The New Literacy Review is Here

The new Literacy Review is here, and this time five University Settlement Adult Literacy Program students have their writing published in it. The Literacy Review is an annual collection of writing by adult education students throughout New York City, and it is produced and published by the NYU Gallatin Writing Program, under the leadership of Professor June Foley.

Click here or on the picture above to read it online. Students, their story’s titles, and the page numbers are listed below:

“Bitter Coffee” by Jennifer Alonzo, page 44

“Love Conquers All” by Marilia Valengo, 46

“Paper Cranes” by Yuliia Semenova, page 63

“Father in My Heart” by Wei Wen Zeng, page 92

“Take(c)” by Fernanda Sequeira, page 104

And here’s a photo of Yuliia reading her story at NYU at the annual Literacy Review Gala and the University Settlement delegation which attended it:

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More Literacy Review

Here are some more photos from the recent Literacy Review gala at NYU:

The Literacy Review is an annual journal of writing from adult literacy programs throughout New York City. Edited by Gallatin students, the book is distributed at a celebration that includes readings by the newly published writers.

The faculty adviser for the Literacy Review is Professor June Foley.

To read the Literacy Review, click here.



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Unique and Incomparable


The University Settlement Adult Literacy Program is pleased to announce the publication of its biennial collection of student writing in connection with the NYU Gallatin Writing Program. The latest collection is called Unique and Incomparable, and it has two years’ worth of excellent, entertaining writing by Adult Literacy Program students enrolled in the Advanced Creative Writing Class, taught by Professor June Foley. Read one story below and take the quiz to test your comprehension:


Yuki Umeda

We are powerless in natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons, heavy snow, and earthquakes, etc. I have experienced two great earthquakes.

My first experience of a great earthquake was the Hanshin Awagi Great Earthquake. It was an early morning on January 17, 1995. I was sleeping in my apartment, and suddenly I felt that something pushed up from under my bed. I didn’t understand what happened. I got under my blanket, scrunched my body, and waited for the bed to stop shaking. All my stuffed toys fell down from the closet.

Japan is a country with a lot of earthquakes. I had experienced many earthquakes, but this was the first time that I was really scared. After the earthquake, I went to work as usual. But a few hours later, I saw a tragic scene on TV. It was a massive fire and collapsed houses. More than 6,000 people died from this earthquake.

My second experience of a great earthquake was the Great East Japan Earthquake. It happened on March 11, 2011. At that time, I was on the porch on the second floor of my house. I felt the house shake from side to side. I went to the first floor, but it was still shaking, so I grabbed my purse and got out of my house. I saw our car and the utility pole were still shaking. I felt that this earthquake was not usual. It was huge. (This earthquake happened 200 kilometers away from our place, but it was so strong.)

I went to the elementary school to pick up my daughter. After that, the electricity in our area was cut off for one night, and the train stopped running. The next day, I saw a tragic scene again on TV. I also heard some very bad news about the nuclear power plant.

Because of the earthquake, a tsunami struck the Sanriku coast. This tsunami was awfully big. So many houses, cars, villages, towns, and people were swept away. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was also stuck by this tsunami. This nuclear power plant was broken and brought radioactive contamination. More than 18,000 people died or were missing during this great earthquake.

Now, we have to think about the impact of the radioactive contamination. This Fukushima accident destroyed the environment. We live in a convenient world. We use a lot of electricity. We made a nuclear power plant for our convenient lives. Is this a good way for our future? I had never thought about how to get electricity, and I had never worried about radioactive contamination before I experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake. But now, I know our future has many of problems. Our life became convenient at the sacrifice of something important.

We are attacked by natural disasters.

We defy nature.

We destroy nature.

Nature gets angry, and it will break our convenient lives.

Nature is great.

We have to learn from nature like our ancestors.


To read more stories, click here.

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Published Writers in Our Midst

Jose LR

A new edition of The Literacy Review is out, and the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program has four students who have their work published in it: Elia Cheng, Jesus Gomez, Xiu Lin, and Galyna Nyzhnyk.

The Literacy Review is an annual journal of writing from adult literacy programs throughout New York City. Edited by NYU Gallatin students, the book is distributed at a celebration that includes readings by the newly published writers. The faculty adviser for the Literacy Review is NYU Gallatin Professor June Foley, who also teaches an advanced writing class here at University Settlement.

Last week, our student writers were invited to the Literacy Review celebration at NYU. Jose Gomez (pictured above) read his story to everyone in attendance. You can read it for yourself right here:


Jesus Gomez

It was Wednesday morning, a regular day, but it looked particularly beautiful to me. It was raining, and it was a little bit chilly. I took the bus to my work. The bus ran on Fifth Avenue next to Central Park. There was a lot of traffic, and the bus moved very slowly. I thought it was a bad idea to take the bus because I don’t like to arrive late for my work, but when I looked through the window, it was beautiful as I saw the rain, and the leaves from the trees turning different colors. It was amazing that for one moment I could forget I was going to work and that I was late for work.

I hadn’t felt something like that for a long time. I remembered the days growing up in Mexico when I played with my friends in the rain. Nobody cared about being wet or getting sick. After we finished playing, everybody went home, and my mother was very mad. She told me, “If you get sick, don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear that you are sick, and you don’t want to go to school.”

I told my mama, “Don’t worry. I am not going to tell you anything.” After my mama finished talking to me, I took a very hot shower. Then my mama made me hot chocolate and called me to the kitchen, where I drank my hot chocolate. I went to the living room and lay down on the sofa for hours. I felt great.

Finally, the bus started moving faster, and I could see a few people walking down the street. Everybody had an umbrella. But I saw one old lady with a little kid who started playing in the water. He opened his arms and started jumping. I said to myself: This is what I’m talking about. Sometimes you need to enjoy the day, and it doesn’t matter if it is raining, sunny, or snowing. You can enjoy every moment. This was my beautiful day. That was when I felt happy. When I remembered the day in Mexico, it was a good memory that motivated me to write this essay.

To read more, click here.



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