You love reading to your kids. Story time is everyone’s favorite part of the day, as you wander with Frog and Toad, or sympathize with Alexander’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, or explore Wonderland and Narnia together.
But what if you couldn’t do any of this?
Amazingly, an estimated 15% to 20% of Maine adults don’t read well enough to snuggle up in a chair with their kids and a good book. Maybe they got behind in school and never caught up, maybe their families didn’t read when they were growing up, and they never got the knack, or maybe reading was just so hard that they gave up on getting really skillful.
Many of these parents, and grandparents, too, are keenly aware of what they’re missing, but don’t know what to do about it.
Volunteer to Teach an Adult to Read
That’s where you come in. You could share the joy of reading by volunteering to tutor an adult who’s eager to improve his or her skills. Literacy Volunteers programs are all over the state offer free one-on-one help to any adult who asks.
At Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, for example, roughly 250 adults work with individual tutors annually. Volunteers receive training and suggestions for materials. Students set their own goals and decide when they’ve met them. Typically student and tutor meet weekly, at a time convenient to both.
As students learn better reading skills, often they see changes in their lives as well. One student is nearing completion of a two-year college degree. Another got a promotion at work. A third voted for the first time. And do they read to their children and grandchildren? You bet!
As one student says, “My family has developed stronger bonds, improved our reading and writing skills, and learned to enjoy reading.”
Looking for an opportunity to make a difference?
Tutor training at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor begins March 13. Training is available in Basic Literacy and English Language Learning. Contact: +1 (207) 947-8451 or info@LVBangor.org.
Or contact the Literacy Volunteers affiliate closest to you for information on their tutor trainings.
Author Anita Kurth is a Volunteer at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor.
Literacy Volunteers of Bangor’s Website