A: This is a common question with no clear answers because the extent to which adults consider themselves literate is very individualized and personal.
Many think they’re doing well until something happens that forces them to make a major job or other life change – and they then realize their skills are inadequate. Others have a learning disability that has kept them from acquiring the skills they need. Very few adults are complete non-readers, but the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy estimates that of Arkansans 18-years-old and over, 14% lack basic prose literacy skills.
All volunteers, regardless of their educational background or career, must complete tutor training offered by the council. Tutors are asked to devote at least one hour a week to their students. The meeting times and places vary, and tutoring is not allowed in homes. The literacy council will provide ongoing support to tutors as they work with students.
A: Many literacy councils are working to meet the needs of fast-growing immigration populations. If your local council offers ESL services and you would like to help someone learn English, you must complete ESL tutor training, but you do not need to know a student’s native language. The curriculum is based on English with instruction beginning as basic as learning the alphabet.
A: Please contact ALA using our Contact Us form. Alternatively, you can call ALA in Little Rock at 907-2490 or call for free outside of Little Rock at 800-264-7323. You can also email us at [email protected].
We will make a referral to the literacy council closest to the prospective student. A staff person will call the prospective student for a time to meet. At that meeting, students are asked about their goals and their education experiences. They will also be assessed to see what materials and instruction are necessary to help them achieve their literacy goals.