Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County, Inc. was founded in 1972. We provide one-on-one tutoring for both basic literacy and English language learners. Our mission is to empower residents throughout the county who seek to improve their literacy skills, including reading, writing, and speaking, as well as math and computer skills. Services are delivered free of charge by well-trained tutors who assist learners in achieving their personal, educational and job-related goals.
As our name implies, we’re about people who volunteer to help others. Those who volunteer, and those who seek our help, come from all parts of Clinton County. We work wherever one man or one woman makes a commitment to improve his or her ability to read and write, or to acquire those basic skills for the very first time.
For these adults, there is no skill that more greatly improves the quality of life than literacy. Over 50% of our learners live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, and without literacy, they have the greatest difficulty climbing out of poverty, obtaining employment, moving on to better jobs, or accessing available government and social services.
For our English Language learners, whether they are new to the country this year or have been here for years living on the margins, our program has been a lifeline when they face language and cultural barriers to rewarding employment and full civic participation.
The principal services we offer free of charge to all county residents include:
* * Basic Literacy – helping adults acquire or improve their reading and writing and math skills through one-on-one tutoring and through our Dictionary Project which allows adults to earn their own copy of the best available basic dictionary after acquiring the skills to use it well and often.
* * English Language Learning – helping adults learn conversational English through one-on-one tutoring and through weekly small-group English conversation sessions and special content area workshops, e.g. citizenship & naturalization.
* * Basic Computer Training – helping adults new to the technology learn about computers, access different types of information on the internet, and create and use email accounts through one-on-one tutoring.
* * Family Literacy – serving children from birth to age five, and their families, by coordinating the work of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, across four upstate New York counties–Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton.
This work, and more, is accomplished with a very small paid staff and a similarly small annual budget. Therefore, we rely heavily on the local men and women in our community who generously donate their time and energy. In 2012, there were 82 such volunteers who served as tutors, giving more than 4,000 hours to the work, and another 60 volunteers who worked with us on fundraising and administrative activities for another 2,000 hours of service.
The problem of literacy is a big one here in Clinton County, where 13% of adults lack the ability to use printed information to function in society. And digital literacy is an even larger but less well documented problem. At Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County, we believe that digital literacy is an integral part of adult literacy.
We are proud to acknowledge support from the following charitable foundations and others:
We are an affiliate of Literacy New York, and we are funded in part by the New York State Education Department and by the United Way of the Adirondack Region. We are also a host agency for AmeriCorps for the Adirondacks.
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