Madison, Wis.—Literacy Network, along with Wisconsin Literacy, kicks off the 12th Annual 1200 Tutors in 12 Weeks campaign on International Literacy Day, Sept. 8, 2015. The campaign, supported by Alliant Energy Foundation, American Family Insurance, the Green Bay Packers, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and individual donations, aims to recruit 1,200 new volunteer literacy tutors across Wisconsin by Dec. 1, 2015.
There are a lot of reasons adult learners come to their local literacy agency for help. Some want to improve their reading or writing so they can go on to a technical school or 4-year college. Some need to get their GED so they can qualify for a job. Others are immigrants or refugees who learn English so they can communicate with neighbors, co-workers, their doctors, or children’s teachers. The most effective way a literacy agency can help any adult wanting to learn is by having community members volunteer as tutors.
In Dane County, Literacy Network programs utilize more than 200 trained volunteer tutors each semester, each working one-on-one with an adult on their specific literacy needs. Volunteers are required to commit to weekly tutoring sessions for one semester, although more than half the tutors stay on longer.
“Of course it’s very common for volunteers to come to us saying they want to help someone –to help change a life,” explains Shawn Steen, who is in charge of tutor recruitment for Literacy Network, “but one thing I hear over and over once they’ve been tutoring is that their own lives change as well. One tutor told me that tutoring has been the most enriching experience of his life, and that the work has helped him be a better human being.”
Those interested in becoming a volunteer tutor at Literacy Network can learn more by visiting www.litnetwork.org/volunteers or calling Shawn at 608-244-3911 ext 66. Literacy Network is a member of Wisconsin Literacy, a statewide literacy coalition that serves 76 member agencies across the state. Volunteers are not required to have teaching experience, just a desire to share the basic skills that are so important for adults to have a good quality of life and help their families in our community.
Literacy Network, founded in 1974, offers free group classes and trained volunteer tutors to low-literate adults working to improve their reading, writing and English skills so that they may better achieve goals specific to their needs: to read to their children or help with homework, to fill out a job application, to understand finances, or speak with a doctor about a health concern. Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. is dedicated to strengthening Wisconsin’s workforce, families and communities through literacy by providing leadership, support and a statewide voice for adult and family literacy efforts. For more information, visit www.WisconsinLiteracy.org or call 608-257-1655.