Literacy Month in Oklahoma


by Ida Fay Winters - GPLC Coordinator



Literacy tutoring is the mission of the Great Plains Literacy Council. Pictured is staff member Elsa Garcia (center) teaching a citizenship lesson to ESL learners at the Altus Public Library.


Mary Fallin, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, has proclaimed September 2015 as Literacy Month in Oklahoma. She has called attention to the impact of low literacy on the state. According to the Oklahoma State Assessment of Adult Literacy, 43% of Oklahoma adults could benefit from improving their reading and writing skills. The lack of reading, writing, and speaking skills affects the ability of these individuals to fully function in the workplace, home, and community. Governor Fallin is appreciative of literacy organizations throughout the state providing basic literacy instruction.

In the past year, Oklahoma’s volunteer tutors alone have provided more than 91,000 hours of instruction valued in excess of two million dollars. Great Plains Literacy Council had 51 volunteers who contributed approximately 2,000 hours. The value of one volunteer hour of service in Oklahoma is $21.45, according to the Independent sector. These in-kind contributions from all the volunteers this year figured to about $43,000 of value contributed to the program offered in Jackson and Harmon Counties.

Great Plains Literacy Council, along with other organizations across the world, will also celebrate International Literacy Day on Tuesday, September 8. All tutors are encouraged to come to the Altus Public Library on Tuesday anytime from 10 am to 8 pm to talk to the literacy staff about the procedures, book check out, and discussion questions and vocabulary on a new project called “Breakthrough To Books”.

To recognize the volunteers, adult learners, and donors, the Great Plains Literacy Council board and staff will host the annual Literacy Appreciation Luncheon and Program at the Altus Public Library on Monday, September 14. The meal will start at 11:30 am and the program will start at 12:15. All persons involved in the literacy program this past year are invited to attend the event. The theme will focus on the literacy journeys.

Oklahoma’s literacy and adult learning communities are sponsoring the Oklahoma Literacy and Adult Education 2015 Fall Conference and Training on Sept. 27-29 at Norman. The theme “Connected Learning” will stress the importance of literacy and continued education between literacy organizations, libraries, employers, educational providers, government agencies, civic groups, and others serving their communities. The important work of the state’s volunteers, adult educators, and adult learners will be recognized at this event.

“This month-long campaign is designed to raise awareness for adult education and the demand for literacy services,” said Bruce Davis, Great Plains Literacy Council president. “The literacy council of 16 directors encourages the community to show support and consider becoming a volunteer tutor for those adults trying to improve their lives through literacy.”

Great Plains Literacy Council services are financially sponsored by the Southern Prairie Library System, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, state legislature, federal grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and from many local businesses, organizations and individual contributions.

Feel welcome to call the Great Plains Literacy Council at 477-2890 or stop by the Altus Public Library (421 N Hudson) or the Hollis Public Library (W Broadway and 2nd) for a visit.

Literacy tutoring is the mission of the Great Plains Literacy Council. Pictured is staff member Elsa Garcia (center) teaching a citizenship lesson to ESL learners at the Altus Public Library.
http://altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_LiteracyMonth.jpgLiteracy tutoring is the mission of the Great Plains Literacy Council. Pictured is staff member Elsa Garcia (center) teaching a citizenship lesson to ESL learners at the Altus Public Library.

by Ida Fay Winters

GPLC Coordinator

Reach Ida Fay Winters at literacy1@spls.lib.ok.us

Reach Ida Fay Winters at literacy1@spls.lib.ok.us

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