Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
Oswego, NY – For the past 5 years Scrabble Fest has spelled success for Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County.
This year’s event continued that trend as 34 teams and 136 players participated in LVOC’s 6th Annual Diane Falise Memorial Scrabble Fest.
One of the areas most anticipated fundraisers, Scrabble Fest helps to raise awareness of LVOC and its efforts to combat illiteracy in Oswego County.
According to LVOC program coordinator Meg Henderson, 20% of the adult population in Oswego County read at the 5th grade level of below.
“It’s an issue that has to be addressed,” said Henderson. “These individuals are unable to do what many take for granted such as reading newspapers and magazines, medication labels, recipes and most books. LVOC offers the opportunity for them to gain the literary skills and computer skills necessary for daily activities and more. Thanks to the community support we received from individuals and businesses who helped sponsor the event, including Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, Entergy, Oswego County Federal Credit Union & Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, those who participated, and the work of our planning committee that Beth Kazel, director of Education Services for OCO established for us, Scrabble Fest raised more than $15,000 that will be used to help us continue our mission of increasing literacy rates in Oswego County.”
While Scrabble Fest was an unqualified success as a fundraiser, the highlight of the evening was the message delivered by an individual who has benefited from the services LVOC offers.
Yin Yin Sim-Fellows, a student with LVOC for the past two years shared her story of how LVOC and the training she received from her tutor positively impacted her quality of life by allowing her to increase her literacy skills and achieve her goal of mastering the English language.
Bishop, who has served as a mentor with LVOC sine January of 2009, also spoke of her experience with LVOC and the satisfaction she receives from giving of her time to help others.
“Yin Yin and Laura’s stories were inspiring. They captured the essence of what LVOC is all about and the impact it is having on those who access the program and on the community in general,” said Henderson.
Currently, LVOC is serving 42 students, and based on its recent intake figures, Henderson anticipates that over the next 6 months more than 60 students will be involved with the LVOC program. With the demand for LVOC services increasing, Henderson said that the need for tutors is greater than ever.
“At the present time we have 29 tutors and 3 tutor trainers. We are always looking for more tutors so that we may serve students,” said Henderson.
To keep pace with growing need Henderson added that the need for LVOC to raise additional funds is paramount to the continuation of the program.
“The success of Scrabble Fest is important to us as we seek additional funding so that we may grow the program, and continue offering our services free of charge to Oswego County residents requiring help with their literacy skills,” added Henderson.
Operating under the auspices of Oswego County Opportunities, LVOC works to increase literacy in Oswego County by providing free, confidential services such as: Basic Literacy that includes writing and simple math skills; English Literacy to improve English speaking, reading and writing skills along with some simple math skills; and Computer Literacy that uses computer stations in the LVOC office to teach basic computer skills.
For more information on LVOC, or to learn how you can become a LVOC tutor, contact Henderson at 315-342-8839 or visit www.lvoswego.org
OCO, Inc 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