Updated: July 16, 2021
Dear Literacy Council Students, Volunteers & Supporters,
The Literacy Council’s office remains closed for public access at this time, except on a limited basis by appointment only. Our staff and office volunteers are working on a rotating schedule in the office or remotely. Due to the office closures, and small size of our tutor rooms we are not able to use them for tutoring at this time. Please review the following updates to our programs for the latest information. Contact information is listed below.
- Intakes and assessments are being conducted remotely for prospective students who are then placed into classes or tutoring, or referred to FCC based on the results and their unique circumstances and needs. Please refer any prospective students to the contact information below.
- Based on current guidelines and recommendations on social distancing and masking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Maryland and Frederick County Government and Health Information, conditions have improved where tutors and students can now consider meeting in person (in public places only).
- Tutors and students should decide together whether to meet in person based on everyone’s individual situations.
- Use caution and consider factors such as: whether all parties are vaccinated, incomplete vaccination rates (including family members and children); continuing emergence of new variants and the possibility of asymptomatic carriers; and depending on meeting location, the benefits of meeting outdoors versus indoors and wearing of masks to allow for social distancing. Note: the county’s vaccination rate for individuals 12 years old and older is rising, but it is currently about 61%, so we need to continue to protect individuals, children and other family members who may still not be vaccinated and/or who may be at higher risk.
- Be aware of, and sensitive to the needs of student(s) when discussing whether meeting in person is possible. Students may need to continue to meet remotely due to childcare, transportation and job challenges. If this is the case and tutors or students are unable to continue working together remotely, please contact your coordinator (see contact information below).
- Continue using online tools such as WhatsApp, Skype, Google Hangout or simply by telephone if you are unable to meet in person. See the Tools and Platforms information on our LCFC COVID-19 Updates page which includes multiple resources.
- Contactless pickup of teaching and learning materials from our lending library is available for students and tutors in our lobby M-F between 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (except for Frederick County/FCPL holiday or weather closures). Enter through the double front doors of the FCPL Administrative Entrance. Contact your coordinator in advance by email to request materials. (Scroll to the bottom for contact information)
- Tutor updates will continue to be sent monthly and you are invited to join online Tutor Chats!
- This will continue to be an evolving situation and we will monitor official guidance for any necessary updates which will be posted on our LCFC COVID-19 Updates page and sent by email: https://www.frederickliteracy.org/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/
- Thank you to our tutors for being a trusted resource throughout this challenging year. Please help our students learn how to access vaccine and critical information by sharing the information below or referring inquirers to Frederick County Public Health resources.
- Currently all classes (including Workplace Classes) are being conducted remotely which will continue through the summer
Volunteer Information Sessions/Tutor Training Workshops:
- Volunteer Information Sessions and Tutor Training Workshops (for new volunteers and prospective tutors): are all being conducted online. Register HERE.
Telephone: (301) 600-2066
If you reach the voicemail, that means we are either on the phone or out of the office. Please leave a voicemail and we will respond as soon as possible. Messages are checked each day.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR if you are already working with a volunteer coordinator, you can email them directly.
Prospective students should be advised to send an email to this general email@example.com address and an appointment will be made to conduct their intake and assessment process.
Volunteer Coordinators (tutoring program):
Holly Bohman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Bruton: email@example.com
Alix Cooney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Coundjeris: email@example.com
General Information from Frederick County Public Health Department: https://health.frederickcountymd.gov/614/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
New online clinic request form – please share this with your students and communities you represent to request a local clinic.
Vaccination Appointments: List is updated every Monday: https://health.frederickcountymd.gov/629/COVID-19-Vaccine
Free Vaccine Rides: https://www.unitedwayfrederick.org/rideunited
Frederick News Post article, July 16, discusses increasing positivity rate in Frederick County. Vaccination is the best protection we have to reduce hospitalizations and prevent deaths is an incredibly important one and we thank you for all your help in our efforts to increase vaccination rates in the county. If you are not vaccinated, but are exposed to COVID-19, you have to quarantine for 7 days. This could be especially disruptive for students who are attending school in person starting next month. Something to consider in your conversations with those you work with. Link to article: https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/health/treatment_and_diseases/covid-cases-gradually-increasing-in-county-but-trend-reflects-nationwide-stats/article_216783a3-0cd7-5dc8-af99-853938813564.html
Frederick News Post article, May 28, discusses importance of vaccinating youth as part of the road to recovery:
Live or work in Frederick County? Two ways to get vaccinated!! Print the flyers in English and Spanish below.
