Senior Citizens – You Can Make a Difference

Creek County Literacy Program offers free Caring Grands tutor training to senior citizen volunteers.

By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2014

Caring Grands Karen Hochhalter, Debbie Marshall, Patty Richie, and Barbara Morris with Instructor Donna Hall stand in the Caring Grand Resource Room.

Caring Grands Karen Hochhalter, Debbie Marshall, Patty Richie, and Barbara Morris with Instructor Donna Hall stand in the Caring Grand Resource Room.

Help a struggling first and second grade reader: become a volunteer literacy tutor. According to a May 22, 2014 article in the Sapulpa Daily Herald, the State’s Reading Sufficiency Act, passed in 2011, required students to score satisfactory on a single reading test administered at the end of third grade in order to be promoted. HB 2625 relaxed that standard, and students who score unsatisfactory will be evaluated by a panel of local parents and educators to determine if they move on to fourth grade.

In Sapulpa, 34 of 248 third grade students who took the reading test scored unsatisfactory and were in jeopardy of not passing. In Kellyville, 19 of 83 students were in jeopardy. Mannford reported 12 of 89 students. Ten other districts redacted numbers for state and federal privacy laws.

Creek County Literacy Program offers free Caring Grands tutor training to senior citizen volunteers. “You may be the deciding factor between success and failure for a young, struggling reader,” says Melissa Struttman, executive director of the Creek County Literacy Program. “With your dedication and about one hour a week at a local elementary school, you can leave a legacy for years to come. Training is free. Books are free. The fun is free!”

To become a Caring Grand tutor, one must attend Creek County Literacy Program’s free Tutor Training workshop. Knowledge of another language is not necessary, and no prior teaching experience is required. This workshop will be held Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Library Annex, 15 N. Poplar St. in Sapulpa. Lunch is provided.

Caring Grands tutor one-on-one with first and second graders who struggle in reading, equipping them with the tools to become successful readers before entering third grade. Caring Grands are senior citizens who have successfully passed a background check and have been trained at a full-day tutor training workshop. Caring Grands meet with their students for one-on-one tutoring at least 30 minutes at least one time weekly during the school year. Caring Grands help struggling readers early on with additional assistance in reading instruction so they are better equipped to score a proficient score on the Oklahoma third grade reading test.
Presenter Donna Hall received her Master’s in Reading from Northeastern State University and is a Certified Reading Specialist. She is a National Board certified teacher in Early Childhood Education. Donna has taught in the elementary school setting for 18 years, and for the past two years has served as a REAC3H Instructional Coach, providing training and assistance to 14 school districts.

Creek County Literacy Program is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage, educate and equip aspiring readers to overcome the barriers of illiteracy.

For more information, contact

Creek County Literacy Program

15 N. Poplar St.Sapulpa, OK 74066(918) 224-9647eat0@eau0eav0eaw0www.creekliteracy.org 


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About Author Sheryl Sowell

Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.

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