Volunteers needed to help boost adult literacy

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Literacy Volunteers of Bangor is searching for tutors to help adults in the area with reading, comprehension, spelling, and language skills.

The program has roughly 50 adults in need of assistance on their wait list.

They say their volunteers really do make a difference.

One student, Steven Scalese, started out with a 5th grade reading level, working four jobs just to make ends meet.

Now, Scalese says he's reading at a 12th grade level, has gained immeasurable confidence, and has even gained better employment with better pay because of his increased reading skills.

He says his tutor and the help of Literacy Volunteers has changed his life.

Scalese says, "It's very important. What we do in our everyday life, we need reading. Whether it's to read a prescription we need to take, for the doses. Whether it's to read a menu at a restaurant if you need to order something. Or even to get your driver's license. You have to be able to read signs and stuff and to stop and yield. It's just something we use in everyday life."

Executive Director of the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor Mary Marin Lyon says, "People don't recognize that low-literacy is still pretty prevalent. We are really an information driven society and we rely on language. We rely on reading, we rely on the ability to be able to communicate that to others, and this is where a literacy volunteer tutor can help."

For those interested in basic literacy tutoring or english language tutoring, training will take place starting September 24th with an introduction and informational meeting.

It's from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. that night at Eastern Maine Community College in Maine Hall.

There is a $35 course feel to cover costs of textbook and training materials.

To learn more or to register, contact Literacy Volunteers of Bangor at 947-8451.