Jenks shares the gift of education

Published 1:01 am Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County President Virginia Jenks (left) and LVBC board member Pat Lurvey (right) accept a check from Pat Cooke on behalf of the Cypress Landing Women’s Club earlier this year. LVBC provides free one-on-one tutoring to improve the reading, writing, speaking and math skills of legal adults in Beaufort County. (Submitted Photo)

Virginia Jenks grew up in a family where education was the most important thing, and she knew she was going to college.

Nowadays, Jenks helps those who have a similar dream but a harder way of reaching it. Jenks is on the Board of Directors for the Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County, but she has done more than serve on the board. Jenks started out 10 years ago as a tutor for adults trying to read.

“If a person can read, they can do anything.” Jenks stated.

She also shared some of her first memorable stories.

“We had one person come to us and say, ‘I picked up a birthday card for my friend for the first time.’”

Jenks has been a tool to help people change their lives.

Jenks also said, “Lots of people volunteer for this organization; it’s not just me making a difference.”

Jenks, the LVBC president, has helped promote and participate in many fundraising events. Those events include a cakewalk during Music in the Streets. In October, LVBC volunteers handed out mini cupcakes and asked people to donate to the group. LVBC also worked a fundraiser in March at Washington’s Pizza Inn. Jenks said a lot of thanks should go to the county commissioners for their help. Recently, LVBC held an annual card party at the Washington Yacht & Country Club that was deemed a big hit by LVBC members.

Although LVBC has done much fundraising, it is still squeaking by, Jenks said. She also commented on the lack of volunteer tutors in areas like Aurora and Belhaven. More tutors are needed because the program runs on a face-to-face basis, allowing for a confidential atmosphere, she said.

Jenks said the program is for adults who want to read for various reasons: wanting to read the Bible, needing to read their driver’s-license examination, obtaining a GED and continuing on to college and parents who want to read notes that teachers send home with students.

Jenks said not being able to read is a handicap in some people’s lives. LVBC is trying to help overcome this handicap, she said.