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READ Commission needs volunteers to help teach adults to read

Nearly one-third of adult Houstonians fall into the lowest two categories of the Texas Adult Literacy survey. The mission of the Houston READ Commission is to create a literate workforce in Houston and to enrich the lives of adult Houstonians by helping them reach their maximum potential through improving their basic literacy skills.

The Commission needs volunteers to help provide services to the more than 90,000 people it serves each year. Several opportunities exist to help families in need;

•Tutor: Help adult learners improve their reading skills. Attend workshops to prepare for tutoring in a demonstration learning center.

•“Read-Write-Now” Learning Partner: Help a child and encourage him or her to read and write 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Meet one day a week to provide extra help in reading and writing.

•Children’s Program Aide: Organize activities for preschool through teens in family literacy programs.

•Help Line Counselor; Provide support for students and/or volunteers, conduct brief phone interviews to determine needs, keep records to facilitate placement and follow-up. Work at home, learning center sites or agency offices.

•Follow-Up Counselor; Call students and tutors to check progress, obtain feedback for program staff, keep records and send to office. Arrange your own hours.

•Learning Center Liaison: “Adopt” a learning center location, Work with staff, volunteers and students to arrange for volunteer involvement, student recognition and special events.

•Learning Center Clerical Assistant: Help with recordkeeping and reporting.

•Learning Center Receptionist: Answer telephones and make follow-up calls.

•Literacy Classes: Establish a volunteer literacy program in church or community center.

For more information or to become a volunteer, please call the Houston READ Commission Literacy Helpline at 713-228-1800.