Oswego, NY -- Shirley Slate dropped out of Cicero High School when she was 16 and going into 10th grade. She worked some menial jobs, married and gave birth to seven children.
But she knew something was missing — something that would help her provide a better life for her kids. "I wanted to get my GED," said the 54-year-old Oswego resident. With a second-grade reading level and third-grade math skills, though, it wasn‘t going to be easy.
"My husband asked me what I was doing that for. He told me I was stupid," she said.
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Caroline Aguzar and her mother, Shirley Slate, pose in the Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County office in Oswego.
Recent Press Release
December 7, 2010
GIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE
Reading – many of us cannot imagine life without this gift. But thousands of our fellow citizens – young and old alike – struggle with this every day.
It’s that time of year again when everyone is focused on giving. Literacy is a fundamental part of a complete life. It is a gift for all ages. It opens doors to opportunity starting at birth.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that babies are too young to benefit from books. Even at this young age, you can affect their language development, their understanding of the world. To quote one mother, one I’m sure you have heard of: "There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." -- Jacqueline Kennedy
Literacy programs – from pre-school to adult - offer individuals the opportunity to expand their awareness and build their self-confidence through ever-increasing literacy skills. Literacy helps broaden their environment, venturing beyond the one in which they’ve grown up.
Often the only thing standing between workers and a better job is literacy. The ability to read and write can make the difference between a living wage and forever standing at the edge of poverty.
Each one of us can make a difference in the lives of a child or an adult who is struggling to read.
We can inspire them to reach for the stars!
Literacy Volunteers helps adults – age 16 and older- improve their basic literacy and math skills, improve their English, obtain citizenship or a GED. Volunteer tutors are always needed to meet throughout the county.
Oswego County BOCES and Fulton School District offer programs to help individuals obtain their GED diploma. You can help by providing consistent childcare so students can attend classes regularly.
Local libraries and many other agencies offer many different volunteer opportunities to help children and adults improve their reading skills.
So this Christmas as you try and figure out what is the best gift for someone, perhaps you need to stop no further than the nearest book store or local volunteer opportunity!