Reading skills are essential | PostIndependent.com

Reading skills are essential

Nonprofit Spotlight
Kay Vasilakis

Many of us take our ability to read for granted. We don’t even realize how much of a disadvantage we would be at if we couldn’t use our reading skills almost every minute of every day.

Literacy Outreach was created to help eradicate illiteracy in Garfield County.

Literacy Outreach recently conducted volunteer informational sessions at the Glenwood library location for people interested in working at least two hours per week, going one-on-one with adults needing literacy tutoring. The volunteers do not have to have prior teaching experience or the ability to speak Spanish ” just a desire to help and the ability to read and speak English.

“We have a great group of new volunteers, and we look forward to them starting with their students in the next month,” said Literacy Outreach director Martha Fredendall. “We appreciate all of them, experienced tutors and brand-new ones.”

Kathryn Snyder, of Rifle, has been a valuable tutor with Literacy Outreach for more than four years. Kathryn’s current student, Maria, has been with her for most of those four years. According to Kathryn, the best part about tutoring has been their friendship. Maria’s commitment to learning English, her hard work and her family’s many successes have been an inspiration to Kathryn.

Tutoring has taught Snyder never to assume what a student knows. She said that just because students can read aloud well does not mean they understand what they read. Snyder’s advice for students is to use English to participate in community activities and to have reasonable expectations, so the students don’t get discouraged.

Tutoring students costs money. The nonprofit sponsors the annual Spellebration adult spelling bee to offset some of those costs. But it needs more funding to provide its valuable services.

Recently, Literacy Outreach received a $20,000-match challenge grant from Alpine Bank.

“We’re still trying to match the $20,000 challenge by Alpine Bank by the end of the year, and we have $7,000 so far,” Fredendall said. “We’re very excited to be working with Alpine Bank on this challenge grant.”

One of Fredendall’s favorite quotes was by Dr. Frank Laubauch, founder of the Each One, Teach One literacy tutoring movement: “You think it is a pity they cannot read, but the real tragedy is, they have no voice in public affairs, they never vote, they are never represented in any conference, they are silent victims ” the forgotten men.”

Any Garfield County nonprofit agency is reminded and encouraged to get completed Garfield County Human Services grant applications in by 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, to grant coordinator Linda Morcom at the Garfield County Annex. For more information, call Linda Morcom at 945-5004.

Kay Vasilakis is the media coordinator for the Garfield County Human Services Commission. Her “Nonprofit Spotlight” column appears every other Wednesday. To contact her, call 945-8515, ext. 513 or e-mail kvasilakis@postindependent.com.

G’day, mates! I left for Australia and New Zealand on June 11, and I want to let all who helped me get here know how much I appreciate them. I received not only financial support, but also some very kind words and letters of encouragement.

This trip would not be possible without the help I received, so I would like to give a huge thank-you to the following:

Steve Wagner, David Melton, Down Valley Septic, Domino’s of Rifle, Dr. Taylor, Toby’s Vacuum, Williams, and Gilco Transport.

Space does not permit me to thank all the rest of my generous supporters, but you know who you are, and I am grateful.

Thanks also to all the individuals in my community and beyond who sent their kind donations. If I forgot to include anyone, I apologize.

Hope Hendricks

Battlement Mesa


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