The Portage County Literacy Council (PCLC) is looking for additional volunteers to tutor adults in our community. The program has learners on the waiting list, and tutors are needed to work with English language learners and adult basic education learners. “Community members looking for a fulfilling volunteer experience should consider becoming a tutor,” said Kristy SeBlonka, PCLC director. “Literacy impacts every aspect of our learners’ lives.”

Tutors meet one-on-one with their learners on a weekly basis, typically 1-3 hours/week, and provide individualized assistance based on the learners’ situation and goals. English language learners are working to improve their ability to communicate in English, and in many cases are immigrants or refugees. Adult basic education learners are typically native English speakers that want to improve their reading or writing skills. They may have dyslexia or another learning difference.

Lisa Krenz recently became a new tutor in Portage County. A recent University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate, Krenz wanted to volunteer in order to stay active in the community. She meets weekly with a Spanish-speaking gentleman who works in the agricultural industry and wants to improve his English in order to understand his boss better. “Becoming a tutor will make a positive impact on someone else’s life,” she said. “Working with these adults also teaches you things about yourself.”

Community members interested in becoming tutors should contact the PCLC at 715-345-5341 or for an application and orientation. Teaching experience is not required, just a desire to share the basic skills that are so important for adults to have a good quality of life and help their families.

After completing an orientation, new volunteers will attend a tutor training. The next tutor training for working with English language learners will be on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. It will be presented by Deb Aeby, who has more than 25 years of experience working with English language learners. The next tutor training for working with adult basic education learners will be held over two Saturdays, February 6 and 13. This training will be presented by Anne Schauman, the director for the Alternative Center for Education, who has 20 years of experience working with learners with learning differences.