By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: February 2010
Members of Girl Scout troop #641 and their leaders received certificates of commendation for volunteering their time to paste labels in free books given away to children during several literacy events last year, including Claremore’s Christmas parade. The Scouts also walked in the parade and helped distribute the books to children along the route. (L to R): Brianna Gaines, Rachel Seitz, Kayla Harding and Krissa Nickles, along with troop co-leader Jodie Seitz. (Not pictured): Madison Chase, Jolissa Hall and troop co-leader Robin Chase.
Imagine not being able to read the contents of a package you wanted to purchase at a grocery store. What if your doctor wrote a prescription and you couldn’t understand the directions on the medicine bottle? Or what if you couldn’t comprehend the instructions to pass your Oklahoma driver’s test?
Rogers County adults who cannot read or read well enough to function in society face these questions daily. The impact, however, reaches beyond the borders of their world and affects families, communities and the country where they live.
The Rogers County Literacy Council (RCLC) celebrated the accomplishments of the 26 adult learners it currently serves at their annual recognition dinner on January 14. Twenty-one volunteer tutors and other members of the community also received recognition for their contributions to the council’s goal to offer literacy services to those who wish to learn to read so that they can take advantage of opportunities in their environment and participate in the transformation of their society.
Representing U.S. Congressman Dan Boren’s office, Mary Bowers presented a certificate of accomplishment to Gabriela Hernandez, an RCLC student who told her story, “Why I Want to Learn,” in an Oklahoma Literacy Coalition publication. In volume 5 of “Celebrating Our Journey,” Gabriela’s story reveals how her four-year-old son’s illness and the difficulty their family had communicating with doctors and hospitals made her realize the importance of learning to speak and read English.
Gabriela Hernandez, an RCLC adult learner, receives a certificate of accomplishment from Mary Bowers, representing Congressman Dan Boren’s office. Hernandez has been an RCLC student since July, 2008.
“When I found out the literacy council had one-on-one tutoring, I felt more confident about calling,” says Gabriela. “Whenever I meet someone who does not speak English well, I encourage that person to call the literacy council. People need to know that it is never too late to start.”
Nationwide, one in seven adults cannot read, write or do math above an elementary school level. RCLC is part of a national network of literacy organizations offering critical education programs that help American adults learn to read and write. Volunteers in the program help teach adults basic literacy, GED preparation, math, and English as a second language.
“We exist through the help of dedicated community volunteers,” said Executive Director Carol Round. “We match trained volunteers with adults so they can form long-term bonds and work together to continue building the students’ reading, writing or language skills. It is a longer term commitment than a one-time volunteer project, but the benefits to both people are invaluable and have an exponential impact.”
RCLC, a Rogers County United Way agency, is a member of ProLiteracy, the world’s largest organization of adult basic education and literacy programs, and is one of 1,200 community-based organizations that make up the ProLiteracy network.
A non-profit organization, RCLC offers literacy services to people 16 and over who wish to learn to read. For more information about the RCLC, email eat1@eau1eav1eaw1 or call the office, located at 1515 N. Florence in the Will Rogers Library in Claremore, at (918) 277-4331. Office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.