Complete the Vaccine Interest Form and set up text alerts:
- Flyer: COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Frederick County
- Panfleto: Información Sobre La Vacuna del COVID-19 para el Condado de Frederick
Call 211 Maryland or 866-411-6803 to reach the local 211 center in Frederick, MD for questions about COVID-19 and to find mental health and health resources
Food Resource App Website to help people find food distribution locations
Maryland Hunger Solutions: https://www.mdhungersolutions.org/
This nonprofit is expanding its outreach to Frederick County to help residents apply for SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program). Refer to this flyer in English and Spanish to learn more. Please share with your student(s) if this is applicable to them!
The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs: https://thereligiouscoalition.org/need-help/rental-assistance-program/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Information:
Frederick County Public Schools: Latest updates on resources for learning, technology and meals.
COVID-19 quizzes below in English and Spanish
Futuro Sólido shares quizzes in English and Spanish to counteract hysteria and promote smart decisions that will protect employees, the workplace, and our community.
Tools and Platforms
Google Hangouts is an easy-to-join way to conduct video calls between instructors and learners. Google is now rolling out free access to the advanced Hangouts video-conference capabilities for education customers until July 1. Click here to learn more.
Similar to Zoom or other software, Skype is an easy way for instructors and leaners to communicate. You can download and access Skype for free.
While this is not an exhaustive list, these are some of the more popular, free tools to explore for helping programs continue communication between administrators, instructors, and learners.
Fast, simple, secure messaging and calling app for free*, available on iPhone and Android phones, Macs or PCs all over the world. *Charges may apply, check local rates. https://www.whatsapp.com/
A web-based software that allows groups to communicate via phone and/or video. A webinar version also allows users to share their screens, allowing programs to show documents needed during instruction. During the pandemic, for the free, basic version of Zoom, the 40-minute time limit has been lifted. Apply online at https://zoom.us/pricing.
Tutorials on using Online Platforms
Zoom tutorials (YouTube)
Khan Academy (webinar – PA Adult Education Resources)
USA Learns (webinar- PA Adult Education Resources)
Google Classroom (website)
Google Classroom (YouTube)
Google Hangouts (YouTube)
Tips for Providing Instruction from a Distance
Regardless of what platform or online instruction you provide, some additional tips for conducting learning include:
- Keep in regular contact with learners. This can be done through phone, text, or email. Keeping in contact to remind learners about lessons or to make sure they’re engaged is important.
- Using a tool such as Zoom, Skype, etc. so that instructors and learners can meet “face-to-face” is best. Most of these tools also allow you to share documents or curricula you want the learner to focus on.
- Stay on your current lesson plans as much as possible for consistency.
- Use texting for a supplement to instruction
- Send a short text that the learner can read and respond to
- Send vocabulary words
- Use supplemental instructional resources (such as those listed in this document) to keep learners engaged and practicing while learning from a distance
- Use teleconference or phone conference systems (or simply phone calls) to practice conversation groups, especially for ESL learners
English as a Second Language Resources
You’ll find beginner to advanced activities here, or you can use the shortcuts listed below. Pick a few activities that are appropriate for your student’s level, and send them the links via text or email.
- News for YouOnline—FREE access to a weekly publication for adult learners that uses current event articles and human interest stories to engage learners’ interest while building skills in reading, comprehension, and vocabulary. Use the courtesy password 22667F through June 30, 2020, to access News for You Online at https://www.newreaderspress.com/news-for-you-online. News for You Online includes a Tips for Teachers section where instructors can find the video How to Use News for You Online and other helpful resources. There are several articles related to COVID-19 with more being added in the coming weeks.
- Learning Upgrade—Free 4-month pilots available for an app that provides over 900 English and math CCRS-aligned lessons to help accelerate growth in literacy, ESL, ABE, and HSE classes. Special expansion packages available for providers with a current Learning Upgrade license.
- DuoLingo is a language learning app that can be downloaded on a smartphone for additional learning time.
- CrowdED Learning:CrowdED Learning provides free learning tools that reduce barriers for adult learners’ education and employment while promoting persistence and lifelong learning in the digital age.LINCS Learner Center:The Learner Center links to federally-funded resources for learners. It is organized around goals such as “Learn to Read” or “Learn English.” All resources are free, online, and ready for adult learners to engage with at any time.USA Learns:USA Learns is a free website to help adults learn English online.
- Literacy Council of Frederick County page dedicated to online teaching and learning resources
Resources for Helping Learners Access the Internet
EveryoneOn offers broadband service to income-eligible families (for example, those that qualify for free or reduced school lunch, or who live in public housing) at a cost of around $10-12 per month (varies from state-to-state). Some states also offer very low-cost laptops or desktops ($100-200).
Several internet providers are offering discounts or free internet services during the time of the pandemic:
Comcast offers income-eligible families internet access at $10-12 per month. internetessentials.com/
AT&T Check the website for specific details. AT&T program
Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free—including non-Xfinity customers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, click here.
Verizon Visit verizon.com/about/news/our-response-coronavirus for information about Verizon’s services during the pandemic.
Your Literacy Council Staff & Volunteer Team!