Eight months ago, almost to the day, Mary* walked through the doors at the Literacy Council and asked for help. By the following week, she was meeting with one of our seasoned volunteer tutors every Tuesday.
Many people in our community may have wondered what they need to do to get help at the Literacy Council. The first step, and maybe the most difficult, is walking through the door and asking that question. We take care of it from there. We interview the student, ask them about their goals, administer an adult literacy test and work on finding the right tutor and right learning plan for them. The second step, also just as difficult, is showing up for every session. Being persistent is the key. That’s what Mary does. Every Tuesday I know she’s here because I hear Mary and her tutor, Aleta, laughing and learning in the Blue Room, just down the hall from me.
Mary’s goal on day one was to get her GED. And starting at a second grade reading level did not discourage her. Mary’s persistence has paid off. Eight months later (last week), she took the adult literacy test again. We were all thrilled to see her score: seventh grade reading level! Besides Mary, no one was more thrilled than Aleta! Congratulations to both. They did something wonderful together. Our volunteer tutors give the gift of their time and patience and are rewarded with success stories like Mary’s. What our tutors do is an amazing, selfless act that’s good for the student, our organization and the community.
We know there are many, many more people like Mary in our community that could really succeed with the help of a one-on-one tutoring. We also know there are many more people in the community who are being called to teach other adults to read. Everytime I hold a tutor training session at the Literacy Council I hear it. I said it myself when I took tutor training 12 years ago.
“Teaching someone to read is just something I’ve always wanted to do.”
And that’s all it really takes. The Literacy Council will hold a tutor training tomorrow, 2-4 p.m. November 15 at 563 W. Spring Street. If you’ve ever thought about teaching another adult to read, please call ahead at 419-223-0252 to register for the training. Or email me, Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
To be a literacy tutor...