TIFTON — Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County is looking for volunteers to be tutors in their online outreach program this summer. The online outreach program is for those who need to improve their literacy skills or study for the GED exams.

Bonnie Sayles, executive director of LVTTC, said the organization works closely with Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) and they have been working with the college online and GED classes.

Sayles said one of the organizations that Literacy Volunteers is a part of, ProLiteracy, conducted online seminar programs on distance learning.

“At this time with so many people doing Zoom meetings and FaceTiming, it seemed like a good time to do distance learning,” said Sayles.

Taylor Hand, an Abraham Baldwin Agricultural Center senior who interns with Literacy Volunteers is recruiting volunteers for distance learning.

“We are encouraging students, ABAC instructors, teachers off for the summer and retired teachers to contact Literacy Volunteers to be a mentor or coach working with GED students and Literacy clients over the summer,” said Sayles. Sayles said she would train the volunteers to be able to do online outreach.

“We talk to our clients and find out what their goals are, so they can be plugged into the GED classes or match them with a tutor who can help them,” said Sayles. ”We ask tutors to volunteer for at least one hour a week for 10 weeks, and then they may take a break or elect to continue. If they wish to meet online or over the phone more often than one hour a week, they may do so.”

Sessions can be set up through Webex program they are able to use through SRTC, Zoom, and Google Meet. Literacy Volunteers can create Gmail accounts for clients who do not have one. If a client does not have wifi to access online tutoring, Literacy Volunteers will pursue options for providing it to them.

The tutoring is free to everyone, said Sayles.

“We promote the free classes that are offered at Southern Regional Technical College,” said Sayles. These GED classes are offered live, online each day from Monday through Thursday. However, for people who cannot meet with a teacher in a classroom setting, Sayles said that tutors can still help those individuals.

The outreach will also be available for people who have low literacy and want to improve their skills.

One way Literacy Volunteers offers is through Learning Upgrade, an app for phones offered through ProLiteracy.

This app teaches literacy skills through game-based learning.  

Tutors will be able to help their clients get started on the app and can oversee their client’s progress. Literacy Volunteers will provide the Learning Upgrade app, along with a username and password, for no charge.

Literacy Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) organization that works to promote literacy in South Georgia.

“Since 25 percent of the adults in Tift County lack a high school diploma or a GED certificate, South Georgia benefits from the services we offer: basic skills instruction, GED preparation, GED test fee scholarships, and English language classes.” said Sayles.

Along with ProLiteracy, Literacy Volunteers is also a part of the statewide Certified Literate Community Program.

Those interested in volunteering with Literacy Volunteers or would like to sign up for tutoring can call 229-391-2527 or send an email to tiftlv@gmail.com.  

“People in the community can start signing up now,” said Sayles. “We will match people as soon as we have a pair. We will let people know if they are on a waiting list.”

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