By Steve Koehler
People in need of reading, writing and computer skills continues to grow and Ozarks Technical Community College works to fill part of that vital need with volunteers who serve as literacy tutors.
Kathy Funk, literacy tutor coordinator at OTC, said the need for literacy tutors remains extremely high at OTC’s adult education and literacy classes offered throughout the region.
Last year, 850 AEL students were functioning below a sixth-grade level in reading, English or math but only about one-third of them could be helped by the college’s 40 active volunteer tutors.
“When people come to enroll in GED classes, we find that approximately one-third of these folks are not able to read, write or compute at levels necessary to study for the GED. These are people who are most in need and, often, a tutor can make a difference between someone continuing to pursue additional education and dropping out again,” Funk said.
Volunteer tutors complete a free orientation and training program. Volunteers and students meet at the Adult Education and Literacy class sites around the region during regular hours. Schedules depend on areas of interest and student needs.
Brenda Woods began tutoring for OTC in May and did it because her son earned his GED with help from volunteer tutors. “What a difference it made in his life. I was so thankful for the GED program and its volunteer tutors,” she said.
Woods said working with the students in the GED program is inspiring. “It’s motivating to hear where they’ve come from, where they are now and where they want to go. Many have life-altering events to overcome. These students have a lot of courage and perseverance because it’s easy to quit. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help,” she said.
For more information about volunteering, go to www.otc.edu/community/ael/tutor.php or call 447-8865.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications for Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Publications
Phone: (417) 447-2666