It’s all about lit­er­acy for vol­un­teer

The Glengarry News - - News - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

For the past two years, Ap­ple Hill area res­i­dent Ali­son Tucker has been help­ing lo­cal res­i­dents im­prove their lit­er­acy skills. It doesn’t mat­ter if they are re­cent im­mi­grants or stu­dents look­ing to up­grade their skills, Mrs. Tucker will work with any­one who wants to en­hance their English skills.

The Eng­land-born Mrs. Tucker, who worked as a nurse for 40 years and also taught at St. Lawrence Col­lege, does her vol­un­teer work through the TriCounty Lit­er­acy Coun­cil, whom, she says, of­fered her the per­fect re­tire­ment project.

“I was look­ing to do some­thing that I love and I wanted it to be vol­un­teer work,” she says. “I didn’t want to be tied to a sched­ule.”

The Corn­wall-based TriCounty Lit­er­acy Coun­cil spe­cial­izes in ad­dress­ing adult lit­er­acy needs in the Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry. It does this by help­ing up­grade lit­er­acy skills, pre­pare stu­dents for GEDs, con­duct com­puter train­ing and pro- vide oc­cu­pa­tional train­ing for en­try-level po­si­tions.

De­spite all of this, Mrs. Tucker says there isn’t a whole lot of aware­ness about the pro­gram in ru­ral ar­eas.

“They are try­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple from out­side of Corn­wall to get in­volved in the pro­gram as either a tu­tor or client,” she says. “If peo­ple need help, they go through an as­sess­ment and that can be done out­side of Corn­wall. We can even go to the client’s home if need be.”

Mrs. Tucker says she mostly works with peo­ple to im­prove their English.

“I work with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent cul­tures,” she says. “A lot of what I do is con­ver­sa­tional, get­ting them com­fort­able speak­ing English, but it’s also read­ing and writ­ing.”

A typ­i­cal week will see her work about four hours. She prefers work­ing with one client at a time. She has worked with one per­son in Avon­more but ev­ery­one else has been in Corn­wall.

And although she won’t re­veal the names or na­tion­al­i­ties of her clients, she says that they are all unique.

“One of my clients was re­ally into cook­ing, so I would bring in cook­books and we would work with those,” she says. “We also have work­sheets and work­books, pro­vided by the TriCounty Lit­er­acy Coun­cil, that we do to­gether.”

Ed­u­ca­tional

She says that vol­un­teer­ing has proven to be ed­u­ca­tional for her too.

“I learn a lot, es­pe­cially if they are new Cana­di­ans,” she says. “There are peo­ple from all walks of life. It’s true what they say – you learn a lot through teach­ing.”

This spring, the coun­cil is of­fer­ing a num­ber of train­ing pro­grams, in­clud­ing Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Counts, Mi­crosoft Word, and Tablet Train­ing.

To learn more, call 613-9327161.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

VOL­UN­TEER WORK: For two years, Ap­ple Hill area res­i­dent Ali­son Tucker has been vol­un­teer­ing her time with the Tri-County Lit­er­acy Coun­cil.

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