Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Hagerstown MD :: Guilford Co NC :: Chemung/Schuyler Cos NY

Otterbein United Methodist Church in Hagerstown ministers to community through literacy
Herald Mail Media: 2.27.2017 by Janet Heim

The mission team of Otterbein United Methodist Church in Hagerstown is always on the lookout for new ways to serve.

Cindy Brown, director of programs at Otterbein, said every program or ministry the church offers or explores begins with a member's passion, interest or involvement.

A new initiative is the perfect example.

"I realize we have many, many members for whom literacy issues are a true passion," Brown said.

For two Saturdays in February, at least a dozen members spent a total of 14 hours receiving training to be tutors from Becky Hein of the Literacy Council of Washington County. The Literacy Council has two programs — basic literacy and English as a Second Language, or ESL.

Although the literacy council usually works with adults, the Otterbein group also plans to work with families for whom English is not their primary language, children, the homeless and those in prison.  READ MORE @

Calling All Readers: Time To Volunteer!
WFMY News2:  2.28.2017 by Lauren Melvin

Whether you're reading text messages, emails or street signs, you're probably reading all day long without even realizing it! And now, you have a chance to use your reading skills to help your neighbors.

There are currently more than 60 adults in Guilford County waiting for literacy instruction. Reading Connections, the largest community-based adult literacy agency in NC, provides free literacy services to adults in Guilford County who wish to improve their basic reading, writing, math, English language, and technology skills through trained volunteers working as one-to-one tutors and small group instructors.  VIDEO

Literacy Volunteers Look to Lower Number of Illiterate Adults
My Twin Tiers: 2.28.2017 by Emily Burkhard

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy reports 36 million American adults are functionally illiterate. That's about 10 percent of our national population, but locally that percentage is even higher.

"So 14,000 adults in Chemung and Schuyler County self identify themselves as being functionally illiterate below a fourth grade level," Program Coordinator for Literacy Volunteers of Chemung and Schuyler Counties Bryon Swartout. "And we're not big county so when you look at the total populations of the two counties combine it's right around 15% of the total population of adults that self-identify themselves as being functionally illiterate."

Literacy Volunteers of Chemung and Schuyler Counties offers free help both in classroom settings and in one on one tutoring sessions.

"We help the adults in our population 16 years of age and older and we just really look at the individualized approach to teaching," Program Director for Literacy Volunteers of Chemung and Schuyler Counties Wendy Jackson said. "And we help them with basic literacy skills everything from reading and writing to spelling, reading prescription labels things like that."

"We deal with what happens after the public school systems in private school system say OK you're good to go have a nice life," Swartout said. "We deal with those aftereffects and what makes that a situation, it's again as diverse as the people that come through."  READ MORE @

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