JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Association of Continuing Adult Education says nearly 490-thousand Arkansans 18 and older function below a 12th grade level. The Literacy League is working to change that, but it starts with volunteers.
The organization serves Craighead and Poinsett Counties, and recently announced the expansion of their services in Greene County. Saturday, the organization held a tutor training workshop stacking volunteers with the necessary tools to help others.
"I always loved to read, and I always thought not be able to read is such a terrible thing," says Instructor Lynn Dowdy, who has been a part of the Literacy League since 1988. "I always thought when I got to the point in my life where I could give my time to teach others to read that that's what I wanted to do." Dowdy's been a trainer since the early 90s. The organization teaches the Laubach way of reading involving four different skill books.
Dowdy says literacy is a big need in the state of Arkansas with nearly 400,000 Arkansans lacking the basic reading skills. "I think it is surprising to a lot people. Many people don't even know the disability exists. The are 4,620 adults in Craighead County that can't read or write," she says.
Eight volunteers attended the workshop, and will soon be prepared to share with others the love of reading. "It's a very rewarding thing to do. The students think their tutors are just wonderful. Those are people that give their time, they're not paid. They give their time to help," says Dowdy.
The Literacy League is always looking for volunteers. If you're interesting in getting involved just contact the Literacy League at (870) 910-6511.