Literacy Council of IWV trains tutors

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Literacy Council of IWV trains tutorsReading is a vital skill. Without the ability to read in English, a person’s job prospects in this country are greatly diminished and their ability to learn may be shortchanged.

To help those in this situation, members of the Literacy Council have been actively training volunteers to be tutors in the Indian Wells Valley for over 40 years.

But now they’re running short. The need is greater than the number of tutors available.

“We currently don’t have enough tutors to help all the people we have on our waiting list to be tutored.

“It is truly life-changing to give the gift of the ability to read and comprehend to a child or an adult who cannot flourish because of reading limitations,” said Vicki Siegal, councilmember.

The group also teaches a class on English as a Second Language and a citizenship class for those seeking to become American citizens.

Tutors can work with students with dyslexia and eye-tracking issues and are trained to be alert for possible neurological issues such as scotopic sensitivity syndrome.

“We’re always short of tutors, especially in the ESL class.

“Before this class was certified, we only had seven or eight tutors, and we’ve had about 30 students who’ve applied,” said Joy Young, who has been a councilmember and reading advocate for 40 years.

The Literacy Council is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to advance literacy in our community.

The tutor training is free, and runs for four evenings over a two-week period.

Tutors can specify what age level of student they would be most comfortable working with. There is also tutor training available in math.

Tutors have a variety of books, systems and tools to work with, regardless of where the student needs to start, whether starting at the very beginning or brushing up skills.

The tutor services are free to students; the students pay only for their books.

Once a tutor is matched up with a student, the tutor and student work out when and where to meet so both are comfortable.

The newest class of tutors, in the photo, talked about how they became interested in tutoring.

“I knew a young man who demonstrated to me that he could barely read, and he was in high school,” said Eleanore Fahey.

“I got Joy’s contact information from a librarian in Wofford Heights and here I am.”

Mary Eddins learned about the tutor program from a friend. “I just wanted to find out about it. I’ve learned so much already!

“I just never thought that there were that many people out there who can’t read. My eyes were opened.”

Shirley Morga came to this country from the Philippines. “As a new person to this country, I want to help others.”

“I love doing this and helping the young kids,” said Young.

“I think I help myself as much as anybody. I’m dyslexic and I remember my teachers yelling at me.”

For more information about the Literacy Council or to apply for tutor training, call Young at 760-446-5227.

Story First Published: 2013-07-03