John Hancock Revisited

Here are some images from the web using our latest Idiom of the Week. Enjoy:

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Literacy Review Preview

Here’s a video from the Writing Program at NYU Gallatin featuring some of the writers from the new Literacy Review, which will be published next month. And watch for University Settlement Adult Literacy Program student Marilia Valengo!:

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Idiom of the Week: John Hancock

Image result for john hancock declaration

Meaning: A signature; named after one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


I’m going to need your John Hancock on these documents.

If we don’t get employees’ John Hancocks on their time sheets they won’t get paid!

I won’t put my John Hancock on this contract until some changes have been made!


Pop Quiz:

Why do you think this idiom is named after John Hancock?

A.  Because he was the most important person among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

B.  Because he had a big, beautiful signature.

C.  Because his name was easy to spell.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Continue reading

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A Real Nets Experience

Here’s a video from Mourad Chalal featuring some University Settlement Adult Literacy Program students and staff. Mourad is a Fulbright Fellow who comes to us from ASCA (Association des Centres Sociaux d’Aulnay-sous-Bois), one of our partners in France. He will be spending the next 6 months with University Settlement, and he is interested in learning everything he can about our work and communities. Here’s more from Mourad himself:

After 10 years of classical guitar teaching and a couple of years as a public relation agent I started to work with community members in a community centers organization in a city called Aulnay-sous-Bois situated in the outskirts of Paris. I have been working on group activities, social support, public information and most importantly raising awareness and educating the community on issues of discrimination. 

Our programs target difficult urban and deprived areas of Aulnay-sous-Bois with the aim of promoting the community centers’ values and bolstering people’s abilities to affect change within their communities.  In addition, our organization focuses on helping families and individuals achieve their wellness, education and cultural goals. I strongly believe that we fundamentally have more things in common than we have differences, and that it is important to cross race, gender, ethnicity, class and geographical borders. All forms of illegal discrimination must indeed be fought. The inhabitants of our disadvantaged neighborhoods are exposed to discrimination based on their origins in employment, housing, education, religious practices etc. My faith in the dignity of each individual leads me in my social commitments. That is why the anti-discrimination program I lead addresses the topic of citizenship and the fundamental values of the community centers which include: respect for diversity, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, freedom and human rights, and a focus on seeking solutions to empower vulnerable people.

The goal is to inform and raise awareness among community members and policy makers about how discrimination influences the daily life of its victims. The activities of the program in Aulnay-sous-Bois and abroad develop the capacity of minorities to develop their competencies in the fields of lobbying and advocacy. The orientation of our program is to promote the importance of discriminated people’s opinion in the process of decision-making at local, national and international levels. To achieve this, I do my best to run international exchanges between community members and organizations. Together we are stronger!

To visit Mourad’s website, click here or go to

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Idiom of the Week: Lose It

Meaning: To suddenly get very angry.


My teacher absolutely lost it when I told him I forgot to do my homework again.

This morning a man bumped into a woman as he was getting on the train and the woman lost it.

You better stop talking and just walk away because it looks like he’s going to lose it.


Pop Quiz:

What might make someone lose it?

A.  Lending them money.

B. Making them dinner.

C. Spilling their coffee.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Continue reading

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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!



Class 3A wrote some stories about money and other related financial matters. Read one below and then take the quiz to test your comprehension…

Yueh Hong Hsia

Lucky Money

Holidays are always celebrated by family and friends together, talking and drinking. My uncle celebrated his birthday this year on Thanksgiving Day because everyone in my uncle’s family had the day off. There were about twenty people. My uncle has seven grandsons and with my daughter there was a total of eight kids at this party. They were very happy because every kid got 100 dollars from my uncle. I was happy too.

My cousin is a chef. He cooks very well and always makes special food for family parties. This time he also cooked. My cousin usually drinks a lot and I can drink a lot too, but I’m never drunk. Sometimes just a little dizzy. When we finished the party, my husband drove me home.

The next morning, my husband left home early. After he came back, I was still asleep. I just heard my husband say, “Thank you to me. I found your wallet next to my car.” I felt very lucky because my driver’s license, credit card, and a few hundred dollars with my daughter’s lucky money were in my wallet. Now I always check my bag to make sure my wallet is inside.

Click here to read more!