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Nonprofit View: Literacy Council of Carroll County offers range of tutoring, volunteer programs

Joseph Hawk peruses a bin of free books while visiting the Literacy Council of Carroll County's table during a Winter Resource Fair at Westminster United Methodist Church Jan. 29, 2018.
Joseph Hawk peruses a bin of free books while visiting the Literacy Council of Carroll County's table during a Winter Resource Fair at Westminster United Methodist Church Jan. 29, 2018. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

The Literacy Council of Carroll County (LCCC) recently celebrated our 40th year of providing training to the citizens of Carroll County and surrounding areas.

Much of the work that is carried out by the LCCC is completed by our dedicated tutor volunteers, who believe in our students’ ability to improve their reading, writing and math skills, and to pursue a better life for themselves and their families. Our primary objectives have evolved over the years as the number of individuals who were illiterate has dropped dramatically. However, we now have a higher number of individuals who are considered to be at a low-literacy level. Many never completed high school or did not receive a diploma for various reasons. Like everyone else, these individuals have the same goal of pursuing a better life.

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We also have a large community of immigrants from around the world, including Africa, Asia, South America, Central America and Europe. Our English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) program offers a full range of learning opportunities to these people.

We offer all of our services to the students free of charge. All training is totally confidential and is conducted on a one-on-one basis. We rely on fundraisers, grants, donations and monetary awards from various sources to meet our budget. We are constantly upgrading our library of learning tools, computer programs for training and other resources necessary to carry out our mission. Donations are always welcome.

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We enthusiastically accept volunteers into our tutoring and volunteer programs. Two of our greatest needs are for volunteers to work in our office and to help with fundraisers. The amount of time that you devote is entirely up to you.

A few examples of the type of ongoing projects that need volunteer support include tracking data; putting together our newsletters, internal messages, training materials, and programs; and staffing community events where we set up displays and provide information to visitors.

One area where we always can use volunteers is at our fundraising events. We not only need individuals for the event itself, but we require assistance in the planning and implementation stages. You are welcome to join our fundraising committee to develop new programs.

We have working agreements with several community groups, such as Carroll County Public Schools, McDaniel College, Carroll Community College and Carroll County Public Library. Volunteers are needed to assist us in our cooperative programs, such as our group English conversation classes.

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In closing, I would ask that you consider becoming a volunteer with the Literacy Council, either as a tutor or as a part of the program support group. Feel free to call or stop into our office and discuss the opportunities that are available. We are located at 255 Clifton Blvd., Suite 314, in Westminster. We are open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 410 857-0766 for more information.

Samuel Greenholtz is executive director of Literacy Council of Carroll County Inc.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”

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