Issue 55: JALF's Literacy Mentors

THE JANE AUSTEN LITERACY FOUNDATION LAUNCHED THE LITERACY MENTORS PROGRAM ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 - INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY!

The purpose of the program, and the passion of our Literacy Mentors team, is to encourage young people to be excited about writing!

We are delighted to partner with Pobble to deliver this program. Pobble is a well-established online literacy resource, proven to create excitement about writing. Pobble’s online platform engages students in writing, encouraging them to be “published authors” as they upload their pieces of work for a global community of peers, families, teachers and authors to read! The Foundation’s Literacy Mentors dedicate time each month to read short works written by school students from around the world, and provide feedback and encouragement online. 

Currently, we have a team of 20 Literacy Mentors, representing eight countries across the globe. Our team is filled with passionate, talented people and I am delighted to introduce you to some of them. Cristy, from Mexico, is a young English teacher who has recently started working as a literacy translator. Along with Jane Austen, she admires the work of Emilio Salgari, Charlotte Bronte and Tolkein. Cristy desires to be an author like her late grandfather, so she is passionate about encouraging young people to write! 

 
Literacy Mentors Map.  Credit: Jacqueline Harris

Literacy Mentors Map. Credit: Jacqueline Harris

 

We are also delighted to have Tony from England on the team, who is a retired teacher. He has been interested in the life of Jane Austen and her writing for many years. He is a gifted member of our team, having penned various pieces about Jane Austen and her novels that have been published on websites and blogs. Tony is passionate about being an active contributor of the Foundation: "I think the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation is an excellent way of promoting literacy, both reading and writing, especially in disadvantaged communities. Being a Literacy Mentor is something I have had experience in and it is a way that I can contribute to the work of the Foundation."

Kelly, from the United States, is another impressive and passionate Literacy Mentor. She is a trained literacy tutor through Literacy Volunteers of America, and spent several years as an elementary and middle school library volunteer. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Development, graduating summa cum laude in 2013. Kelly brings a wealth of experience to the Literacy Mentors team, as she has now stepped into supporting adult learning in the real estate industry. Needless to say, she is also a huge fan of all things Jane Austen!  

Jeannette, from The Netherlands, is a high school teacher. Jeanette holds university degrees in Semitic languages and English (teaching). She has been teaching English as a second language for over 20 years, having taught students between the ages of 12 to 18 years. Jeannette shared with us why she was excited to the join the Literacy Mentors program: “I have been a Jane Austen fan for many, many years now. The literacy mentor programme appeals to me on a professional level - I love to teach, I love to help students improve their English and I love to help any student no matter where or why. It also appeals to me on personal level. As a book lover I have a great appreciation and love for (among others) Jane Austen. Jane Austen's novels and the Jane Austen community have given me so much enjoyment, education and a sense of belonging. The Jane Austen community is like family and it inspires in me the need to give something back. I would love to work with these pupils and mentor them to become (better) writers.”

Literacy Mentors statistics so far.  Credit: Jacqueline Harris

Literacy Mentors statistics so far. Credit: Jacqueline Harris

The program is a wonderful way to honour Jane Austen’s memory and contribute to her far-reaching legacy. What I love most about our Literacy Mentors team is that it truly represents the global admiration for Jane Austen’s work and demonstrates the power of people working together towards a common goal. In the first seven months of the program, we have already provided feedback to over 848 pieces of student writing! I am so proud of our team, and I suspect Miss Austen would feel the same way!

If you would like to join the Literacy Mentors program, please email literacymentors@janeaustenlf.org for an Information Pack. You do not need to hold qualifications in education or language, we are simply looking for people passionate about supporting and encouraging young people!

© Jacqueline Harris - Literacy Mentors Program Manager

 
04-Pride&Poss-RGB-29-09-16.jpg
 

The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation works with the Jane Austen community and industry to provide literacy resources for communities in need across the world. Reading and writing skills empower individuals to participate in society and achieve their dreams. Literacy gives a child pride and opens up a world of possibilities.

Image credit: Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.