Executive Director Colleen Gaskill said the council is seeking several volunteers to train adult students who are looking to improve their literacy skills. Volunteers can tutor during the day or evening for as little as one hour per week.
Gaskill said tutors must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. No college degree or teaching experience is needed, but prospective volunteers must complete a thorough training program before being assigned to a student.
After completing the training program, volunteers are provided with a curriculum that corresponds to their student’s current needs and future goals.
“Some students come in, and their reason for improving their literacy might be so that they can be more involved in their children’s schoolwork or that they want to be able to drive and read street signs,” Gaskill said. “So we measure where they’re at and what their goals are, and then we work with the tutor to give them that information so that they know what they need to work on.”
There are currently 20 students on the waiting list, Gaskill said, so at least 20 volunteers are needed. Tutors and their students meet each week at the Literacy Council, located at 326 Commerce St.
A free training session for new adult tutors will be held Feb. 3 at the Kingsport Public Library, and a required tutor orientation and self-paced study should be completed prior to the training. The one-hour tutor orientation will be held at various times through Jan. 29.
The deadline for registration is Monday, Jan. 29. Those interested in registering should call (423) 392-4643, email [email protected] or stop by the Literacy Council’s office.
“The single greatest indicator of a child’s future success is the literacy level of their parents,” Gaskill said. “So by helping adults in our community learn to read, that is then handed down to their children and throughout the community. … You really make a huge impact on their lives for just an hour a week.”