Blog

Stack of newspaper

Recent Coverage in the Media

In case you missed it, ReadWest has been in the news lately!

The Rio Rancho Observer published an article about the need to find a new home both in their online edition (Oct. 5) and in print. You can find the online article here.

Executive Director Muncie Hansen also made an early morning appearance on KRQE. You can watch the recording here:

You can also read the accompanying article and access it via this link. https://www.krqe.com/news/mornings/readwest-helping-adults-transform-their-lives/1574374613

Upcoming Tutor Training

Study group literacy volunteers

 

ESL Tutor Orientation and ESL Tutor Training

WHEN: Orientation: Thursday, September 20th 10 am or 6 pm
Training: Saturday, September 22nd 9 am to 5 pm

WHERE: ReadWest 2009 Grande Blvd SE, Rio Rancho NM 87124

CONTACT: Cyndy at cyndy.ratliff@readwest.org or by phone at 505-892-1131

 

Upcoming Basic Literacy Tutoring Training

WHEN: Saturday, October 20th 9 am to 5 pm

WHERE: ReadWest 2009 Grande Blvd SE, Rio Rancho NM 87124

CONTACT: Cyndy at cyndy.ratliff@readwest.org or by phone at 505-892-1131

 

Our volunteer tutors make a difference.
Please ask a friend, relative, neighbor or loved one if they have 2 hours a week to tutor an adult learner.

Open book

It’s Read a Book Day!

Open book

We are out of the office today and tomorrow (September 6 & 7).  We are attending the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy 31st Annual Meeting and Conference. In the meantime, we wanted to share what we are currently reading in honor of #ReadABookDay.

Cyndy Ratliff, Program Coordinator

Dean and Me: (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis – I enjoy that era of comedy and music.

Book cover for Dean and Me by Jerry Lewis

Muncie Hansen, Executive Director

I am reading The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman. I’m reading it because I just participated in an interview with Anne Hillerman, Tony’s daughter, author, and friend of ReadWest. Recently, I picked it up at the ReadWest Used Book Sale to read during my Labor Day trip to the Grand Canyon. I am a sucker for all things WESTERN.

Route 66 baseball cap
Photo courtesy of Muncie Hansen.

Morgan O’Donnell, Advisory Board

I’ve got Frank Herbert’s Dune on my nightstandI have been rereading this book for nearly 30 years. I learn something new everytime I read it. What inspired me to reread it this time was something I saw in the 2nd season of Westworld. I won’t say what so I don’t spoil anything for any Westworld fans.

Used copy of Frank Herbert's Dune
Photo courtesy of Morgan O'Donnell

Elvira Burciaga, Secretary, Board of Directors

I’ve currently started Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I selected this book to help me become more conscious about me in my daily routine.  One thing that is a key take away is realizing how we subconsciously live in the past and how our body can take over our mind if we don’t pay attention. It’s a great read!
Breaking the Habit by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Photo courtesy of Amazon

We would love to hear what you are reading! Please share in the comments. And remember, if you decide to buy a book from Amazon, be sure to use Amazon Smile and choose ReadWest as your charity.

Author Anne Hillerman

An Interview with New York Times Best-Selling Author Anne Hillerman

Author Anne Hillerman
Photo courtesy of Anne Hillerman’s website.


You have a history with the ReadWest Adult Literacy Program, correct? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
My very first event as a speaker attempting to follow in my Dad’s footsteps was with ReadWest. The venue was a hotel in Rio Rancho. I hadn’t done much public speaking at the time, and I remember sitting in the car in the parking lot giving myself a pep talk. Of course, the audience was warm and receptive. ReadWest has had a special place in my heart ever since.

 

How important has the ability to read been in your life?
It’s vital. Reading is like breathing to me.

 

Many of us at ReadWest are avid readers and some have a hankering to write as well. So, of course, we are curious, where do you get your ideas for a story?
Ideas come from everywhere, from conversations; from things I read in the newspaper or watch on TV; from observing people as they interact; from road trips to the reservation; from things that happened to me as a child or a teenager. I get ideas from my many years as a newspaper reporter and editor, and from growing up in a large family with five siblings, all of us very different. For me, the tricky thing is deciding which ideas have enough substance to become part of a longer story.

 

How do you build a story into a full book?
That’s an excellent question. I build it word-by-word, scene by scene, with a lot of hard work and concentration. I add subplots, cultural elements, descriptions of our beautiful Southwestern landscape, and perhaps some history of the real places that I write about. Then I trim it back so the plot moves forward.

