Voluntary tutoring can be a challenging job but it also gives one of the best rewarding feelings that a person can experience. It doesn’t matter if you are from the East Coast, tutoring in Cerritos, in faraway California, to a group of underprivileged kids and not getting paid. Knowing you have helped someone in ways money cannot buy, someone who is working hard for a better life, the experience alone is its own reward and it would often leave a feeling of enlightenment and satisfaction.
Education may begin with a child, but the journey never ends. Not even with a diploma. Although a diploma can help cement your place in the professional world, not everyone is fortunate enough to own one. In fact, many people don’t even get the chance to learn how to read or write, let alone finish high school. Of course, the reasons will always vary but the mission is still the same: no matter what gender or color or age, everyone should have a second chance at learning.
30 years ago, the California Library Literacy Program was created when they realized that a library, where people come to learn and read, is the perfect place for people who wish to improve on their reading, writing and speaking skills.
One volunteer had shared her experiences with the literacy program. She said that her learner was a mother of three. During the weekdays, she would get up at 4 am then head for an hour later. She was a regular wife who cares for her family, keeps the house clean; take her children to soccer games and other activities. She does all of this while working hard to improve her English skills.
Her day wouldn’t end until 9 pm. She was in the food service industry and just recently, she was promoted to assistant manager.
Like the volunteer’s learner, people enroll in literacy programs for many reasons: to improve their lives, to get better job opportunities or to become independent.
Unfortunately 25 percent of Californians lack the skills in basic literacy. That means 4.5 million adult Californians. Truly, the work of these volunteers may be long and hard but their efforts would definitely change lives and it will always be worth it.