Help someone learn to read |

Help someone learn to read

Literacy Outreach has worked cooperatively with Colorado Mountain College (CMC) since 1990. In 1996, Literacy Outreach affiliated with CMC’s Department of Developmental Education to consolidate administrative functions, reduce costs, and ensure services are not duplicated in Garfield County. Although CMC is Literacy Outreach’s fiscal agent, the Literacy Outreach advisory board and director retain independent fundraising responsibility.

Literacy Outreach advisory board members have recently voted to recommend changes in the organization. If those changes are effected, Literacy Outreach would pursue its own 501(c)(3) status.

The Literacy Outreach’s board is mindful CMC took it under its wing in 1996 and has helped shepherd it through uncertain financial and organizational stages, and that CMC’s stewardship was meant to be temporary.

The Garfield County Library District shares geographic boundaries with the Literacy Outreach mission, and the newly created district is financially and strategically in a position to adopt it as an allied organization.

Literacy Outreach currently has a waitlist of 64, including 30 students waiting in Glenwood Springs, eight in Rifle and 13 in Carbondale. If Literacy Outreach Executive Director Martha Fredendall has her way, 20 new tutors would be recruited this month.

Potential tutors need to attend a one-hour information session. There is no obligation at this point. Volunteer information sessions will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 8 and again at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library.

If volunteers are interested in continuing the tutoring process, they attend nine hours of training over a three-day period. Training sessions are offered four times per year, and times and locations are rotated throughout the county. The next training session begins Jan. 22.

Tutors are generally placed with a student in the town where they live. If a volunteer completes training in Glenwood but lives in Rifle, the tutoring site would be in Rifle.

Tutoring takes place in many places ” CMC sites, churches, schools, offices and libraries.

After training, volunteer tutors are asked to commit for two hours per week. Students are also asked for a six-month commitment.

“If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, give the gift of time,” said Fredendall. “A wise mentor once told me that students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If someone is willing to care, they can help someone learn to read and write, or to speak English.”

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