Literacy League opens in Poinsett County

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Literacy League of Poinsett County is now operating out of Trumann with Seth Casey as the new site director. The league was previously managed in Jonesboro along with the Greene and Craighead County Literacy League. According to Phyllis Rambin, director of the Literacy League, one location had been responsible for all three counties for years, and the new location was made possible by a grant provided by the Arkansas Adult Education Department.

"We opened at Trumann, because of the support from the Retired Teachers Association, Trumann Rotary, the Lion's Club, the school district, and just the entire community in general," said Casey. "Without the school, we especially would not have been able to do anything."

The Trumann School District donated the league's building of operation in Trumann on the Intermediate School campus along with several computers and supplies. Now that the Poinsett County Literacy League is up and running, Casey said there biggest struggle is finding tutors. They are currently operating with only two tutors from Jonesboro.

"We are really looking for more local tutors," said Casey. "The only requirements are a high school degree and an ambition to teach people how to read."

The Literacy League has a goal to eliminate illiteracy by providing teaching services and supplies free to adults 18 and older. The league is a non-profit organization with the tutors receiving no compensation for their services.

The tutors go through a one-day training process involving the Laubach Method, which is developed specifically to aid adults in becoming successful readers. Along with this method, the tutors are taught the specific social skills it takes to teach an adult.

"It is important the tutor makes the student feel comfortable, because it can be hard to come forth as an adult who cannot read," said Casey. "It is our job to make sure the students know it is okay, for whatever reason, that they do not know how to read, because they are working toward learning now."

The students are brought up to a sixth grade level of reading in order to go into Adult Education in preparation for the GED.

"To further education anywhere is to further education everywhere," said Casey.

Tutors who volunteer their time to the Poinsett County Literacy League would be greatly contributing to society. One can only imagine what it would be like to be unable to pick up a book and get lost in the words, read the newspaper to be updated on current events, or even read signs pointing in the right direction.

For more information on tutoring services or how to become a tutor, contact the Jonesboro Literacy League office at (870) 910-6511, where persons will then be referred to Casey. The Poinsett County office on the Intermediate School Campus is opened from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

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