The training was for two specific types of tutoring: 1) helping English-speaking adults learn to read and 2) helping non-English speakers learn to read, write and speak in English.
I am excited about volunteering in this program. I am now waiting for a call from the director of the Literacy Council, who will invite me and a student to meet together at the Council office. The student will already have been screened and his/her reading level will have been determined. The student and I will have a chance to talk and get to know each other, and to decide if we feel we are a good match for each other. If so, I will begin tutoring for an hour or two each week. All of the materials are supplied by the Council. We spent a lot of time going through those materials in our training yesterday, and I think they will be very useful and effective in teaching someone to read.
A few facts I learned yesterday:
- 13% of adults in Bell County are illiterate.
- 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.
- Medication errors - many as the result of misread or misunderstood prescription labels - are the most common medical mistakes, causing up to 7,000 deaths each year (nationally).
- According to our instructor, in Bell County the most common reason given by illiterate adults for wanting to learn to read is to be able to read the Bible.