During the year 2016, LLCEF President, April Young, brought to the attention of the board that Rutherford County is one of the few counties in North Carolina that does not have an Adult Literacy Council. A literacy council is an independent community-based literacy program that increases comprehensive literacy and English language skills in adults through specialized instruction by trained tutors and providing access to literacy resources at no cost to clients. In her position as Director of the Rutherford County Library System, April is uniquely aware of the number of adults who are functionally illiterate or lack sufficient English language skills.
Literacy skills are crucial for activities the rest of us can take for granted like filling out job applications, understanding pill bottle labels and helping children with homework. These become a daily struggle for adults with low literacy skills. There is a direct link between low literacy skills and public assistance, which includes children living in poverty, and the increasing prison populations. Literacy is one of our greatest weapons in the ongoing struggle between a person succeeding or failing. Without literacy, adults struggle to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, employees and United States citizens.
As a board we have taken steps to partner with Isothermal Community College and the Rutherford County Library System on an initiative to create a Rutherford Literacy Council. To that end, funds have been allocated to allow for training of ten volunteers. This “train the trainer” class is provided through the Buncombe County Literacy Council. Once trained, these ten people will in turn be able to train other volunteers eager to help adults to gain the skills they need.
If you are interested in getting involved in our Rutherford County Literacy Initiative please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 351-9930.