Free Literacy Program for Adults - The Missourian: Local News

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Free Literacy Program for Adults

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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:32 pm | Updated: 7:05 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

Adults who would like to learn to read better can get help from a free tutoring program that is coming to the Pacific area.

“Everyone reads something, even if it’s only fast food signs,” said Diane Schwab, Four Rivers YMCA community literacy coordinator. “But some people just want to learn to read better.”

Attracting individuals who have reached adulthood without learning to read long text or chapter books — and who want to learn — may be as simple as neighbors talking to neighbors about the new program, Schwab said.

“If people are talking about it, word will reach the individuals who want to read that learning is easy, it’s one-on-one and it’s free,” she said.

The literacy coordinator, who is a retired teacher, met with would-be volunteer tutors at the Scenic Regional Library March 5. Her assignment, she said, is to match tutors with adults who would like to hone their reading skills.

Ten tutors need to be recruited for 10 students in order to begin the program in the Pacific area.

“We already have three tutors and three students,” Schwab said.

The theory behind the Y literacy program is that adults want to improve reading skills for many reasons, such as continuing education, improving job performance, reading to children or, in some instances, extending knowledge of English as a second language.

Anyone wanting to volunteer must complete a volunteer tutor form, attend a six-hour training class, complete three online training sessions and undergo a background check.

Tutors and students are matched based on when they are available to meet with each other. The one-on-one tutoring will take place at the Tri-County Community Senior Center, 700 W. Union St.

The Pacific area project is an offshoot of a program in Washington that is now providing tutoring for 20 individuals age 20 to 71.

As an informal goal, organizers hope to recruit tutors and complete training in April and begin tutoring in May.

“We’ll have to see how long it takes to recruit tutors and students, but we’re ready to move forward,” Schwab said.

Volunteer tutor data forms and student forms are available at the Scenic Regional Library, 119 W. St. Louis St., Pacific, or contact Diane Schwab, Y community literacy coordinator, at 636-239-5704 or email read4rivers@ymcastlouis.org.

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