Great Plains Literacy Council volunteer tutor Daina Coppock, left, has been teaching Kimly Pang, center, and Kimly’s daughter Soknan Oeum, right, from Cambodia about the civics and government curriculum to pass the US citizenship test.
The Great Plains Literacy Council salutes their local volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 21-27. Like many charitable causes, the adult literacy movement would come to a standstill without the generosity of many volunteer tutors in the literacy program who give freely of their time and talents to change lives of adult learners, one person at a time, with understanding and communicating the English language.
“Our volunteer tutors are especially giving of their time,” said Ryan Howard, president of the Great Plains Literacy Council Board of Directors, “and the impact of these volunteers on the adult literacy movement reveals some impressive figures.”
During the past fiscal year alone, the library-based literacy programs with the Great Plains Literacy Council reported that 36 volunteers provided more than 2,300 hours of literacy instruction to 92 adult learners, according to Elsa L. Garcia, Administrative Assistant for the Great Plains Literacy Council. The financial value of one volunteer hour of service in Oklahoma is $18.28, according to the Independent Sector.
“You can multiply the figures and see that the volunteer service is tremendous. If these tutors had been paid for their services, the value would surpass $42,000,” Howard said. “The Great Plains Literacy Council has been so appreciative and proud of our volunteer contribution of their time and talents in helping others. Our non-profit organization would not have the budget needed to pay these tutors.”
There could be many articles featuring the value of the local tutors in literacy. The following paragraphs are about one volunteer, but the message summarizes some of the compassion and support found of the Great Plains Literacy Council volunteers.
“Since February 2012, I have been tutoring Kimly Pang and Soknan Oeum with citizenship literacy needed to pass the US citizenship test,” said tutor Daina Coppock. “I am so proud of these ladies and their study while they are so busy with other activities and work. I hope to attend their citizenship ceremony and see their excitement and joy.”
The literacy tutors and Aleida Burchett, the Bi-lingual Facilitator at the Great Plains Literacy Council, help the adult learners understand the expectations needed to reach their goals of citizenship.
Volunteers like Coppock and other tutors are busy people, and their contributions of time, money, and assistance are so valuable to this non-profit organization! There is always a need for more volunteers to help an adult, age 18 years or older, to acquire basic reading, writing, and speaking skills. Tutor trainings are held when requested. A teaching degree is not required, only the desire to help someone is a requirement.
Tutors and students meet once a week for 1-2 hours at the Altus or Hollis Public Libraries or an agreed public site. They make a one year commitment of time and there is no charge for the educational books, videos, or materials used.
Any interested person is requested to call the Hollis Library at 580- 688-2744 or the Altus Library at 580-477-2890 to register for the tutor training. The Great Plains Literacy Council office is located at the Altus Public Library, 421 N. Hudson, in Altus.