BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — One in four adults in western New York read at or below a 5th grade level. Literacy New York is the region’s only provider that gives adults one-on-one reading tutoring for free.
The non-profit organization tutors more than 160 students to read, write or speak better English. Right now, 97 of those students are waiting for a tutor to teach them those skills.
There are 200 tutors throughout Erie and Niagara counties, but they need about 50 more. Volunteers say tutors are trained how to teach students to read, write and speak. The tutors are only needed for about two hours a week.
“The ability to read can open pathways to so much to an individual, including gainful employment, including the ability to parent better,including the ability to give back to the community and I think at time there’s shame involved with not being able to read and I think that everyone deserves the possibility to be able to read and really kind of succeed in life,” says Tara Schafer, Executive Director.
If you’re interested in becoming a tutor, you have to be at least 21 years-old with a high school diploma, pay $30 towards training courses and commit to one year of tutoring.