Two new volunteers join Literacy Council

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Two new volunteer tutors have joined the ranks of the Rowan County Literacy Council after completing a training program though ProLiteracy, the country’s largest adult literacy organization.

“We are so excited to have new tutors Alex Bruce and Crystal Boyd on board,” said program coordinator Laurel Harry. “They really understand the difference that a tutor can make in the life of an adult literacy student. It’s rewarding to watch our students gain confidence and independence — and it’s just as rewarding to see our tutors supporting those efforts and cheering them on.”

Bruce and Boyd attended an orientation session and then completed an eight-hour, self-paced online training program from home. Upon successful completion of all modules, they were awarded the ProLiteracy Volunteer Tutor Training Certificate of Completion, which certifies them to tutor at any ProLiteracy-affiliated program nationwide.

Both have begun working with English as a Second Language students.

Boyd has experience with literacy tutoring.

“After reading an article in the Post about the Rowan County Literacy Council and discovering that the program currently has students on a waiting list, I decided that volunteering was something I could do to be a blessing to someone waiting for a tutor, to help make a positive difference in their life,” Boyd said.

Bruce is a recent graduate and is interested in teaching English overseas. He credits board member Carolyn Myers for giving him the push to volunteer.

“You can tell she believes in the motto ‘Each one, teach one,’ and now I am a believer,” Bruce said. “The motto is true — if you have the capabilities to teach, then you better be doing it.”

Harry said about 60 percent of the council’s students are Spanish-speaking, 30 percent are English-speaking and the remaining 10 percent speak other languages such as Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic.

“Many of our foreign-language students have completed high school, and some also have college degrees,” Harry said. “They are motivated to improve their command of English in order to make themselves more marketable to employers and help with their children’s educations and other family responsibilities.”

The program has several students on a waiting list, and tutors are always needed. Tutors do not need to speak the student’s language. Tutors and students typically meet once a week for a 90-minute class.

The Rowan County Literacy Council has served Rowan County since 1976 and offers Adult Basic Education, ESL classes, and youth programs in conjunction with the Salisbury Housing Authority and Hurley Elementary School. The council is a United Way Agency whose student programs are free.

For more information on becoming a tutor or other volunteer opportunities, visit or call 704-216-8266.