Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – Beth Kazel, director of Oswego County Opportunities’ (OCO) Education Services, has announced that Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County (LVOC) has joined the extensive list of human services programs that OCO provides for Oswego County residents.
Established in 1985 as a non-profit community –based educational organization, Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County has continuously provided quality tutoring in basic literacy skills and conversational English. LVOC has had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of individuals and families who have improved their literacy skills thanks to the dedicated volunteers of LVOC.
According to Kazel, LVOC’s mission of being a leader in providing adult learners the English communication and literacy skills they need to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, workers and citizens coincided nicely with OCO’s mission of building partnerships that improve the quality of life and create successful communities.
“When former director of LVOC, Jane Murphy announced her retirement, the board of directors began planning the future of LVOC. With today’s challenging fiscal environment, they discussed the possibility of a partnership or collaboration with other entities. With a goal of maintaining and expanding LVOC’s services, the board of directors met with several organizations and determined that OCO’s philosophy and plans for LVOC made it the perfect fit for LVOC’s new home. We are proud to add LVOC to our list of services,” said Kazel.
Now under the auspices of OCO, Kazel added that LVOC would continue its fight to improve literacy in Oswego County.
“It’s a serious issue that we will continue to address. Currently, more than 17,000 people, representing 20% of all adults in Oswego County, cannot read above a 5th grade level. They are unable to read things that many take for granted such as reading the newspaper, medication instructions, recipes and most books. Additionally, with the growing use of computers and online information, those who cannot read or write are falling even farther behind. These individuals need the opportunity to gain the literacy skills necessary for daily activities. OCO provides them that opportunity through LVOC,” said Kazel.
LVOC provides free, confidential services that include:
Basic Literacy: Students 16 and older are matched with a tutor who utilizes
LVOC resources to ensure that the student will be able to read at an 8th grade level. LVOC also offers help with writing and simple math skills.
English Literacy: Students 16 and older are matched with a tutor who will help them improve their English speaking, reading and writing skills along with some simple math skills.
Computer Literacy: Those already working with a LVOC tutor can be taught basic computer skills using computer stations in the LVOC office.
For the future, Kazel said that in addition to continuing all of LVOC’s services OCO is looking to expand those services to other locations of the county. “LVOC’s resources are currently located at the LVOC office in Oswego. We are working to have these resources, which include computers, books and other materials, available at other OCO sites so that LVOC tutors and learners throughout Oswego County can easily access them. We are also recruiting additional tutors from our other programs so that LVOC will be able to serve even more individuals,” said Kazel.
OCO will also continue LVOC’s Scrabble Fest. One of the area’s most popular and enjoyable fundraising events, Scrabble Fest will be held Friday, September 21 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Oswego Elks Lodge #271. More information on the event will be available as the date draws near.
For more information on OCO’s LVOC program, contact Beth Kazel at 315-598-4711.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org