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:

Student Writers at Symphony Space

Recently Class 3P took a trip to Symphony Space, where professional actors read a couple of their stories as part of the the All Write! program. Here are the two stories that were read:

The Rainy Day

Jian Wen Li 

“Tick and Tick,” this rhythm is like a wonderful melody to wake me from my dream. I rub my eyes and focus on listening.

Wow, this is rain, this is my favorite, a rainy day. I jump out of bed, run to the window and look out.

The leaves are scrubbed with bright green color, the rain drips little by little from the tips of the leaves, like a beaded curtain. The flowers open their arms and embrace the rain, satisfied sucking.

The house and the street are washed by the rain, so clean. The rain is dripping on the road, splashing down like beautiful blossoms. The cars drive so fast and spatter a white wave. People on the street are holding colorful umbrellas, like beautiful blooming flowers.

A breeze blows, I breathe greedily. The air is so fresh, accompanied by the smell of grass, which is the taste of spring.

I change my clothes and rush out the door. I like to be in the rain and let the rain fall on my face, the rain gently touch me.

You will never understand a Pluvophile*, how to love the rain.

*Pluvophile : a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.



Happy Things In My Childhood 

Winnie Chen

I love my hometown and my childhood. My hometown is a small and beautiful place. The name is Chang Le. It was a city, now it is a zone. There are so many mountains and rivers, and also a lot of seafood. The weather is very good, it never snows in winter. In the morning, occasionally we saw a couple of icicles on the eaves of the roof, and the children all felt excited.

I miss my childhood very much. It was not as advanced as it is today, but everyday I feel and think we enjoyed a colorful life. There were no computers or mobile phones. If in the whole village one family had a TV, we thought they were rich. I remember when I was little, sometimes in the village there would be movies and we watched ancient singing dramas. I sat down on my father’s lap and fell asleep, then my father carried me home.

My father was a migrant worker. When he went to the farm, I would help bring rice and a snack to give my father to eat. My father was a hard worker. He had watermelon, sugarcane, and sweet potato. Also, he planted different kinds of vegetables and had a fish farm. Although we were not rich, we were never hungry with starving tummies.

I still remember one thing. When I was seven years old, my parents just sent me to kindergarten, but the teacher said I was too late and too old. I couldn’t study in kindergarten, I needed to study in first grade. I thought she didn’t like me. I cried.

There are still a lot of happy memories. I remember them all. I’ll leave it there for now.

More Writing About Mom

Now it’s Class 2P’s turn to share their mom stories. Read one below and remember to take the quiz afterwards in order to test your comprehension.

Ling Ling Zhao

The Queen in My Family

My mother is a queen in my family, because she has the supreme power in my house. Everybody must listen to her and follow her way. If you do not, you will be punished, including my father.

My mother is average weight and average height. My father is ten years older than her. When they stayed together the people all said, “Oh, your wife looks very young and beautiful!” When she heard that, she always said, “See! You are so lucky that you can get married with me!” We thought she was very narcissistic.

My mother is a talkative woman. Sometimes we felt she was very annoying. She always argued with my father. It was very funny to see them. My mother was taller than my father. When they argued, my mother always used her finger and pointed at my father’s head and my father looked like a kid who did something wrong. That was why he always lost.

But we still love her, because it was not easy to raise four children. Nobody helped her to take care of us. She was the first person who got up and she did all the housework every day. We knew she was very exhausted but she didn’t say anything.

Right now I am a mother, so I know how my mother felt. She is a great mother in my heart, and I hope my kids will love me as I love my mother.

Click here to read more.

Writing About Mom

Class 3A recently wrote about their moms. Read one below and then take the quiz afterwards to test your understanding:

Sunmi Wei

My Mom

“Feifei, I go to school,” I said when I was a student. “Feifei, I go to work,” I said when I was a worker. “Feifei, I am so happy!” I said when I got a good grade or got my first job. “Feifei, I am so sad today,” I said when I had some problems in my life. Feifei is my mom; she is my best friend too. Feifei is her nickname. I love to call her by her nickname because her friends do it. She has short, straight black hair. She is fat but she is active. She loves to travel but she doesn’t like to spend money.

