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Drake Adult Literacy Center seeks volunteer tutors

Drake University’s Adult Literacy Center is looking for volunteers who wish to make a direct and positive impact on local adults’ lives by helping them achieve basic literacy skills. Two upcoming training sessions for potential tutors will be held on Friday, Sept. 28 from 5–8 p.m., and on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. The two sessions will take place at the Adult Literacy Center, located at 3206 University Ave.

The goal of the Adult Literacy Center is to improve literacy, resulting in enhanced self-esteem, daily living, and life-long learning. Utilizing volunteers, the Literacy Center improves the quality of adults’ lives by helping them learn to read, write and comprehend. Each year, the Center serves about 100 students.

The two mandatory training sessions will teach volunteers the causes of literary deficiency, as well as the types of instruction that will help adults enrolled in the center. Volunteers must commit to tutoring one person for one to two hours per week for at least a year. Tutors must be able to learn independently, work effectively with persons from diverse backgrounds, recognize and adapt to the needs of students, and maintain professional conduct at all times.

Individuals served represent a cross-section of ethnicity and come mainly from lower-income brackets. Reading skills range from pre-reading to approximately fourth grade. Most of the students are English speakers, but a growing number of English language learners are also enrolled. Students are eager to learn so they can improve their job, school, and home responsibilities.

The Adult Literacy Center has been part of Drake’s School of Education since 1976. Volunteers from Drake and the greater Des Moines community who are dedicated to literacy and community outreach staff the Center. They are funded by grants and contributions from United Way of Central Iowa, Bankers Trust, Business Women’s Association, and other local individuals and businesses.

To register to become a volunteer tutor, or for more information, please contact coordinator Anne Murr at 515-271-3982 or anne.murr@drake.edu, or visit the Adult Literacy Center at Drake University website.