FLORENCE — The Northwest Alabama Reading Aides program is looking for a few good tutors.
Those interested in becoming a certified adult literacy tutor are encouraged to attend a three-day workshop on Feb. 12, 19 and 21. The sessions will be 5:45-9:30 p.m. at the Reading Aides office at 501 N. Seminary St., across from Pope’s Tavern.
Tutors must complete all three days of training. A one-time $20 fee will be charged to cover teaching materials. Light meals will be served.
Director Jim Green said the program has about 40 students and 35 tutors, but more tutors will be needed as more non-reading adults are identified.
“We occasionally get students who have gone through 12 years of school, yet still can’t read proficiently enough to get through a GED (exam),” Green said. “We’re here, and we want to help. We know it’s difficult to function in this world without being able to read, and we’re committed to getting the word out about our program because literacy betters all of society.”
The illiteracy rate in the Shoals area is 15 percent, according to the most recent statistical data released by the information bureau of the U.S. Department of Education. Green said that number represents that one of every seven people are illiterate.
He said he is committed to training tutors who share his vision for making a difference with adult literacy in the Shoals.
Tori Bailey has been volunteering the past eight months and is working with two students.
“Tutoring gives me the satisfaction that I’m giving back and a real sense of gratitude,” Bailey said. “I’m well aware that there’s absolutely no difference in me and my students other than I’ve been really lucky and our life journeys have been different.”
As a tutor, establishing a comfortable learning atmosphere for the student is of utmost importance, Bailey said.
“They’ve got to realize that it isn’t about intelligence, and they certainly aren’t unintelligent,” she said. “Perhaps the key to being effective as a tutor is helping them to comprehend, in a non-condescending way, that they can do this.”
Tutoring sessions are set around the students’ schedules.
To sign up for the tutoring workshop, call Green at 256-766-5709.
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.