Literacy Volunteers of Waldo County offer training for new and seasoned volunteers

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BELFAST — Literacy Volunteers of Waldo County (LV-WC) is pleased to announce that it is offering a four-week training for those interested in literacy, reading and how to foster those interests in others. The training will encompass information about becoming a literacy volunteer tutor as well as tips, ideas and research for volunteers who are actively tutoring or for community members who simply want to learn more about literacy. Each will feature a variety of experts in reading, literacy skill development and education. The training is free (with donations toward materials accepted) and refreshments will be offered.

The training will consist of four sessions held on Thursdays, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Belfast Adult Education Learning Center. It will begin on March 29 and continue on April 5, April 26 and May 3. This training is designed to inspire and inform anyone interested in literacy, including new and prospective tutors, as well as all educators and community members. It will offer an orientation to the basics of tutoring presented by Denise Pendleton, Coordinator of LV-WC and a panel of active tutors.

On April 5, the second workshop, "Communication Across Poverty Barriers," presented by Bonnie Swiderek, will examine how biases can create barriers to communication and share strategies for working with individuals who live in the crisis of poverty. The third workshop session on April 26 will provide research and hands-on learning about the role of phonological processing skills in the development of reading skills, presented by reading specialist, Dr. Robin Lovrien. The final workshop session on May 3, presented by Denise Pendleton, will provide recent research and strategies for developing comprehension skills.

According to ProLiteracy, the national nonprofit sponsoring organization of Literacy Volunteers, more than 30 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level and more than 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In Waldo County, according to the Waldo CAP Needs Assessment Report 2017, one in thirteen Waldo County residents are lacking the basic functional literacy skills necessary to complete a driver's license test or job application. Pendleton says, "In the past year, Literacy Volunteers has maintained close to twenty matches at any one time. Our goal is to increase those tutor-student learning partnerships, because there are clearly many more in need of our services than we can reach. Our volunteers help as tutors and also in outreach to promote awareness and access to the literacy learning opportunities we provide."

Pendleton has a Master's in Creative Writing and in Literacy Education and she is the recipient of the Correll Fellowship in Literacy Education at University of Maine in Orono. She was founder and director of the Maine Humanities Council Born to Read program and delivered many workshops to early childhood educators on best practices for reading aloud to children. She now serves as Coordinator of Literacy Volunteers of Waldo County and WorkReady training program also offered through Belfast Adult Education.

Literacy Volunteers provides free, confidential services to adults (ages 18 and older) who would like to improve their reading, writing, math, and/or computer skills. Trained volunteers work one-to-one with adults (often in the library and at Belfast Adult Ed) and one-hour learning sessions are scheduled around work and other obligations. Assistance is available for native speakers as well as new English learners.

The mission of Literacy Volunteers of Waldo County is to empower adult learners by increasing their literacy skills, improving opportunity through reading, and enhancing a culture of literacy within our community. LV-WC is a program of Belfast Adult Education, located at 6B Lions Way, at the foot of the Belfast Area High School driveway on Waldo Avenue. To register the training, or FMI about becoming a student or tutor with Literacy Volunteers, please contact the coordinator at (207) 338-3197 or


Event Date: 
Thu, 03/29/2018 - 3:30am to 4:00pm
Event Location: 
Belfast Adult Education, 6B Lions Way, Belfast, ME
Contact Phone: 
(207) 338-3197
Contact Email: