• 55°

Tri-State Literacy Council seeks volunteers to help the illiterate

"I Meark so vant leatp; Klemer clout vost, met rere.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

"I Meark so vant leatp; Klemer clout vost, met rere."

Can you read the previous sentence? Why not? It uses the English alphabet. You recognize the letters, right? So, why can’t read it?

Well, imagine a world where everything written is as confusing as the first paragraph. Your bank statements, birthday cards, the newspaper, a book your child wants you to read to him. Imagine a world where a job application is as confusing and as difficult to read as the Rosetta Stone – and then remember this is the world millions of Americans live in because they can’t read.

According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, conducted by the National Institute for Literacy, 21 to 23 percent – or some 40 to 44 million of the 191 million adults in the United States – demonstrated skills in the lowest level of prose, document and qualitative literacy proficiencies.

For example, they were able to total an entry on a deposit slip, locate the time and place of a meeting on a form, and identify a piece of specific information in a brief news article. Others were unable to perform these types of tasks, and some had such limited skills that they were unable to respond to much of the survey.

According to data from the Census Bureau, Lawrence County reflects the national trend in literacy. In 1990, about 21 percent of the adult population in the county reads at the lowest level although 41 percent of the populace has a high school education.

But, those who can read have an opportunity to offer their skills by spending only a few hours a week tutoring others.

The Tri-State Literacy Council is currently in need of adults willing to volunteer one hour a week tutoring an adult student.

Tutor training will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 25 and 26 at the Main Branch of the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library in Ironton, with a light lunch served each day.

After completing the 12 hours of required training, tutors will be immediately matched with an adult student waiting for tutors in the Ironton and Huntington, W.Va. area.

To register for the class, those interested can contact Aimee Steiding at 532-4133, ext. 21, or Pam Bryan at (304) 528-5700.