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Posts from Aguilar Library

Life After English Class: Yoko's Story

Yoko and Jacqueline reading at a Learning CelebrationYoko, a former student from Japan, stopped by the Tompkins Square Library's Center for Reading and Writing to say hello.  I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.    

How did you find the Center for Reading and Writing?

It was in 2003, November maybe.  I actually visited other libraries and I was looking for a conversation class.  I think I 

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Field Trip! Adult Literacy Students Visit Three Faiths Exhibit

Students outside the Three Faiths exhibitLast week, students from the Seward Park Library's Center for Reading and Writing, the Library's free adult literacy program, took a field trip to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to see the exhibit, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

As the group trundled up the library 

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Aguilar Center for Reading and Writing Holiday Celebration

A group of Saturday Literacy students with their tutor, Cynthia (wearing a scarf) and Eric, the son of one of the students.Better than vanilla ice cream! That’s what one student said in her reading at the Aguilar Center for Reading and Writing Learning Celebration on Thursday, December 8th. The student read her story about things she was thankful for—and the Aguilar CRW was right up there, better than vanilla ice cream. Other students shared their emotions about being a single 

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The Shared World: Storylines Project Celebrates Writing of Adult Literacy Students and Author Naomi Shihab Nye

Right to left: Naomi Shihab Nye, Neela Vaswani and Storylines Honorable Mention. Photo courtesy NCV FoundationOn October 26, 2010, adult literacy students and their volunteer tutors from the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island gathered at the Bronx Library Center for the second annual Storylines Project celebration. The Storylines Project brings together adult literacy students from the New York Public Library's Centers for Reading and 

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Thank You, Aguilar Volunteer Tutors

The NYPL's Centers for Reading and Writing have served thousands of New Yorkers over the years - making some adults genuinely literate for the first time in their lives and improving literacy skills for many others.

In every case, a volunteer did the "heavy lifting."

Every pair—approximately half of the teaching is one-on-one—and every group has its own dynamic and its own priceless stories, but this one is very fresh in my mind.

At the Aguilar Center for 

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Writing through the Lens: Exhibition and Reception for Students

Harlem and Aguilar CRW students gathered at the Zora Neale Hurston Room of the Harlem Library on Friday May 28 for their debut as budding photographers of the CRWs of the NYPL. Students browsed the exhibit before guests arrived and were thrilled to see their photos mounted on the exhibit wall of the immense community room.

During the program, Site Advisors, Steven Mahoney (Harlem) and Elaine Sohn (Aguilar) explained the project 

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Writing Through the Lens: Special Objects

Students in the CRW Photography Workshop brought in objects which held personal significance for them. We spent some time writing about these objects and then went into the garden to take some portraits of each other posed with our special objects.

Marwlee wrote about African clothes, which she loves because you can wear them for church, school, job interviews and parties.

Elton brought in a silver dollar which belonged to his little sister. He wrote that his mother gave it to him forty-one years 

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Literacy in the Arts: Portraits & Dreams

Students in the CRW Photography workshop browsed the Groana Melendez Family Work Series of portraits photographed in the Dominican Republic and in New York.  The exhibit is on the Mezannine of the Aguilar Library and can be seen there until September 7, 2010.  It is presented by En Foco's Touring Gallery which features presentations by emerging photographers in community spaces throughout New York City. En Foco's mission is to 

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Literacy in the Arts: Dreams

This past Friday, the group shared their dreams in front of the class. They shared dreams that they had during sleep, as well as those that they hope to achieve.

One student shared her dream of moving into an apartment in Croton Falls, a small city north of Manhattan reachable by train. Sol then explored with the class how one might represent her dream with a photograph without photographing a person. Some students answered, "a train," another said, "an apartment."

Sol offered another alternative—the metaphor. She explained what a 

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Literacy in the Arts: Portraits

What a portrait can tell us? by Judith Aisen

Billy said that portraits “portray” things about people and Keith said they give you a little history.  We shared written “portraits” of friends and relatives but some of our liveliest conversations were inspired by a film about the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson who spoke about working quietly, like a cat, to capture people in their own habitat.  We talked about HC-B trying to, “put the camera between the skin of a person 

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Literacy in the Arts: Family Albums

We brought in photos from our family album.  We observed the different attributes of a photo, such as setting, background, light and subject.  We wrote about the family photo and shared it with the class.  Photography lets us remember the good moments and brings us wonderful memories!

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Literacy in the Arts: Photography Workshop at Centers for Reading and Writing

"Smile! I want to take your portrait...It's too dark over here.... Is this a stolen portrait?" were some of the comments heard on Friday, March 26 at the Aguilar Branch when adult students from Aguilar and Harlem Centers for Reading and Writing rose from their seats to show off what they had just learned about portraits: consider the mood, the setting, the lighting, the point of view and the subject!

For the next 10 weeks, these lucky 20 students will be part of the 

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