Tell us about your organization: The LCBC is a 48-year-old non-profit organization that provides free adult literacy training to solve the problems of the approximately 20% of Benton County residents who cannot read at- above a third grade level.

• Mission: Literacy Council of Benton County transforms the lives of our mature students by giving them the reading tools to succeed in life, thereby strengthening our communities.

• Services provided: ESL (English as a Second Language) to non-native speakers and ABL (Adult Basic Literacy) to native speakers with literacy problems.

• Who is eligible? Anyone aged 18 and over

• How to access the services? Visit our website at www.goliteracy.org for more information, then call us at (479) 283-3486 to make an appointment. To volunteer as a tutor, we ask you to complete the online application, then we will follow up with a phone chat to get you set up.

• What are the most pressing needs of your organization? As with all nonprofits in these times of pandemic, financial support! We closed for two months and are exceptionally frugal but can still use donations of any amount. And volunteer tutors are always needed. We regularly receive calls from people in need of our help, and our roster of future tutors is only about a third of our current roster of potential students.

• Are there volunteer opportunities in your organization? What are they? We have 80-90 potential students awaiting assignment to tutors and need an additional 60 potential tutors to meet the needs. Matches are based on time availability and mutual benefit, so we work hard to create a good bond between tutor and student to ensure success. We provide all training and teaching materials, and our literacy coordinator serves as a resource as the student progresses through the various levels of literacy training. Usually, we ask for a one-year commitment of three hours per week from both parties, but this varies depending on their individual schedules.

• In what other ways can people help? Since we have reduced working hours and office space usage for tutor / student studies, we are not using other volunteers at this time. When we are covid-proof – hopefully soon! – we will be rescheduling our two major fundraising events and will need volunteers for these and help in the office. We’re confident we’ll be able to host our annual Read Between The Wines four-course dinner in September and hope to be able to reschedule our January Scrabble Wars tournament for spring or summer.

• Why do you work or volunteer for a non-profit organization? Do you have a personal connection to the mission? If so, what is it? I’ve been taking care of books since my grandmother helped me learn to read when I was 5 and my church librarian used me as an “assistant” (OK, she was babysitting but I have a title!) and taught me the Dewey Decimal System (Google that). I have been a reader ever since. I have worked in the arts and humanity on a non-profit basis for 35 years and believe that reading and speaking English is key to enjoying life and your community to the fullest.

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Benton County Literacy Council

Mission: Literacy Council of Benton County transforms the lives of mature students by giving them the reading tools to succeed in life, thereby strengthening our communities.

Information: (479) 273-3486 or goliteracy.org

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