A better life with more opportunities by Celia

I was born in a small town in Guanaguato, Mexico. The name of this place is Cerrito de Agua Caliente. It was a very poor town, but I was very happy there. I got married when I was nineteen years old. My husband and I moved to Huntington Beach, CA which had a big impact on my life. I was so young and I missed my family. I cried and felt sad all the time. As time passed, I got pregnant three times. Every time I had a child, I suffered from depression. It was a very bad time, but thanks to this sickness I am a new person – stronger and more confident. I now have and know a lot of people who are part of this change, including my brother and sisters, God, my tutor and Amy. Now I have a job. I feel happy to help my husband. Even though I have had a difficult time, I am grateful that my kids were born in California, so they can have a better life with more careers.

Literacy is all about learner goals. One of Celia’s literacy goals is to be able to express herself in writing. She and her tutor are very pleased with her progress!

Thank you to the Literacy Program!

Thank you to the Literacy Program classes. I improved my writing, my reading and spelling. I feel more confident to talk in the English Language. My tutor is a wonderful person. I enjoy talking to her. She knows a lot. Thank you Lani to be at the literacy program. I hope to speak English fluently soon.


Women of the Silk

Dear Gail Tsukiyama,

I read your book Women of the Silk with my tutor when I was working on my English grammar. I came from China when I was fourteen. Sometimes when I read your book I felt so familiar with Pei’s culture, this made me feel close to Pei. I really love her because she is a happy person no matter what happens to her. She always has a positive attitude that teenagers today don’t always keep.

The way you wrote about the deep side of peoples hearts touched me. For example, when Pei thinks about why her family never visits her she always finds a positive excuse for them, like they’re to poor to travel. That makes her sad, but still she understood. It doesn’t stop her being happy with her life in the Girls House. This is like my situation. I really miss my family in China, but they can’t come to visit me right here. Even though I have visited them a couple of times, I still miss them so much. But like Pei, I really understand they cannot come to the U.S. and enjoy my life and share with them. And I’m growing as a person without them. Like Pei found a new family with Auntie Yee and the girls, I find a lot of new friends too. We support each other when we have hard moments in our life. I miss my aunt who is one of my closest family members in China and she is very ill now. Like Pei, who worried so much about her family, it makes me feel like Pei, worrying about my aunt.

Even through all the worry, Pei still managed her life to be an independent person who’s responsible for her own life. I think Pei’s story motivates me to be a strong person. I realize I can’t be stopped by sadness for my aunt even though I can’t be with her right now.

Pei’s story shows me people are the same no matter where they live or when they live. They should find courage to take care of themselves. No matter what happens in their life they need to survive well like Pei made the decision at the end of her story to survive even though she was afraid. For me Pei’s story teaches me how important it is. I have to choose a career which I enjoy and will always support me through the up and down times in the future of my life.

I want to say thank you to you for writing such a good book. It affected me a lot about how to deal with life. I really enjoyed the story. You did a really amazing job, especially how you understand Chinese culture.

Sincerely with respect,

Michelle W

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

Dear Mr. Montgomery,

I was so impressed about Temple’s story.  She was one of those kids who did not fit in with the rest of the crowd.  But she used her unique abilities and passions in the right way to become successful in life.  Temple is a different person because she was born with autism.  Her thinking was in pictures, not in words.  Autism helped her understand the feelings of animals, so she could make their lives better. Her love of making things and creating saved her life. She had tough times but she fought back.  As she grew up, she discovered that when one door closed, another door opened; that made her happy. Temple learned to use her autism to help her reach her goals.  Temple’s success gave autistic kids hope that success is possible for them.

I am from Vietnam. When I moved to the US, I couldn’t speak English at all. I felt so isolated.  It was tough to deal with feeling like I didn’t fit in a new country. Then I found an ESL school and went there until I learned to speak and write in English. It was very difficult for me to learn a new language but I didn’t give up. My English is now in progress. I went back to school with confidence that one day I will get the degree that I want.  I realized that education is very important in my life.

Like Temple, I am not a perfect woman; but I always try hard.  I have raised my two beautiful daughters to become well-educated and to follow their passions in life.  My older daughter graduated from UCI with a major in computer science and engineering. My younger daughter will finish high school in May and go on to college.  Raising my daughters to be good people is one of my passions and the other passion is to educate myself.

Whenever I have tough times, Temple’s story will remind me that another door will open.


Hoang L.

Writer to Writer is coming soon!

Dear Juana Medina,

I have to thank you because I enjoyed reading your book, Juana and Lucas very much.  When I started to read the book, I loved the way you spell the name Juana who-ah-nah.  The way that you describe Bogota makes me feel like I have been there before.  Like Juana, I enjoy reading in the night.  She had Lucas with her and I enjoyed reading along.

Friendship for Juana is very important.  Juli and her talk a lot and always get a lot of fun together which reminds me about my friend Evelyn and me.  We are very close.  Juana’s life was like my life because like Juana, I moved from Puerta Vallarta to Rosarito where I met very good friends.  Juana has trouble learning English and I have the same problem, too.  In the book, her mother is the most important person in her life.  Her mother is always there for her.  Like my mother is there for me.  She has also her tia Cris. She is her favorite aunt of all aunts.  I hope like Juana, I want to have a favorite aunt.  I feel sad because I don’t have an aunt like that.

Her abue (grandfather) is an excellent abue.  He is funny and very smart.  That reminds me of good times with my grandparents.  My Abuelo was a carpenter.  He always made me wood toys.

For Juana, Spaceland was her motivation to get better grades.  For me, I want to be able to speak and read better English.  Learning another language is hard, but every day I try my best to get better English.  Your book helped me to try my best to learn English.

Thank you Juana Medina for your wonderful book.