Sunday, August 14, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Springfield MO :: Guilford Co NC :: Ridgewood NJ :: Fayetteville NC :: Calaveras Co CA

Literacy non-profit needs volunteers to help meet growing demand for services
KY3: 7.05.2016 by Shayla Patrick

The latest study by the U.S. Department of Education finds roughly 32 million adults in the United States can't read, that's just under 14 percent of the population.

"Every basic function in life requires the ability to read. To drive a vehicle you need a drivers license, to fill out a resume, to take a prescription," said Eva Patterson, Executive Director for the Ozarks Literacy Council.

"We often take reading for granted, but an individual who can't read doesn't have access to basic things in life," she explained.

The Ozarks Literacy Council was created to help get people in this demographic back on track. They pair clients with tutors who work with them to increase reading levels.

"I have to say that I admire the people that come here and have the courage to admit they can't read. It's a difficult thing to admit that," said Holloway.

Vickie Holloway is a volunteer tutor with Ozarks Literacy Council who says she's amazed by what the learners achieve.

"Probably the most rewarding thing is when you see someone struggle with something that's very difficult for them and that moment when the light bulb comes on and they realize, I can read this word," Holloway explained.  VIDEO

If You Can Read, Volunteer! Literacy Tutors Needed
WFMYNews: 7.06.2016 by Lauren Melvin

If you can read, you can volunteer! You can help your community when it comes to literacy.

Reading Connections, the largest community-based adult literacy agency in NC, needs literacy tutors!
=The agency provides free literacy services to adults in Guilford County who wish to improve their basic reading skills through trained volunteers working as one-to-one tutors and small group instructors.

Around 1 in 5 adults in Guilford County – about 75,000 individuals – lack the basic skills to fill out a job application or read a children’s book. Another 25 percent cannot read at a high school level. Adults with low literacy are more likely to be unemployed and to live in poverty.

Reading Connections provides programs focused on basic reading and writing, math, GED preparation, essential employment readiness skills, basic computer use, family literacy, and English skills for speakers of other languages.  VIDEO

Ridgewood Library ESL tutors earn Adult Literacy awards
North Jersey: 7.15.2016 by Alexandra Hoey

Ridgewood residents Linda Keesing and Kathy Garden were among the eight English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors honored at the 28th annual Adult Literacy Awards Ceremony on June 16, hosted at Bergen Community College.

In the ESL program, volunteers serve as tutors to teach new citizens or visitors from other countries basic English speaking skills. Although Garden has been an ESL tutor for 30 years and Keesing, three years, both women exuded the same passion and dedication to teach and learn from their students.

Keesing knew three years ago, after retiring from her 22-year-long career in education, that she wanted to tutor. Friends who participated in the program spoke highly about their experiences, but especially as a former educator, who at one point also taught high school level Spanish and French, Keesing wanted to continue teaching in any capacity.

Tutors do not need to have a background in teaching nor do they need to be bilingual, but for Keesing it certainly helped.

Since then, she’s worked with at least 15 students.

A majority of Keesing’s students range in the intermediate level, so her classes, which are usually composed of five students, are spent increasing vocabulary words, teaching idioms and getting her students comfortable with speaking conversationally.  READ MORE @

Meet Susan Keels:
This literacy instructor builds more than sentences
Fay Observer: 7.16.2016 by Alicia Banks Staff writer

There's something Charles Roberts, 65, forgot to master in his youth.

It wasn't a sport or playing an instrument.

For the Fayetteville native, it was reading.

He dropped out of school when he was 16 before working at and retiring from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

"I was able to get around it because they needed someone with a strong back," Roberts said through a sheepish laugh. "But it has been a struggle, and it was hard. You're going to come across something where you're going to have to read and know what you're signing. I had to trust people I was dealing with."

In 1994, Roberts started attending night classes to improve his literacy.

He read at a second-grade level.

Working made sticking to the routine difficult. That changed in 2013 when he met Susan Keels. She's an adult literacy volunteer and an English as a Second Language tutor at the Fayetteville Urban Ministry. She also oversees the center's front desk once a week, answering calls and questions.

Roberts credits her with knowing the definition of two words he always heard: travesty and analytics.

"She's a real nice person, and she cares," Roberts said. "I had to learn to read as an adult so it's harder, but I've come a long way with her."  READ MORE @

Retired prison warden revives adult literacy program
Calaveras Enterprise: 7.25.2016 by Isabella Cook

Phil Gutierrez, 59, a retired prison warden, is going back to his early professional roots as the man hired to revive Calaveras County’s adult literacy program.

Gutierrez began working as the literacy coordinator in May, replacing former coordinator Pat Ross, who left in February. He said that the months without a coordinator brought much of the program to a standstill.

“I think the people probably stopped going because they thought it was gone,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez previously worked as a Spanish literacy instructor for the Federal Correction Institute in Arizona. His first literacy group was comprised of Cuban inmates who had been thrown out of their country by Fidel Castro. Gutierrez went on to become education supervisor at the Federal Corrections Institute in Dublin for eight years. There he worked exclusively with women.

“To this day, when people ask me what my hardest job was, I’ll say working with the women,” he said.

Gutierrez was promoted out of education and worked as a warden for the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville for several years.

At 57, Gutierrez retired and moved to Valley Springs to be closer to his children and grandchildren. He saw an advertisement for the position of literacy coordinator.

“I hadn’t worked with education in 30 years,” he said. “I jumped right back in.”

Based on a 2003 survey, the National Center for Educational Services estimated that 9 percent of Calaveras County adults could not read or write.  READ MORE @

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