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Mad County: Need more reading teachers

Need more reading teachers

By Willie Kiernan

republican@cnylink.com

The county needs more literacy teachers, according to Morris Atwood, Madison County Literacy Coordinator.

"Every week we get calls from adults who need help with their English skills," Atwood said

Madison County Reads Ahead, a literacy program for adults, needs more volunteer tutors to meet the needs of adults seeking literacy services

"Many of them are looking for help to prepare for the GED Exam," Atwood said. "Madison County Reads Ahead is now two years old and the word is getting around that we offer one-to-one tutoring services at times convenient for the student."

The program, begun in 2000 out of Project Read at the Oneida Public Library, serves adult needs for basic English and immigrants seeking to learn English as a second language.

"American's growing literacy problem is a national concern, one that effects all communities," said Cindy McCall, who works in Cazenovia as a tutor and literacy coordinator for Read Ahead. "Federal census information shows that 93 million Americans, half the adult population, lack a basic adult education and are in need of literacy services. With resources that are currently available, literacy programs reach about three million Americans yearly, which does not go far at all toward addressing the problem."

Here in Madison County, the picture is slightly better. The population in need of literacy services is closer to 40 percent. But the local literacy resources and programs now available fall short of reaching many of the people's needs.

"Funded by the CNY Community Foundation, Read Ahead hopes to help remedy that situation," McCall said. "Based at area public libraries, Read Ahead is a free service that matches volunteer tutors with adult learners."

To register for the training call Oneida Public Library at 363-3050, or Atwood at 761-2525, or e-mail matwood@midyork.org.

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