Improving literacy helps produce better workers

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013


For the Daily News


September was National Literacy month, and I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the activities of Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County.

Currently, we are working diligently with the basic-skills division at Beaufort County Community College to help adults complete the GED before the end of the calendar year. There are five tests in the GED battery- reading, writing, science, social studies and math. One must pass each part with an acceptable score by the end of December, or start over with the new version in January. The new version will only be available on a computer, will be much more difficult and cost substantially more per individual test. The math portion is scheduled to be about 65 percent algebra, the reading selections longer with more critical thinking comprehension based questions and other updates. We are providing one-on-one free tutoring to adults who need help in completing this milestone.

We are also providing tutoring to adults who wish to complete the new employability tests, resulting in the Career Readiness Certificate. This certificate requires the potential employee to complete three tests —reading for information, locating information and applied math. This new national certificate is being administered locally by Lou Stout, director of occupational extension in the Division of Continuing Education at Beaufort County Community College. It is being required by more companies in the area. Our tutors are working with several workers at PotashCorp-Aurora and students applying to the EMT and CNA I programs at the college. Other employers requiring the certificate are Coeur Medical, Mega Force and Greenville-based Attends, NACCO, ASMO, DSM and others. We have 13 tutors who attended a workshop at BCCC to better assist potential employees.

Join us at 2 p.m. Sundayat Washington’s First Methodist Church for an appearance by Earl  Mills, who learned to read at age 47 at the Craven Literacy Council. Mills has become a poet and spokesperson for Pro Literacy America, our national affiliate. He will read from his book, “From Illiterate to Poet,” and tell about his life experiences. We also invite you to attend our sixth-annual card game/party fundraiser and luncheon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Washington Yacht & Country Club. The cost is $25 per person, and reservations are required by Oct. 22.  Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County celebrates 12 years of service to the residents of Beaufort County this month. It thanks the community for its support.  Let us know if we can help you or someone you know.  We can always use more volunteers, too. Contact our program manager, Sandra W. Hughes, at our office at 252-974-1812 or visit and “like” us on Facebook.

Pat Lurvey is director of training for Literacy Volunteers of Beufort County, 1385 John Small Ave., Washington.