South Suburban College
South Suburban College

A Way to Give Back to Your Community–Be an Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutor

3/20/2014

SOUTH HOLLAND, IL–South Suburban College is seeking tutors and participants for the Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program. The program is structured to train volunteers to become one-on-one tutors for adults in need of basic literacy skills. Instruction in basic literacy includes the development of phonetic reading skills combined with communication skills. SSC is asking residents to either take this opportunity to volunteer as a tutor or to encourage someone to take advantage of this free program.

New tutor-training sessions will take place on the Main Campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. from April 8th through April 24th in Room 1243c. The tutor training is an 18-hour program that culminates with literacy training certification. Once certified, the tutors will go out to visit their adult learners at locations in or near their neighborhoods. Tutoring sites have already been established at the following locations: Acorn Public Library, Oak Forest; Calumet City Public Library; Grande Prairie Library, Hazel Crest; South Holland Public Library; South Suburban College Library, Main Campus; Oak Forest Center Library, Oak Forest; Lansing Public Library; Dolton Public Library; and Midlothian Public Library. Tutoring is scheduled by the availability of the tutors and the learners, and the availability of space and hours of the tutoring sites.

Illiteracy is an issue that can be debilitating in so many ways for adults who never received the proper instruction. Adults who are unable to read have a much more difficult time with many daily activities that others may take for granted, along with a clear disadvantage in today's competitive job market. SSC's Office of Community Education administers the Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program in addition to General Education Development (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL), and Adult Basic Education (ABE).

Tutors will receive one free professional development hour through this program in Adult Education, Reading, Writing, and many other subjects. Successful tutors are also eligible for letters of support or recommendation for jobs, scholarships, educational opportunities, and more. These opportunities are made possible by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library (ISL), a division of the Office of Secretary of State, using state funds designated for literacy.

In just its third year of operation, SSC's Adult Volunteer Literacy Program has enlisted hundreds of volunteers to date and is already an award-winning program, earning two prestigious Spotlight on Service (SOS) Awards from the Secretary of State and Illinois Press Association. Volunteer tutor Mary Gercken won an SOS Award in 2012, and participant Tennie Fitts won the Spotlight on Achievement SOS Award in 2013. Gerken and Fitts are featured in a video accessible on YouTube entitled Improving Lives through Literacy. Also featured is author Ruth J. Colvin–a 95 year old SSC alumnus. (Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ttli_Xa73pc to see the video or access it from www.ssc.edu under the "Adult Education" link.)

If you would like to volunteer or know someone who would benefit from these services, please contact Christopher McElroy, Coordinator of the Adult Volunteer Literacy Program, at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2558, or email cmcelroy@ssc.edu . South Suburban College is located at 15800 S. State St., South Holland, Illinois.

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Main Campus: 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200
Oak Forest Center: 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois 60452-4601