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Gift of literacy: Become a volunteer tutor

Do you remember the first book you ever read? Do you remember learning how to read or write? If you do, it is likely you will also remember a special person there next to you — a teacher, a parent, or friend — helping you along the way.

Or, maybe learning was a struggle for you and you didn’t have the support you needed. How would you like to be the one to change this for someone and help them reach their goals? Your gift of time can change a life — including your own.

Gorge Literacy trains and matches volunteer tutors with adult learners in our community who are looking to improve their basic literacy skills including reading, writing, basic math, English conversation and other life and work skills. All they need is an interested tutor willing to share the knowledge and skills that open the door to the world of literacy. Here is what one Gorge Literacy volunteer tutor had to say about her experience.

“I am always inspired by the dedication and willingness (my student) puts into her studies and her ability to integrate new knowledge with what she already knows. I often feel that I have been taught much more than I teach and I am happy that we are able to laugh through our mistakes. The greatest reward is though is our friendship that has developed through the journey of learning.”

Tutoring dedicated adults is an interesting and flexible volunteer job. Matches are individually arranged according to location, schedules and interests of both tutor and learner, and instructional guidance and ongoing support are provided by Gorge Literacy staff.

Gorge Literacy is offering a one-day tutor training Saturday, Aug. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a break for lunch) at Columbia Gorge Community College in Hood River.

Trainees will explore reasons adult learners enter literacy programs, how adults differ from child learners, information on cultural differences and learning styles, assessing a learner’s needs and setting attainable goals, techniques for working with native English speakers and English speakers of other languages (ESOL), and finally, how to put it all together to create interesting and effective lesson plans. The training is comfortably paced, interactive and fun.

Participants are asked to please pre-register; call 541-506-6043 or email gorgeliteracy@cgcc.cc.or.us. There is no charge for the training.

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