The READS Report- Winter Newsletter
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The READS Report
February 2017
It’s that time again- time to Eat, Spell, Laugh! Join us on Thursday, May 18th at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton for an adult evening of food and word games featuring the wackiest SCRABBLE tournament around! This is SCRABBLE that anyone can win! Doors open at 5:45. Tickets are just $35 per person.  Get your ticket now before the price increases on May 1st! Invite your friends and receive updates by joining our Facebook event! 

Would your business be interested in sponsoring our event?  Contact to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities.

Welcome, Khristina!

After a very long search for a new Basic Literacy Coordinator, we are happy to welcome Khristina Reid!

Khristina Reid spent most of her career in the non profit sector where she served her community in various capacities both domestically and internationally.  She has a passion for education and has spent many years developing and facilitating teaching methods that encourage learners to become engaged and excited about learning.
Khristina is committed to enhancing Peninsula READS' vision as she believes that there is honor in setting and achieving goals. She and her family relocated to Hampton Roads in 2016 and she is looking forward to learning the area and its many bridges!

Meet Khristina and get an update on other things at one of two meetings on Wednesday, March 1 at the Hampton Public Library (4207 Victoria Blvd):
     Noon – 1:00 PM 
         -brown bag lunch optional
     5:30 – 6:30 PM

All tutors are strongly urged to attend.
“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.”
-Carl Sagan
Peninsula READS was recently recognized with the Community Leadership Award for Outstanding Educational Service by the Newport News Human Rights Commission! This award was presented for our “outstanding leadership, pioneering service programs, and steadfast civic contributions that preserve and protect the rights of citizens within the communities of Newport News Virginia.”
Peninsula READS is so grateful to the Rotary Club of City Center for supporting us with their purchase of five laptops and an overhead projector. We are excited to have these up-to-date resources! We’ve all had the anxiety of working with technology that’s on its last leg. Thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club of City Center, our coordinators can now complete learner assessments without having to give a pep talk to a laptop prior to the start of the process. In addition, our tutors have a new tool available to enhance their tutoring sessions. You’re the best, Rotary Club of City Center!
Upcoming Events:

Meet Khristina-
Wednesday, March 1st
12:00-1:00 or 5:30-6:30
Hampton Public Library
4207 Victoria Blvd
Hampton, VA 23669

Give Local 757-
Tuesday, May 9th

Eat, Spell, Laugh! -
Thursday, May 18th 

Immaculate Conception Church
2150 Cunningham Drive
Hampton, VA 23666
Paula's Piece-
A Letter from the Executive Director
This month, we rolled out our Citizenship Program 2.0. We’ve expanded it from eight weeks to 12 weeks to slow the pace a bit and allow time to explore more content. One of the sessions is a Q&A with Immigration Attorney Sharon Powell, who generously donates her time to meet with the participants in the class. I asked Sharon if she would address some of the burning questions about immigration which is such a hot topic in the news these days. Here are some of her most frequent questions and answers.

Can a citizen be deported?

The short answer is no. All citizens, naturalized or born as U.S. citizens, share the same rights and responsibilities.

Is it safe to travel outside the United States?

Currently, no one is being banned from entering or re-entering the country. However, this may change at any time. If you are able to postpone travel, especially to one of the 7 countries that were identified in the recent Executive Order, it is advisable to wait. U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) should not be prevented from re-entering the U.S.  Meet with an immigration attorney before you travel if you have concerns.

What happens when immigration officers raid a home?

When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers raid a home, they show up unexpectedly, often early in the morning when families have not yet left for work and school. It is a frightening experience for anyone in the house. If the family lets the officers into the home, ICE will likely take anyone who cannot prove they are in the U.S. legally. Often parents are handcuffed in front of their young children and taken away. If there is no one to care for the young children, the children are left alone in the house. 

Did you know?

Everyone in the United States, whether a U.S. citizen or not, has rights. It’s important to know that you have the right to remain silent. Regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, government agents (police, ICE, FBI) do not have the right to enter anyone’s home without a legal warrant signed by a judge. Before opening the door, ask to see the warrant and have it slipped under the door. If arrested, you have the right to a lawyer. Notify the officers that you will not answer questions until your lawyer is present. 
Families should have a safety plan in place. Specifically this means knowing who to call to care for children if necessary, setting up a power of attorney, and identifying a lawyer to call.

Can I just apply for my green card so that I have status in the United States?

The reality is that it is very difficult to get a green card in the United States. The most common way someone receives a green card is through a family member. The problem is that there are backlogs for green card applicants. This means that if a U.S. citizen applies for her sibling today, it will be 13 years before her sibling may enter the U.S. and receive their green card. For most people, there is no process for someone to independently submit an application for a green card. The lack of access to legal status in the United States is one of the reasons we have so many undocumented people in the United States.

Did you know?

There is a difference between a green card and a visa. A green card allows someone to become a Legal Permanent Resident, which means they are allowed to live in the United States permanently and may eventually apply for U.S. citizenship if they are eligible. Very generally, a visa allows someone to legally enter the United States temporarily (i.e. a visitor visa or a student visa). A visa can lead to a green card in some limited cases.

Thanks Sharon for shedding light on these commonly asked questions. Our learners are full of questions too. One of our tutors recently shared with me that her class has been asking more questions on the topic and that they are paying more attention to the news and want to talk about these current events in class. This is a good thing because it lets us know that they feel that Peninsula READS is a safe place for them to talk openly and get honest answers to their questions.
Our tutors provide much more than tutoring in reading, writing and speaking English. They do their best to provide real life and timely experiences for our learners. If you follow our Facebook page, you’ve seen many examples of this. Our tutors are the backbone of this organization. We could not survive without them and our donors, both of whom understand the difference this organization makes in this community. We cannot exist without either one. 

If you’d like to join our elite group of volunteers, please contact me. If you would like to make an investment in our community by becoming one of our donors, please click here. By the way, it’s okay if you decide to do both! Either way, we appreciate you!

Enjoy this spring preview. I’m not sure I’d get used to it…yet. You know how fickle Virginia weather can be!

P.S. I recently came across this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Please show your support for what matters by SPEAKING UP for Peninsula READS with your donation! 
Click here to donate to Peninsula READS
Copyright © 2017 Peninsula READS, All rights reserved.

Peninsula READS
11832 Fishing Point Dr., Suite 200
Newport News, VA 23606
757-283-5776 main
757.283.5779 fax

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