Literacy Volunteer Agencies
Literacy Centers are established in store-front rooms, churches, civic group halls, and community centers. Typically under funded, they depend on vollunteer teachers, donated equipment, equipment maintenance may be provided by friends of the volunteers. These agencies provide an extremely valuable service.
There are illiterate people who aren't comfortable signing up for evening classes at high schools or community colleges. Community center or store front may provide the flexibility they need. They may be unable to keep predictable schedules, and sometimes may be unable to write the language of their birth. At the friendly community center they can try and try again if necessary - without cost or guilt or embarassment.
Considerable turnover occurs among volunteer staff unless training in the teaching of reading is provided. Otherwise volunteers soon realize that their success rates are low because of the difficulty where older students hope for rapid improvement. For these reasons, the larger regional and national volunteer agencies are helpful in that they provide structure, a recommended organization, training materials, teacher-training, and expert advisors who are available by telephone and who may visit periodically.
ProLiteracy America, the U.S. programs division of ProLiteracy Worldwide, is the largest adult literacy organization in the United States, with more than 1,200 member groups. ProLiteracy America is dedicated to providing the highest quality information, training, and technical assistance to advance the work of the adult literacy field. ProLiteracy provides this support through • Research and development of literacy products, publications, and training • Information and referral services • Advocacy • Grants and awards • Public awareness activities and materials • Quality improvement and credentialing services: – National accreditation of volunteer literacy programs – National certification of trainers • Providing opportunities for the sharing of promising practices throughout the network • A network of regional representatives who build relationships with state and regional groups to increase support to the affiliate network and who represent ProLiteracy America at state/regional conferences and events:
Click here to read more, join, or contact regional recruiters.
Literacy Volunteers of Rochester, Inc. Provides an example of a working volunteer center, incorporated under the auspices of ProLiteracy. They seek volunteers. Go to this site to observe their methods, materials, and photos.
Literacy Volunteers of Maine: Literacy Volunteers of Maine is dedicated to providing increased access to literacy services for Maine adults who wish to acquire or improve their literacy skills.
We do this by working to increase capacity in our statewide network, collaborating with other organizations to develop integrated literacy services throughout the state, and by educating policy makers and the general public to increase awareness of literacy issues.
The primary role of the 14 local affiliates located throughout the state is to deliver basic literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction using a dedicated corps of well trained volunteer tutors. Literacy Volunteers affiliates help over 1,100 Maine adults reach their literacy goals each year. Volunteer tutors donate over $1,000,000 in tutoring services to make student dreams a reality. Click Here to Link to LV Maine.
The Literacy Directory has an online system here. Type in your zip code and the type of literacy program you have interest in. The system will return literacy programs and literacy centers within 5 or 10 ro 50 miles of your zip code. If you want to volunteer you can find local initiatives. If you want tutoring, you will find the nearest local centerwhere you can go to seek help. Click here to find literacy centers in your area.
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