Can you imagine not being able to read?
Or even being limited to reading on a 3rd or 4th grade level? Imagine trying to follow driving directions and not being able to read the street signs. Doing an internet search would be impossible, or following a recipe. Not to mention filling out a job application.
The Literacy Council of Frederick County is an agency that is making a difference in a powerful way for people with this unfortunate, but changeable situation. Of the many groups in our area who are helping, the Frederick Literacy Council is providing one-on-one tutoring for maximum effect for those who cannot read or have minimal reading and writing skills.
I spoke with Diana Halleman the Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for the Literacy Council. Diana is an avid reader, passionate about the purposes of the Literacy Council. Diana came to the Council in February 2010, from the position of Community Liaison at Volunteer Frederick, where her job was to promote volunteerism. Her life-long passion for volunteer work and her love of reading came together in the management of the Literacy Council and she enthusiastically leads a team of volunteers on a mission that makes a huge difference in people’s lives.
What Does The Literacy Council of Frederick County Do?
The Literary Council provides training and all materials for volunteer tutors and then matches them with adults who desire to learn to read and write. They have training sessions for tutors in the Spring and Fall, both in Frederick and in Hagerstown. The sessions last for two 7-hour Saturdays.
Clients who either walk in to the offices, at 110 E. Patrick Street, or call or email the council, are given a reading assessment, then they are matched with a volunteer. The tutoring sessions are usually once a week and are very flexible as to time and place. There are study carrells there at the offices, they have arrangements with Churches, or people can meet anywhere that is convenient. The commitment to tutor is for a year.
Changing Lives in Frederick
Diana has spent her adult career promoting the cause that volunteering makes a difference in the lives of people around us. She believes that teaching people to read is something that not only helps individuals, but adds to the community as a whole. The ease of getting along in this world and of using one’s gifts and talents to the fullest in the work field are major benefits of learning to read. The larger community is better for it. The added personal enrichment that she enjoys as an avid reader [4 to 5 books a month] is something she would like everyone to have.
“There are many adults who come in and only read on a 3rd or 4th grade level; most are high school graduates who have been passed on”, says Diana. The largest group of people who ask for tutoring are immigrants. “In the 2 years I’ve been here, I’ve met people from every continent who want to learn to speak, read and write the English language so they can get better jobs.”
What Can I Do to Help?
I knew you’d ask, so Diana gave me a list:)
- Volunteer to Tutor. The only “requirements” are patience and enthusiasm about helping people learn. The next training session is on March 24th and 31st. See How to Volunteer on their website. As of today, they have a list of about 30 students waiting for tutors.
- Volunteer to Train Tutors. If they can enlist more trainers, they can have more than two training sessions per year. Call Diana Halleman for more information. 301-600-2066.
- Donate. This helps the Council provide materials for the tutoring.
- Participate in the Read-A-Thon.
The 2012 Read-A-Thon
You can register for the 2012 “In Love With Reading” Read-A-Thon until January 25th. The Read-A-Thon lasts between Jan. 1 and Feb. 11, and children and adults get pledges based on how many bokds they read during that time.
The Read-A-Thon will end with a Party in the Community Room at C. Burr Artz Library on February 11, from 10:30 to 4. The Celebration will include:
- Food and Drinks
- An appearance from KEYOTE
- Prizes for various winners:
- A Kindle for the largest funds raised
- Keys Tickets
- Tickets to Adventure Park USA
- Books from Barns & Noble
The Literacy Council of Frederick County also holds a Conversation Class on Thursdays for those who want to learn the idioms and nuances of the English language. To learn more about the events and needs of the Literacy Council:
Follow Diana on Twitter
Shop and Help The Literacy Council!
LCFC and Amazon – Whenever you connect to Amazon.com through the Search Box at the lower left on any of LCFC’s website pages, they will receive a percentage of the sale. Any item placed in your shopping cart through this link and purchased during a 24-hour window will earn us money!
GoodSearch – LCFC is registered with GoodSearch, and whenever you search or whenever you shop at any of over 2500 participating stores or get any of over 100,000 coupons, LCFC will earn money. Just go to GoodSearch.com and register, designating Literacy Council of Frederick County as your cause, and LCFC will receive the benefits!
Enjoy a good book today! Karen