Literacy Council tutoring improves lives

Published 12:10 am Sunday, January 18, 2015

By Helen Peacock and Carolyn Myer

Special to the Saisbury Post

Rowan County Literacy Council, a United Way Agency, provides services free of charge to adults 16 years and older who need to learn to read better and need help with life skills on a one-to-one basis. The council also provides opportunities for speakers of English as a second language to learn English and begin careers in the United States.

Maria, a former student, had a dream of owning and operating a beauty shop. After living in North Carolina for several years and working at different beauty shops, Maria needed help with English to renew her cosmetology license in North Carolina.

A friend told her about Rowan County Literacy Council, where volunteer tutors work to improve English skills of their students.

Maria visited the Literacy Council Office in the Rowan County Public Library headquarters to ask for help with learning English. A tutor, Helen, was assigned to begin classes with Maria. They met at the Library weekly for one hour and 30 minutes for two years. They worked on pronunciation, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and writing until Maria felt she could apply for her cosmetology license renewal.

After receiving her license, Maria worked at a local beauty shop to save enough money to open her own business.

Helen, her tutor, says, “I was not surprised when Maria called me to come to the grand opening of her own business, Maria’s Beauty Shop, 1945 W. Jake Alexander Blvd. She had worked so hard, I was certain she was going to make her dream come true. I am very proud of her.”

Maria encourages anyone who needs to improve their English, speak standard English, or learn life skills to visit Rowan County Literacy Council.

“They taught me how to set small goals to reach the dream of running my own beauty shop,” Maria said.

Maria’s husband and sister are now students at the Literacy Council.

Rowan County Literacy Council is a nonprofit organization supported by the United Way. RCLC recruits and trains volunteer tutors to provide services to adults to whom English is their first language and to speakers of English as a second language.

These services are provided to improve the lives of the student and their families. Call 704-216-8266 for more information.

The writers are volunteers with the Rowan County Literacy Council.