The Duncan Banner

Features

April 8, 2012

Helping adults to read — one book at a time

Duncan Literacy Council, CherryBerry team up for fundraiser and World Book Night

DUNCAN — The Duncan Area Literacy Council doesn’t get much press, but it’s been around since 1985.

Initially organized to teach adults to read, the basic mission for those involved has never changed.

And while the council’s core mission remains the same, changes have been made to the program to keep it alive.

That includes having Cheryl Dowell come on board as director, a position she’s held since the fall of 2011. Another priority the group is stressing is achieving more community awareness.

Dowell said the DALC’s main goal is to teach adults, 18 and over, to read. It also includes teaching English to those who read or speak another language.

“We currently have six adult learners who are receiving one-on-one tutoring,” said Dowell.

This year, DALC is kicking off a huge fundraiser to promote awareness of its mission. Between 5 and 9:30 p.m. Monday, April 23, council supporters will be at CherryBerry (1803 N. U.S. Highway 81) in conjunction with National World Book Night. A percentage of the store’s sales that evening will go to DALC.

In addition, World Book will be distributing thousands of books to bring awareness to worldwide literacy efforts.

At the Duncan event, the first 50 families who participate in the CherryBerry fundraiser will also receive a free book. “The World Book Night is billed as the biggest book giveaway ever,” Dowell noted.

Housed at First United Methodist Church, the DALC has a board of seven members dedicated to promoting literacy throughout Duncan and the area. The number isn’t limited to the active board members, though.

“We have a group of 12 tutors who are all willing and prepared to make an impact on the 25 percent of Stephens County’s population who are unable to read or write at the third-grade level,” Dowell said.

The still-new director admitted tutoring isn’t easy. Board members are not involved in the tutoring process. In researching the DALC’s history, three years after the group was formed there were 52 people attending training to serve as tutors. They were required to attend a 10-hour workshop to gain the needed skills. The curriculum was based on the “Laubach Method,” which is not a short-cut process and was based on visual recognition and repetition.

Now the program mainly uses the “Voyager System,” Dowell said, and when needed, “Hooked on Phonics” is used.

The council also works with other agencies to help promote literacy; for example, encouraging young mothers to read to their infants.

Tutors are responsible for preparing their lessons and instruction time can be at least once a week, if not more. All tutors are also volunteers.

“We are always in need of more people who are willing to volunteer and we would encourage anyone interested to let us know,” Dowell said.

Tutoring is confidential, which is important to some of the adult students who’ve made the decision to learn how to read or improve their reading skills.

In order to keep the organization a continuing service, several fundraisers are held and grants are sought.

“Grants are very important to our organization,” Dowell said. “We’ve applied for several grants and we continue to work to acquire funding to purchase necessary curriculum, provide training and to purchase needed items.”

Dowell said the FUMC has been extremely beneficial, providing an office space for tutoring, and recently its choir held a fundraiser and shared profits with the DALC.

The council has also reapplied to again become a United Way agency, and the McCasland Foundation has been generous, too, Dowell noted.

Last fall, an effort was made to improve community knowledge of the DALC’s purpose, with flyers posted in businesses and agencies throughout Duncan.

“We also keep our message in front of the public by using the local cable channel where our information runs constantly,” Dowell added. This allows people who can read to share with those needing assistance.

“We hope to help adults become functionally literate,” Dowell pointed out. “We want to prepare them to lead productive lives.”

As for World Book Night, it was first held in 2011 in London and Dowell believed 1 million books were provided, including to those in hospitals and prisons.

Ireland and Germany have joined the World Book Night project, and with the United States now partnering, it’s expected another 1 million books will be shared in 2012.

Dowell hoped World Book Night in Duncan can reach those who need the help most. She also hoped more people will get involved as tutors.

DALC board of directors include Dowell; Sue Loughridge, president; Marilyn Hamlin, vice president; Sue Gibbons, treasurer; members Kitty Clifton and Kathy Johnson; and ex-officio member, Jan Cole.

For information, contact Dowell at 580-252-4322.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 30, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    This week FiveThirtyEight released the results of a poll of Americans' opinions on the "Star Wars" universe. Not surprisingly, Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the series. As Walt Hickey notes, the Gungan from Naboo posted lower favorability numbers than Emperor Palpatine, "the actual personification of evil in the galaxy."

    July 23, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jimm's Egg Daybreak Diner Vs. Jimmy's Egg: Who takes home the bacon?

    Is Duncan big enough for two breakfast joints?

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.