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Learn to Read

1-IMG_5779This may seem like a ridiculous subject to blog about since one needs to read in order to read this blog, but according to a federal study, the reality is that about one in 20 adults in this country is not literate in English.  This means that there are  11 million people who  lack the skills necessary to handle many everyday tasks.  Another disturbing fact is that even though there are more people getting a formal education, the literacy level in this country is not rising.  In fact, the US illiteracy rate hasn’t changed in 10 years.  Granted, there may be those who are illiterate in English but able to read and write another language,  but the inability to read English fluently affects even their earning potential.  Studies show that those people who are unable to perform challenging and more complex reading tasks will earn to 55% less per year than those who can.  That’s a huge difference especially in today’s economy.

According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” This is supported by the following statistics from 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.  You may be wondering what this has to do with you.    Obviously, you can read, but the odds are good that if you look at 20 people that you know, you will find someone who struggles with reading.   It may be a teenager, an adult, or an immigrant.   I know a man who was fairly successful at hiding his illiteracy from those around him for years before someone figured out that it was more than a need for glasses that made him ask people to read his mail for him.  That discovery prompted him to swallow his pride, admit that he had a problem, and get some help.

All of our local branches of the San Bernardino County Library have an adult literacy program.  Through that program, anyone who desires to learn to read can receive reading instruction.  All of this instruction is done at the library by trained volunteers.  The  instruction is free, confidential, and provided one on one so there is no need to be embarrassed by an inability to read.  If you know someone who struggles to read, tell them about these programs.  Offer to accompany them to the library to start the process of getting a tutor.  It can be difficult or embarrassing for some people to ask for help, and they may appreciate the support.

One more thing….

Since you are able to read, consider attending the Literacy Tutor Training program this Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:00 am at the Newton T Bass Library located at 14901 Dale Evans Parkway in Apple Valley. Sometimes, there is a long wait to get a literacy tutor.  It would be nice if there were more of them around.  Being a Literacy Tutor is like being a super hero.  Your efforts might help save someone’s life, or at the very least, it might help change the direction they were going.


**Patti can also be found at where she tries to limit her blogging to stocking a pantry, budgeting, and recipes.  She isn’t always successful.


Follow me to Beverly’s Pink Saturday–January 25, 2014

Fight the Monday Blues with Citrus, Bagels, and Dark Chocolate

One thing that most people don’t like about Sundays is knowing they have to get up early the next morning to go to work. That is probably why some small business owners choose to be closed on Mondays. Mondays tend to depress some individuals.

According to the following studies, citrus, bagels, and dark chocolate might be an option to lift that Sunday-evening and Monday depressed feeling. Previous studies have shown that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids in fish are associated with lower risk of depression. Folate, a B vitamin found in dark green vegetables like spinach, beans and citrus affects neurotransmitters that impact mood. In a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who for a year followed a very-low-carbohydrate diet—which allowed only 20 to 40 grams of carbs daily, about the amount in just 1⁄2 cup of rice plus one piece of bread—experienced more depression, anxiety and anger than those assigned to a low-fat, high-carb diet that focused on low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruit and beans.

Foods can affect how you feel. Eating the right foods can help your moods, and eating the wrong foods can make you feel worse. There is another thing, however, that a person can get to help prevent or overcome depression. It’s called faith – like Abraham in the Bible had.

Abraham traveled to a new country. He left the comforts of home, relatives, and friends and began the journey with his wife, Sarah, and his nephew named Lot. Abraham was about 75 years old, older than the age most people retire in the USA. Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:20).

Try fighting the Monday blues with a mixture of good foods like mentioned in the studies above and faith like Abraham had. Since it’s Sunday evening, I invite you to take a few minutes to watch this video that I happened to come across today. It made me smile, and I hope it makes you smile, too.

Share something good with someone tomorrow, and make them smile on a Monday!

How to Answer Difficult Interview Questions

High Desert job seekers may be interested in knowing that an agreement was approved with The Boeing Company by the Southern California Logistics Airport Authority. This means more jobs for the High Desert – and another reason for job seekers to sharpen their interviewing skills. One Hesperia resident, Richard Rangel, said at The High Desert Regional Job Fair held in May: “Finding a job is like playing the lottery. Without doing lots of interviewing, you don’t have a chance.”


This was a contribution by How2become:

With the job market in the state that it is, even getting invited to an interview can feel like a great achievement. If you want to go one step further and land the job, however, you’ll need to make sure you can impress the interviewer. That means presenting yourself in the best way possible and making sure that you can give the perfect answer to those difficult interview questions. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, but if you remember these tips you’ll be able to give yourself the best chance of getting the job.

Anticipate the Questions

Before your interview you should think about all the possible questions they might ask you. If you know anybody that’s gone for a similar interview or works in a related field it might also be worth asking them if they have any ideas about what the interviewer might ask. Remember, interview questions are much more difficult if the first time you are confronted with them is during the interview itself; so it’s worth doing as much preparation as you can.

Listen and Take Your Time

Some people make the mistake of answering the question before the interviewer has barely finished speaking. They believe it makes them appear well-prepared and confident. At best it shows that you have rehearsed your answers well, but at worst you’ll rush into an answer that doesn’t really confront the question at all and you’ll just look foolish.

Listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking. While you will have spent time anticipating what questions would be asked, don’t just assume that these are the questions they’re actually asking – one different word can change the entire question. Once your interview has finished the question take a moment to think about the answer. As long as you’re not spending a ridiculously long period of time thinking, your interviewer won’t mind you taking a moment.

Stay Positive

You might think that being asked why you left your last job is a difficult question, particularly if you were forced to leave. While you can express your disappointment about the situation, quickly turn it into a positive and talk about the new opportunities at your feet. If you can sound genuinely enthusiastic about your interviewer becoming your employer you’ll demonstrate a positive attitude that is valuable in any work environment.

Equally, if you’re asked to point out your weaknesses use it as an example to show positivity. ‘My technical knowledge has been very poor, but I’ve enrolled on a course to tackle this’, sounds much more effective and authentic than simply saying ‘I’m a perfectionist’ or ‘I work too hard’.

Don’t Badmouth Former Employers

For some, being given the opportunity to talk about a past employer is like a red rag to a bull. It’s absolutely vital you resist talking badly of your boss. Instead talk about how differences could make work challenging and how you believe that your ethos more closely matches the new organisation.

Stick to the truth

If you’re confronted with a difficult question you hadn’t prepared for you might be tempted to tell a little fib. If your interviewer chooses to continue questioning you on the same subject you could soon find yourself unable to keep up with your web of lies. Stick to the truth – by all means gloss it, but stick to the truth.

How2become currently offers over 140 different titles across a wide range of careers providing insider information to help you prepare effectively. You can also connect with them on Facebook

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