Sunday, October 30, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Oklahoma City OK :: Pittsylvania Co VA :: Lake Co CA

Seventh annual Scrabble Showdown promotes literacy in OKC
OU Daily: 9.29.2016 by Allison Weintraub

The Oklahoma City Metro Literacy Coalition will host the seventh annual Scrabble Showdown tonight with the goal of increasing literacy awareness.

The Scrabble Showdown is Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. in the Castle Falls Event Center on North MacArthur Boulevard in Oklahoma City. There will be three levels of competition this year: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced/Club.

The Novice division will play in two-person teams. Intermediate players can choose to play solo or in a team. Advanced/Club players follow the North American Scrabble Players Association rules and compete one-on-one.

Mary Surbeck, one of the founders of the OKC Metro Literacy Coalition, said the alliance between Oklahoma City and the Literacy Coalition helps many across Oklahoma. This year's Scrabble Showdown will educate individuals about the coalition and its services, Surbeck said.

“We have people from social services calling to find out how they can help their clients get literacy help," she said. "We have people calling ESL for language help, for children’s tutoring, for adult tutoring. It runs the gambit.”

The coalition is always looking for student volunteers, Surbeck said.

“There’s so much that they could do for both children and adults and people who speak other languages," she said.

Jane Douglass coordinates the literacy program for the Pioneer Library System, and said their program works a little differently than the OKC Metro Literacy Coalition. She also encouraged students to apply to tutor in their program.  READ MORE @

Virginia man shares story on learning to read to inspire others
WSET: 9.30.2016 by Valerie Bragg

A local man is sharing his story in hopes of inspiring others. He wants you to know just how important reading is, especially since this is Literacy Week.

The American Library Association says 30-million people in the US struggle with basic reading and writing. Curtis Calloway was one of them until he started to learn.

"It was hard,” he said. “You have to keep pushing yourself. You just can't give up." As a small child, =Calloway went to school. But, at a young age his life changed. "My father died when I was 12 and I had to quit school, help my mother on the dairy farm,” Calloway said.

Now at 64, he's determined to learn how to read all because of his grandchildren.

"I got one [that’s] four, one's two, one is finished school and then I have two more in elementary school,” he said.

Calloway is just one of the success stories the Pittsylvania County literacy program sees. The program is made up of volunteers.  READ MORE @

Lake County Literacy Coalition helps change lives; group's major fundraiser takes place Oct. 9
Lake County News: 10.03.2016

With the Lake County Literacy Coalition’s major fundraiser, the Vineyard Run for Literacy, right around the corner, some people might be asking, “What does this organization do for residents of Lake County?”

Since 1986, the coalition has raised money to support the adult literacy programs run by the Lake County Library.

The program recruits and trains volunteers from the community to work one-on-one with individuals who need help to improve basic reading, writing and comprehension skills.

“Over the years, the literacy program has trained well over 1,200 tutors who in turn helped more than 2,100 learners,” said literacy coordinator Ginny DeVries.

This tutoring is free to all Lake County residents, age 18 and older.

Many college students take advantage of this free tutoring service, especially first year students. They learn how to succeed in taking tests and improve note taking ability.

One client willing to share his story was Jason Martinez. He passionately wanted to be a chef, but his reading and writing skills had been a problem when it came to passing the exams at the culinary arts class at Yuba College.

He and his tutor met regularly for 17 weeks, and with that help, Martinez received an “A” in his culinary arts class, and soon became a full-time cook at Running Creek Casino.

Tutors are available to assist learners on an individual basis at the county library (and other) locations, at the Hill Road Correctional Facility and in preparation for GED testing.

In addition, if an adult learner has young children, the whole family is eligible for services under the Families for Literacy Program.  READ MORE @

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