break Silence, Part 2

   Why don't we as a black community think we need to seek mental health? Why do we have to think we are crazy to see a PSYCH? Well, living in a S.F. Housing Development and surviving more than 80 drive-by shootings, and over 40 murders in a 2-block radius, if you weren't crazy you will be. We all must suffer from PTSD on some level whether we know it or not. I suffer from a severe case of PTSD and Agoraphobia. I thought I would get over it with time and just pull up my boot straps. But not! I have finally sought out help through the Victims of Violent Crimes website. I built up a false sense of courage and anger issues. Women can also become violent due to PTSD. Their partners can be victims of domestic violence. PTSD can affect our black community in so many negative ways.
   Can we show each other that our black lives matter?
   When will we break silence about Mental Health?

-- Ms. D. Gigante

For More Information:
San Francisco District Attorney’s Victim Services Division
850 Bryant Street, Rm. 320
San Francisco, CA 94112

(415) 553-9044


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How I Learned to Read

First Step: Telling someone I do not know how to read. 
Second Step: Finding a tutor which wasn’t all that hard.

I started learning how to read straight out of high school. I had met a teacher there whom I had told I did not know how to read. She decided to tutor me. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember asking her to tutor me. I will say her name is Katherine. She tutored me for about two years.

She started with me on the alphabet. We use to go to a park and write big letters on the basketball court and I use to walk around several letters to get to know them. Then we started reading anything that would interest me like comic books and street signs. We started looking for other ways to teach me, so we read together for quite a while. Then she had to go home, so she brought me to Project Read where I am now a Reader.
-- George

Friday, August 19, 2016

Break Silence - It's B.S.

Why should black lives matter to anyone else? From my experience living in S.F.H.A. for more than 10 years, I feel that we as black people in our own community don't care much about each others lives. What's up with that? If another race commits a violent crime against a black person, we don't have a problem snitching, We have a whole lot to say to our neighbors, media and even the police. When it's a black-on-black violent crime or domestic violence on our neighborhood sisters, brothers, or cousins in our community, we don't have nothing to say. We don't snitch. It's B.S. So, do black lives really matter to black people in our community? When will we Break Silence?
-- Ms. D. Gigante

Monday, July 25, 2016

To Whom It May Concern

In February 2014, I called Project Read at the public library and I talked with a person about reading. They put me with a lady named Rose. She has been teaching me how to read. I have learned a lot from her and I am still learning today.
-- Reggie

Friday, July 01, 2016

The Beach

Today I'm going to write about something different. I'm going to tell you about a perfect day at the beach. It would be a clear day with offshore winds. There would be a lot of perfect waves and a lot of surfers in the waves. The sand would be clean and white. People would be barbecuing hamburgers and hotdogs. Everybody would be getting a lot of sun in their swimming suits and sunglasses. That's a perfect day at the beach.
 -- Tim

Friday, June 03, 2016

Tips for Teaching Comprehension Skills

Greetings Project Read Tutors (and others),

Below is some information borrowed from the presentation made by Holly Fulghum-Nutters and myself at a recent Tutor In-Service on the subject of teaching comprehension. Have a look and hopefully you will discover some new approaches to try in your upcoming tutoring sessions. -- Randy

Question: Is it possible to successfully read every word on the page, but still not understand the text? 
Answer: Yes!

They had a purple miracle for three bloated blocks. A man with a tasty highway will open the night for the April maple. If ever a dog needed a flaming song, this grassy table will tell me today.
       This passage obviously means nothing, but it illustrates that it’s possible to read every word correctly and not understand the meaning.

       New readers may be focusing so intently on figuring out each word that they lose the overall meaning.

       It’s easy to assume that because the learner reads every word correctly that they understand the material as well as you would.

       Make no assumptions, get in the habit of asking questions about the text, even if the reading seems very simple.

KWL Chart - a guided teaching and learning sequence
  1)  Draw a KWL chart on paper or whiteboard. 
  2)  Carry out a brainstorm on a topic, writing the learner’s ideas in the first (K) column.
  3)  Discuss what information the learner feels they want to know about the topic. Write their ideas in the second (W) column of the chart.

  4) Explain that, as they read the text, the learner will make notes about what they have learned in the third (L) column.

  5) Give the learner an individual copy of KWL chart to record their own ideas in the first two columns.

  6) The learner reads the text and makes notes in the third column (L) as they read.

  7) The learner shares his/her notes with a tutor, partner or group. 

Use a Mind Map as a pre-reading activity.
  1) Discuss the topic of your reading selection
    2) Brainstorm vocabulary words associated with topic. What does the learner already know about   the subject? 
    3) Group words that fit together into sub-headings

  This activity can provide the learner with a learning scaffold to help build better understanding of the text.