Friday, January 13, 2012

Literacy Council needs your help

Everybody wants to be number one.

LeFlore County is close to the top of a certain statistic, but not one to brag about.

The county is second in Oklahoma, trailing only Texas County, in the number of residents who struggle to read.

According to LeFlore County literacy coordinator Laura Young in a speech to the Poteau Kiwanis Club, the statewide numbers of adults who read below a 12th-grade level is 20 percent.

In our county, it is 30 percent.

For those who read below a ninth-grade level, statewide the percentage is six. LeFlore County’s percentage is 10 percent.

Some 22 percent of those in the 18-24 age group have less than a high-school education. It increased to 25 percent for those over 25 years of age.

And that is why we have the Literacy Council, whose mission is to help county residents to learn to read. People who are considered at Level 1 literacy usually cannot locate an intersection on a street map, find two pieces of information in an article, identify and enter information on a social security card application or calculate totals.

The LCLC offers basic literacy instruction as well as English as a second language class. They also partner with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in providing up to 30 hours a week of instruction to Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).

These classes help prepare residents to earn their GED or enter the work force.

The LCLC uses trained tutors to teach the literacy students. Tutors are given 10 hours of training, split into three sessions.

And they could use our help. The LCLC needs tutors and also help with the costs of materials. The council relies on funding from a grant and the generosity of individuals and groups to help teach our residents basic skills.

Their only fundraiser is the annual spelling bee.

If you can help, either with a donation or would like to help tutor, contact the Literacy Council at (918) 647-3833 or by email to

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