March 2018: Literacyworks in the News


Literacyworks Receives North Bay Fire Relief Fund Grant from Redwood Credit Union Community Fund

The purpose of this grant is to support our students and others in overcoming the obstacles created by the fires and to assist them in staying in school at SRJC. We requested funding to assist our low literacy, low income hard to serve adult students cope with issues created by the recent fire and continue with their college education. We will use this grant for additional workshops in stress management, financial planning, community resources and resource navigation, parenting around trauma, time management, and study skills; provide funding for transportation and childcare in order to help our students overcome their fire related obstacles and stay in school; and to support outreach/assessment efforts to increase our enrollment of low literacy, low income adults impacted by job loss due to the fire by ten or more students. Offering these additional resources is crucial in keeping our students in school. Once a hard to serve student drops out the statistics show very few return.

Our response to the fire was to reach out to our 90 students to understand the impact it had on them, their families, their neighbors and friends. With this information, we have developed a set of actions to mitigate the effects with the goal of keeping them in school and improving their options for employment. Also, our goal is to help others they know who were impacted by opening our workshops and services to their families and friends. The grant will supplement our current efforts.

The North Bay Fire Relief Fund (NBFRF) was created by Redwood Credit Union Community Fund to support the immediate needs of North Bay fire survivors in the four impacted counties of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake.

The Fund was created in partnership with The Press Democrat, Senator Mike McGuire and the Redwood Credit Union. 


2018 Literacyworks Lecture Series

Our new lecture series, Literacyworks and Copperfield’s Books Presents, starts next week with experimental psychologist STEVEN PINKER on Monday, March 12, 2018 at Copperfield’s Petaluma store. Dr. Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations and writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic. His current book is “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress". Purchase Tickets Here:

LELAND FAUST is up next on Sunday March 18, 2018 at the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, Petaluma SRJC campus. Leland founded CSI Capital Management. Since 1978, he and his firm have represented over one hundred NFL, NBA and MLB all stars, as well as many Grammy and Academy award winners. Leland Faust will be speaking on his book, “A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street is Fleecing You and Ruining America.” Purchase Tickets Here:

The rest of our speakers booked so far are:


Sunday April 8, 2018, Petaluma Veterans Memorial Hall, 3:45-5:00 PM 1094 Petaluma Blvd South, Petaluma
Robert Bernard Reich is an American political commentator, professor, and author. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. He was Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997. His new book, “The Common Good,” is focused on why we must restore the idea of the common good to the center of our economics and politics. Congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey is a former U.S. Representative for California's 6th congressional district serving Marin County and Sonoma County from 1993 to 2013. Tickets for "Robert Reich in Conversation with Lynn Woolsey" will go on sale Monday, March 12, 2018.


Sunday May 6, 2018, Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, Petaluma SRJC campus
Greg Sarris is an author, screenwriter, producer, scholar, professor and Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria. His most recent book, which will be featured at the lecture, is “How a Mountain Was Made: Stories.”


Sunday June 10, 2018, Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, Petaluma SRJC campus
Daniel Ellsberg is an American activist and former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. His new book, “The Doomsday Machine,” is an eyewitness expose of the dangers of America’s top secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Peter Coyote is an accomplished actor, author, director, screenwriter and Emmy award narrator.


July 2018 (tentative date), Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, Petaluma SRJC campus
Chilean author Isabel Allende won worldwide acclaim when her bestselling first novel, "The House of the Spirits", was published in 1982. Since then, she has written 22 more works. Allende’s books, all written in her native Spanish, have been translated into 35 languages and have sold nearly 70 million copies. Michael Krasny is the host of KQED’s “Forum” program as well as a renowned author and educator.

Go to for the latest speaker list.

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Literacyworks Parents as First Teachers: Engaging Families to Increase Children's Literacy program works with low-literacy, low-income bilingual parents and children by training parents in the basic skills to encourage their children to become avid readers and writers. The goal is to help parents view their parenting role in a positive manner, have appropriate expectations of their children's achievements, prepare their children with the necessary skills to be successful in school, and establish and maintain positive relations with community resources, including libraries, schools, and community groups. Workshops are held throughout Sonoma county and the North Bay. We have two successful workshops under our belt so far with two more planned through summer.