“For the past twenty-five years, the Great Plains Literacy Council has built a network of volunteer tutors who provide free instruction to adults who want to learn to read, write, or speak English,” said Jacquelyn Parrish, chair of the Community Relations Committee for the Great Plains Literacy Council. “I am so proud that the board members are willing to reach out into the community with our new awareness project.”
The literacy council board members have contacted some churches and civic organizations with literacy cards as a project during the month or on International Literacy Day. The informational card has a format with talking points about literacy that will be distributed after church services, placed in bulletins, or discussed at meetings. Some of the cards going to Spanish church missions will be bilingual.
The cards provide information literacy and English as a Second Language and mention the many ways help is needed. Some of these ways assistance could be used include:
*Recruiting adult learners (age 16 and over) for tutoring,
*Providing space in businesses or church buildings for a tutoring program,
*Becoming a tutor in the program,
*Participating in the “Grate” Altus Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at Western Oklahoma State College by sponsoring a team, being a speller, or attending for the fun of it,
*Educating others about the problem,
*Advocating for literacy and supporting new adult readers, and
*Donating to the literacy cause at the literacy council.
The United Nations estimates that one-fifth of the world’s adult population can not read or write. Illiteracy is a problem that affects 1 in every 4 adults in Southwest Oklahoma who have difficulty in reading, writing or speaking English.
Feel welcome to call the Great Plains Literacy Council at 477-2890 or stop by the Altus Public Library (421 N. Hudson) or the Hollis Public Library (W. Broadway and 2nd) for a visit about literacy.
A request has been made to the Governor to declared September as Literacy Month in Oklahoma to recognize the need for more literate adults and families. The Great Plains Literacy Council gives praise and recognition to the dedication of volunteer literacy tutors and the achievements of adult learners. The State Legislature and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries have also been supportive of literacy and provided grant funding to Great Plains Literacy Council and the Southern Prairie Library System for educational literacy and ESL programs.