Monday, January 23, 2012

Giving literacy help

   I've written about getting help when you or someone you know can't read, but the flip side is to give help.
In a previous post I cite, which states that 63 million adults in the U.S. over 16 years of age can't understand a newspaper article written at the eighth grade level. It goes on to say that this accounts for 29 percent of the adult population. The story gets worse. "An additional 30 million — 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower."
   However, this means 71 percent of the adult population is literate. That's a lot of people who can give help. Where to go to volunteer your services?

  1) Your local literacy council. No need to have a teaching certificate. The councils offer training sessions.
  2) Community colleges. I received an email asking for volunteers to tutor students who are studying for their
      GED or are having problems with the courses they are taking.
  3) Nonprofit agencies. Hope Harbor Home, the Brunswick County, N.C. agency that assists victims of
      domestic abuse, has women in the shelter who are struggling to make a new life for themselves. Most
      do not have a high school diploma.
   4) Churches. Many churches have immigrants who do not know English and would appreciate some
       assistance in learning it. Some offer GED help.
   Any of these places welcome volunteers.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finding literacy help

Literacy, especially adult literacy, is a special interest of mine. I understand the importance of reading as most of us do. The problem, though, is how to find help. Most U.S. born adults who are illiterate are embarrassed at their inability to read and won't ask for help. However, they get through life by being enabled by those who love them.

People from other countries may not know where or how to find help.

It is imperative for people to be aware of others who need help. What can we do?

1) Encourage high school dropouts to get their GED and help them find a program suitable for them. Literacy councils abound. Do a google search to find out where a literacy council exists in your area. I have access to two literacy councils: Brunswick County Literacy Council in Supply, N.C. and Horry County Literacy Council in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Horry County council has six branches throughout the county. In addition, churches and their clergy offer assistance. Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, N.C. displays a GED sign on its grounds. Community colleges offer programs.

2) Volunteer at schools to help students improve their reading skills. I see notices in newspapers for volunteers and I receive emails asking for volunteers. No teaching experience is necessary.

3) Visit Web sites and blogs that offer tips on literacy. One comprehensive site is It has a massive amount of information.