 

How did your dad being an author influence you?
I grew up surrounded by stories and observing my Dad’s tremendous passion for his work. He and my mother were constant readers and talked about the books they loved. They both encouraged me to read and to write. They were my fans, the same way parents with children who love sports support them.

 

Your latest book is Cave of Bones. Can you share what your biggest challenge was in writing this book?
My biggest challenge was the Jim Chee character. After a draft of the book was finished, I decided that Chee didn’t have enough to do, so I retrofitted a more complicated subplot. Making that flow with the rest of the story kept my brain busy for a while.

 

Were there any surprises?
Yes, always. For me, that’s what makes writing novels so much fun. In addition to the new subplot, the character of Franklin popped up and grew into a major player, luring my main crime solver out into a blizzard to search for him. Later, Franklin gets involved in a hostage situation. I love surprises like this. People who write from outlines probably have fewer of these unexpected developments.

 

Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular; do you feel it’s an effective way to hear a story?
I hear from many “readers”: who are actually listeners and they tell me they enjoy the stories. My daughter has vision problems, which makes it hard for her to read a printed book so she absorbs the stories with her ears. I think audiobooks are great.

 

Of course, we had to ask, do you prefer traditional books or e-books for your own reading?
Normally I read paper books because I spend so much of my day staring at a screen for work. When I’m traveling I like ebooks because I can take a whole library with me.

 

One of our volunteers has a saying, “Writers need readers.” What are some ways that writers could be more involved with literacy?
Volunteering with programs like yours is a great way. Writers can help in schools, summer reading programs, with kids in detention facilities and with adult prisoners. There are programs that use writing to help people with dementia, PTSD, you name it. We can also help by saying yes to fundraising events that help to grow more readers.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions and for all the good work ReadWest does. Teaching someone how to read is the best gift of all.

 

Anne Hillerman continues the mystery series her father, the best-selling author Tony Hillerman, created beginning in 1970. Anne’s debut novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, follows the further adventures of the characters Tony Hillerman made famous: Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn and Bernadette Manuelito. The book received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America for Best First Novel.

Her other mysteries in the series followed: Rock with Wings ( 2015), Song of the Lion, (2016), and Cave of Bones (2018). The next installment, The Tale Teller, is due for release in April, 2019. All of her books have been New York Times top-ten best sellers.

Anne belongs to many writers’ organizations and serves on the board of Western Writers of America. In 2015, she was deeply honored to be invited by the University of New Mexico to present the annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest. She is a frequent presenter at the Tucson Festival of the Book and represented New Mexico at the National Book Festival hosted by the Library of Congress.

She lives and works in Santa Fe with frequent trips to the Navajo Nation.

Note from the ReadWest Executive Director, Muncie Hansen: For the last ten years, if ReadWest was celebrating, Anne Hillerman was there. She has been a champion for literacy and a real friend to ReadWest. At our 20th anniversary, Anne and her photographer husband, Don Strel, debuted their book, Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with Leaphorn and Chee. Then at our 25th Anniversary, Anne had just published, The Spider Woman’s Daugther. In the historic San Ysidro chapel in Corrales, she shared the challenges of continuing the characters her father, Tony Hillerman, had created. As big fans, we celebrate her success as an award-winning western writer. She has a special place in our hearts too.

If you decide to purchase Anne’s latest book Cave of Bones, be sure to select ReadWest as your AmazonSmile charity.

Rowena Nichols and Natalia

In Memoriam of Rowena Nichols

Rowena Nichols, long time ReadWest Volunteer Tutor, passed away March 14, 2018. She was 90 years old. She tutored English as a Second Language and Basic Literacy Adult Students. She tutored a dozen adult students during her years at ReadWest. After a stroke confined her to a wheelchair, she continued to write newsletter articles for ReadWest on Tutoring Adult Ideas called, “Rowena’s Corner.”

Read more

Read Across America Day

ReadWest Supports National Read Across America Day

 

“The substantial relationship between parent involvement for the school and reading comprehension levels of fourth-grade classrooms is obvious, according to the U.S. Department of Education.7 Where parent involvement is low, the classroom mean average (reading score) is 46 points below the national average. Where involvement is high, classrooms score 28 points above the national average – a gap of 74 points. Even after controlling for other attributes of communities, schools, principals, classes, and students, that might confound this relationship, the gap is 44 points.”

~National Education Association

Read more

Together We Can Do More

Why do I support ReadWest as the President of the Board of Directors?  I was totally illiterate at the age of 16 and dropped out of high school to save myself the embarrassment and humiliation of being labeled “slow”.

Fast forward 46 years and I now have a BA in Human Resource Management, an M.Ed. in Organizational Development, and a Ph.D. certificate in Evidence-Based Leadership.

Read more