Feifei is strict about my studies and my life. I remember when I was a high school student, it was New Year and I had a date with my classmates to celebrate at midnight. Feifei was angry with me. She called me many times but I didn’t want to reply to her. When I got home, I was locked outside. Then I rang the doorbell but nobody answered me. I sat on the ground near the door all night. At 8:00 in the morning, Feifei opened the door. When I saw her, I cried. I felt sorry because she looked worried and upset. I couldn’t sleep all night and she couldn’t sleep either. I never did something like that again.

I am living in the USA now but we still keep in contact. I chat with her on WeChat every day. We always share interesting things in our lives. I love my mom.

Click here to read more.



Class 3A recently wrote about memorable trips they’ve taken. They wrote about the following places: Luo Fu Mountain, Kaiping, Meizhou Island, Tokyo, New York City, Washington, DC, Taipei, Orlando, Thailand, Guangzhou, Los Angeles, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Paris, Hong Kong, and Toronto. Wow! Read the story about Toronto below and take the quiz afterwards to test your comprehension.

Vincy Chen

Travel to Toronto

I went to Toronto in July 2014. I went there with my older son and my friends. Our first stop was Niagara Falls. When the bus drove close to the bridge, I heard a loud sound from Niagara Falls. The bridge is between the U.S. and Canada. When the bus crossed the bridge, I saw Niagara Falls. It was amazing. A lot of water fell down on the lake at the same time. At that moment, I felt the power of Nature.

We passed Niagara City, then we went to Toronto. We took a two-hour boat trip around Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario is a beautiful lake, and the water is blue. I had never seen such a beautiful lake in New York.

When we finished the boat trip, we went to Toronto Tower. That is the tallest building in Toronto. There are 447 meters of metal staircase built in the Tower, and there are 1,776 steps. It is the world’s highest metal ladder, but these steps are used for emergency use. There is a glass floor at the top of the Tower. Standing on the glass floor looking down, the people looked like ants, and the cars were the size of my son’s toys. If you are scared of heights, don’t look down. I looked out of the window at the top of the Tower, and I saw whole City of Toronto. I saw the houses, I saw the boats on Lake Ontario, I saw a small airport near Lake Ontario. I felt that everything was like the city of my son’s Lego toys.

After we left the Tower, we went to the Chinatown to eat. We ate Chinese food. The Toronto Chinatown was similar to New York’s, but smaller.

The next day, we went to the Thousand Island Lake. The Thousand Island Lake is between the U.S and Canada. It is a scenic spot with 1,865 small islands which belong to the U.S. and Canada. We took a boat trip around the Thousand Island Lake, and ate breakfast in the boat. Many islands had beautiful houses. After we finished the Thousand Island Lake boat trip, we came back to New York.

Click here to read more.

More $$$$$

Class 2P also wrote about money. Read one story below and take the quiz afterwards to test your understanding…

Anna Kong

If I Had $50 Million

If I had $50 million, then my life would be very different. I would make a plan to use the money and divide the money in several ways.

First, I would buy a big house in New York for me and my family. I would renovate a house and install advanced equipment in the house. I would buy a new, big TV, phones, and computers. And I would buy a house in Guangzhou for my father and pay someone to take care of him.

Second, I would invest in education. I have two children. I would spend some money on my children’s education and help them love to learn and discover.

Third, I would donate a portion of the money to children who need it. There are many children in the hospital. They need our help.

Fourth, I would start an investment business. I would buy some real estate, find a suitable business and make use of more money.

Fifth, I would go on a trip around the world with my family and take in beautiful views of the world.

Last, I would save some money in the bank.

If I had more money, then I would have a perfect life. I would have a wonderful life.

Click here to read more!