Kingsport Times News Friday, December 19, 2014
Community Sunday Stories

Literacy Council of Kingsport accepting students and volunteers

January 17th, 2014 2:00 pm by Whitney H. Parker

Literacy Council of Kingsport accepting students and volunteers

Reading and writing is a vital part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, for many adults and children, these skills can sometimes be difficult to master. This is where the volunteers at The Literacy Council of Kingsport can impact and enrich the lives of those struggling with reading and writing skills.

The Literacy Council of Kingsport is a non-profit organization that serves 75 to 80 individuals each year. This volunteer-based program provides one-on-one tutoring for individuals wishing to learn to read or to improve their reading skills. The Literacy Council of Kingsport offers the following services: Basic Literacy Program for Adults, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program, Tutoring Program for Children and Youth, and Computer Technology Programs. 

“It is getting very difficult for a person to gain employment without reading skills now, because of the skill sets employers need,” said Nada Weekley, executive director of the Literacy Council of Kingsport. 

This is one of the many reasons that volunteers at the Literacy Council of Kingsport are so important. 

In order for the Literacy Council of Kingsport to serve the community, volunteers are crucial. There are volunteer opportunities available to tutor Adult Literacy students, Adult ESOL students, or to tutor children at local schools or at the Boys and Girls Club. 

Anyone interested in volunteering must fill out a volunteer registration form, provide references, complete a self-paced computer training program, participate in tutor orientation, and attend a half-day training session. There are usually three training sessions offered each year, with the first being scheduled for April 28, 2014.

“We train anywhere between 12 and 20 volunteers each year, and we ask for a 6- to 9-month commitment from our volunteers,” said Weekley, who is beginning her eighth year with the Literacy Council of Kingsport. 

“You see individuals come in and their reading, self-esteem, and social interaction improve, and it is just amazing to watch them,” Weekly said. 

Volunteers do not need to know how to use a computer, or own a computer. It is also not necessary for volunteers to speak a secondary language. 

In addition to volunteering, another way to support the Literacy Council of Kingsport is to attend the Eight Annual Savvy SCRABBLE® Social Game Night Fundraiser. The fundraiser will be held on Friday, March 21,  from 6 to 10 p.m. at South View Community Center in Colonial Heights. Throughout the evening, guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, door prizes, and bidding on silent auction items such as art and jewelry. 

“It is not a sanctioned tournament. It is a fun fundraiser. Using letters to make words really fits literacy. We have up to three rounds of bracketed play, and you can play as teams or as individuals,” said Weekley. “We are a United Way funded agency and part of our support is from the United Way, but our boards of directors raise the rest of it through a direct mail campaign through the Savvy SCRABBLE Social.”  

The Literacy Council of Kingsport is always accepting students, as well as looking for volunteers. For more information about their services, to volunteer, or for details about the Savvy SCRABBLE Social, visit The Literacy Council of Kingsport’s website at www.literacycouncilofkingsport.org or call 423-392-4643.

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