What levels of reading do you teach?
The National Adult Literacy Survey of 1993 defined literacy this way: “Using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” This definition does not tie literacy to one standard ability or grade level, but recognizes that literacy is related to the needs of each individual.
For this reason, the Literacy Center does not simply teach general reading and writing courses. Instead, we strive to help our clients achieve functional literacy, meaning will acquire the reading and writing skills they need to meet their own goals. For example, some clients will want help studying for their high school equivalency exam/TASC (previously known as the GED) while others may want to be able to pass a driver’s license exam or be able to read a bedtime story to their children.
In general, we help adults who are reading below an eighth grade level, and most of our students come to us reading below 5th grade level.
Where can I take the high school equivalency exam/TASC (previously know as the GED)?
Adults interested in taking the high school equivalency exam/TASC (previously know as the GED) should start with calling the WorkOne/Adult Education Office at 812-428-4408. This center will first schedule you to take the TABE exam to determine if you are ready to take the new high school equivalency exam. The results that you receive from this TABE exam will help you determine if classes that are offered around the county are the best place for you to start or if The Literacy Center is the best place to start.
Do you help students learning English as a second language (ESL/ELL)?
We used to have an ESL/ELL program as well, but we realized our resources didn’t permit us to run two programs. Since there are other opportunities for ESL/ELL students to attend free English classes in Evansville, we opted to narrow our program to basic literacy for adults. This allows us to provide high quality services for adults who want to read better. Please call us at 812-429-1222 for a referral.
Where do you get your students?
Most of our students are referred to us by someone to whom they have confided. This includes a counselor at social service agency, church member, friend, or relative. Most of our students have wanted help for a while, but didn’t know where to turn.
Why are there so many adults who can’t read?
Most researcher’s estimates show that about 20% of the population have learning disabilities. Much more is being learned through recent research about learning disabilities, and we know that the most common one affecting our students is dyslexia. If you’d like to know more about dyslexia, please call our office.
A person with a learning disability needs to be taught in a specific manner, using techniques that take more time (and in some cases more specialty training) many schools can offer to every child. Schools simply don’t have enough financial resources to provide every child with the specialized training needed to help them overcome their learning disability.
Although some of our adult student have mental disabilities or psychological disorders that have made learning difficult, it’s important to note that most of the adults we see have average or above average intelligence. They just have a learning disability.
Do I need teaching experience to be a reading tutor?
No! Tutors need not have previous tutoring or teaching experience. The Literacy Center provides training, and our office staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and address concerns.
How much time will be required to be a tutor?
Our tutors are required to make a one year commitment-that is the amount of time our students must commit to, and we want them to work with the same tutor for the entire year. As a tutor, you will meet with a student twice week for approximately 1-1.5 hours each session. You will plan and guide the lessons. With preparation time and travel time included, you can expect to be giving 4-5 hours a week of your time.
I’m not sure I can commit to being a tutor-but I want to help. What can I do?
The Literacy Center always needs volunteers in other areas besides tutoring. Visit our volunteer page to see the other areas you can help. You can also help by making a financial contribution or in-kind gift. We depend on financial contributions to maintain a viable program, and there are many items that can be donated to help us save on expenses.