Kiwanis International focuses on serving children of the world, and projects undergird children in a manner that will positively impact their lives. In 2001, the Kiwanis Club of Kingsport began the Kiwanis Reading Program. Three person teams were developed to send club members into Roosevelt and Kennedy Elementary Schools to encourage reading. For 11 years, the Kiwanis Reading Buddies have been visiting the schools, and Sade shared some of their success stories.
The Literacy Council of Kingsport also sends tutors into schools to assist qualified students. Studies show that reading helps children be successful in all subjects. It is truly a gift for life, and the “value of volunteers,” which was the theme of the recognition dinner, is truly priceless.
Michele Keegan and Barbara Harker were this year’s recipients of the Betty Andersen Memorial Outstanding Tutor Awards. The prestigious award is presented in memory of longtime Literacy Council of Kingsport supporter, volunteer tutor and past president Betty Andersen, and it is awarded annually to two volunteer tutors. Andersen’s daughter, Adrienne, who is also an adult tutor, was present at the dinner with her family.
Keegan is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Adult Tutor Award. She has been an adult tutor since 2009 and has provided over 87 hours tutoring hours with her student through September 2012. Since beginning with Keegan, her Adult Basic education student has increased two grade levels, is now participating in her in-service job trainings, and the student’s self-confidence is improving. Keegan also assisted her student in setting up an Internet email account.
Harker received the award for Outstanding Children’s Tutor. She has served as a children’s tutor since 2007 and has logged over 390 tutoring hours over the past three years serving a total of 63 students. Harker also worked with an ESOL child to help her gain grade reading skills.
Without dedicated and devoted volunteer tutors, the Literacy Council of Kingsport (LCK) would not be able to share the invaluable gift of reading with so many adults and children within the greater Kingsport community.
The mission of LCK is to provide tutoring for adults and qualified children to improve their reading and writing skills and to be an advocate for literacy within the greater Kingsport community.
Utilizing the Laubach Way to Reading, the basic literacy program for adults incorporates phonics-based reading for adults below a fifth grade reading level. Students work to obtain basic literacy skills to help them in their daily living.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) adult students are also assisted by trained LCK tutors. Additionally, per the request of local schools and youth organizations, LCK tutors work with children, and volunteers assist those who may be behind in their reading skills.
The Literacy Council of Kingsport is a member agency of the United Way of Greater Kingsport and an affiliate of ProLiteracy Worldwide.