Letter: Give of your time this holiday season; volunteer with a local organization like The Literacy Project
It’s the holiday season. You know: giving, sharing, providing a helping hand to others, feeling good about benefitting someone in need.
But when it December is over, we so often return to our daily routines and forget about those in our community who could use a little help throughout the year. Here’s something you might consider: Make a decision this year to donate a bit of your time to make a big difference in someone else’s life.
The Literacy Project is a local, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing classes, tutoring and much more to those in our community who, for whatever reason, need help with their reading skills. In my life, I have learned so much more from reading than I ever learned at school. Reading is, in my opinion, the single most important skill that anyone can possess, and yet so many people in our happy little valley are in need of support and encouragement just to master the basics.
In cooperation with the Eagle County Library District, The Literacy Project has several ongoing efforts in which you could invest your time. My personal favorite is their Study Friend program, in which an adult tutor is matched with a middle school student (sixth through eighth grade) on a one-to-one basis, helping with reading, organization, study skills, etc. The list of students in need of someone who cares enough to share their knowledge and experience is long and growing longer. Volunteer tutors are currently in short supply. I’m a little bit bummed that so few are stepping forward to help.
Adults, too, are in need of help preparing for their GED, learning English, improving reading and study skills. It takes only an hour or so a week, time which I’ve come to enjoy immensely during the 14 years I’ve been volunteering with literacy.
Visit literacyprojecteaglecounty.org or call Colleen, Sloan or Sonia to get started at 970-949-5026. High school and college students make great mentors and tutors for many of the programs.
If you will kindly indulge this rewrite of the traditional saying: Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to read, and you open the world up to him. Eh, a bit cheesy, maybe, but true.
And if “literacy” doesn’t sound like a good fit for your skills, find another way to get involved with another organization that lets you step outside yourself and spend some fulfilling time in service to our Eagle Valley neighbors.