Event to raise money to tutor adults

Published 5:50 pm Monday, February 22, 2016

It started about 15 years ago, when a group of educators got together with a Beaufort County Schools superintendent and asked what they could do to help better education in the county. The response was interesting, according to Pat Lurvey, volunteer executive director with Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County.

“The superintendent said, ‘We’re not getting a lot of parental support. They don’t see the value in education and many of them are not educated. We could really use some help in making sure they value education and help their kids with homework, among other things,’” Lurvey recalled.

Lurvey said the idea behind the organization formed from that conversation is the county could better serve its children if parents were better educated and more involved in their children’s education.

Whether it’s assistance in passing a test to get a driver’s license or help learning to read to one’s children; helping an adult study to get their GED or pass a test for a Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) to land a better job, the Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County tutors adults in any area in which they may need help, providing a means for informal continuing education.

On Feb. 29, the group will host a fundraiser through an annual partnership with Pizza Inn. From 5-8 p.m., volunteers and board members with the organization will serve as wait staff in two sections of the restaurant, with the support of two members of Pizza Inn’s wait staff. Not only will the tips earned in the two sections go to the organization, but Pizza Inn will also donate 10 percent of its gross earnings from the night, according to Lurvey.

“A lot of organizations do this,” Lurvey said. “Pizza Inn is so very nice about doing that for nonprofits. We’re very appreciate of them for that.”

“We definitely like to help out our local community and organizations with partnerships,” said Jimilton Laws, a manager at Pizza Inn. “We help them raise money for whatever organization they have. In return, we just get a thanks, and we appreciate that from them.”

The money raised will allow the adult education initiatives to continue, according to Lurvey. Literacy Volunteers rents an office at the North Carolina Career Works Center in Washington, as well as pay a part-time employee to make appointments, assess clients and coordinate tutoring sessions — two costs that the fundraiser will help cover for a time, Lurvey said.

“The fundraiser is very important because we don’t get any state or federal funds,” Lurvey said. “We get a small grant from the county, and we get money from United Way. A lot of times people have been very generous and supportive and will send us monetary donations. The rest we have to raise. But it all adds up, and we keep going.”

Lurvey said the organization has volunteers on hand to accommodate those who reach out needing help with a particular subject. Mostly, however, the group helps adults with reading, writing, speaking and math.

“We hope that we are helping people to improve themselves,” Lurvey said. “With all the hours we put into it, we hope we’re serving the community and improving the quality of life for these people and a lot of people around them. Our idea was when you help the parents, who knows how much it will help the children in that family whether it’s through (the parents) getting a better job and being able to provide for their family or someone who wants to read to their children.”

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact the Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County at 252-974-1812. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.