The Rogers County Literacy Council (RCLC) is calling for volunteers to serve as adult literacy tutors.
In order to meet the need for literacy tutors, the RCLC is hosting “Open Minds,” a two-workshop training to prepare volunteers to teach adult learners. The first workshop will be held on Friday, Feb. 24, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Claremore Community Center located at 2301 N. Sioux Ave, and the second workshop will be held on Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Will Rogers Library located at 1515 N. Florence Ave. Lunch will be provided by the literacy council on Feb. 24, and registration is requested by Monday, Feb. 20.
The “Open Minds” training is being offered to volunteers at no cost, however, a $35 deposit is required to secure a place at the workshops. The full deposit will be returned to volunteers upon completion of training, with deposits made by those who do not participate being donated to the literacy program.
RCLC Director Edel Godwin notes that the most recent National Adult Literacy Survey estimates eight percent of Rogers County’s adult population reads below basic literacy levels.
“Statistics regarding literacy levels are startling to us all,” Godwin said. “Outreach to the community is vital. There is no doubt that knowing free tutoring is available – tailored to the needs of the student—is encouraging people to seek help. Today there is a waiting list for tutors; thirteen adults are waiting for help.”
Audrey Schmidt, Assistant Director of Admissions at Rogers State University and Vice President of the RCLC, said she thinks the volunteer opportunity is in line with the university’s commitment to encourage community interaction that creates personal, intellectual, and cultural enrichment.
“Open Minds is a great way to better understand how to connect with adult learners, which is something we do every day at RSU,” Schmidt said. “That feeling of pride and excitement you get when you help someone learn something that can change their life for the better is something I think everyone should experience. Helping someone improve their literacy skills is an investment not only in the life of that person, but also in the wellness of the community.”
Literacy tutors are needed to meet once a week with learners 16 years and older to work on improving English skills related to reading, writing, and speaking, up to an eighth grade level. Tutors will be expected to prepare lessons and help learners reach individual literacy goals. Godwin believes tutors can help adult learners prepare for citizenship, improve work opportunities, and increase their quality of life.
“Tutoring is a unique volunteering experience,” Godwin said. “You get the opportunity to help a member of your community and learn new skills, and a learner gets the opportunity to participate more effectively in their family and community life.”
Volunteers can sign up for training in person at the Will Rogers Library during office hours held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by emailing Godwin at [email protected], or by calling 918-277-4331.