February 2018
'Yolo Reads' Seeking Volunteers
District 4 Newsletter
'Yolo Reads' is a tutoring and mentoring program created by the Yolo County Library to help residents who have trouble reading and writing in English. The demand for literacy not only presents itself in the work place but in everyday tasks like reading medicine labels, communicating with doctors, and speaking to service providers.

As many as one in six adults in Yolo County is unable to read and write well enough to carry out daily activities at work and home. This staggering statistic has brought to light the need to assist those who have not had the opportunity or the means to learn English reading and writing.

'Adult & Family Literacy Program' is a volunteer based program where English speaking tutors are matched with applicants who speak English but could benefit from becoming proficient in reading and writing. Yolo County is a melting pot of different languages and cultures and those who seek assistance from Yolo Reads include migrant families, foreign scholars, and permanent residents who can all further their success by enhancing their literacy skills.
One Yolo County resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares his story of learning how to read and write for their family. 'C', who grew up in the Southern United States before moving to Chicago, was a young child in the 40's and 50's. Upon moving to Chicago, he attempted to attend school, only to find that he was behind in his grade level and therefore never learned how to read. C eventually was married, started a family, but it wasn't until his son left for the military that he wanted to learn how to write so that he could send letters to him. When C's grandchildren grew, he realized he wanted to read with them. These reasons led C to find Yolo Reads where he has learned to read and write. C now enjoys reading with his grandchildren and on his own.
Another success story involves Pratistha Khwaunju, a former professor of Botany at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, who came to the United States knowing three languages but who struggled to learn English. She heard about Yolo Reads at the Davis library and began meeting for two hours a week with Yolo Reads volunteer tutor, Kimberly Marrs. Kimberly assisted Pratistha in reading, writing, and speaking in English as well as sharing her own culture and helping her sign up for college classes. Pratistha went on to participate in the Adult Learner Leadership Institute (ALLI) in Chico where she learned about public speaking and self-confidence.

Pratistha says that "Thanks to the library, Yolo Reads, and ALLI Program, I feel more confident. I have been able to continue my education and meet local people. Through my experience I hope to pass the Naturalization Test, prepare for graduate school in 2020, and one day work in a lab or school. I want to thank everyone because without the resources of the library, I would continue to feel frustrated. I would not be who I am today."
Yolo Reads needs more volunteers so that all Yolo County residents can pursue their career and personal goals without fear or frustration.
Adult literacy tutors assist English speaking adults to meet their reading and writing goals, ranging anywhere from being able to read books to their grandchildren to passing their driver's license exam. To become a volunteer, there is no experience necessary, the minimum age is 18 years old, and a moderate level of computer proficiency is preferred. Training consists of a 3 hour orientation and introduction to tutoring materials. Ongoing support is provided by library and Yolo Reads staff. Yolo Reads asks for a 6 month commitment to work with a learner for 2 hours per week.

For more information or to sign up, call Yolo Reads at (530)-666-8019 or email them at Library.volunteer@yolocounty.org