September proclaimed Greene County Literacy Month

Friday, September 5, 2008
Submitted photo Linton Mayor Tom Jones recently signed a proclamation for the Greene County Literacy Coalition which proclaims September as Literacy Month in Greene County. Shelley Williams, president of the Coalition (left) and Beth Burcham, coordinator of the Coalition (right) were on hand for the signing. The Coalition works one-on-one with adults who need assistance with reading, preparing for their GED testing or learning English as a second language. Anyone needing a tutor can call 384-4125.

In a recent proclamation from Jasonville Mayor Roy Terrell and Mayor Tom Jones of Linton, September is proclaimed as Greene County Literacy Month.

In addition to the annual Greene County Literacy Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Linton's Saron Church, Beth Burcham, coordinator of Greene County Literacy Coalition, announced she has added several programs to the literacy awareness month.

The kickoff will begin this weekend with businesses throughout the county asking patrons to donate $1 toward literacy. The names of donors will be placed on a token book and displayed.

A Webinar will be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Bloomfield Public Library to inform those who are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship of changes in the citizenship test.

In addition, Scrabble boards are available at the Bloomfield library during the month for people who would like to improve or hone their vocabulary skills.

On Sunday, several churches will also be mentioning the literacy program in the Minute for Missions.

Future events for the fall include the annual Trivia Bowl in November and a Families Supporting Families Program that will be held at the Work Release Center in October. The program will consist of a separate class for fathers and mothers concentrating on relationships, communication, budgeting, and child development.

"Reasons for literacy month are two-fold," explained Burcham. "First of all, it is for fundraising because the literacy program has no state or government funding. We operate solely through grants and contributions. Secondly, it is for awareness to let people know we are here and what we do.

"This is a community helping community," noted Burcham. "We couldn't function if not for volunteers and donations. Among donations we have received are nice contributions from McDonald's in Linton, Bloomfield State Bank and Farmers & Mechanics Savings and Loan."

Burcham added that volunteers have helped six students receive GEDs during the past year. They also assisted a range of readers -- beginning readers, those who want to improve reading skills to study for the GED, and foreign students. At the present, two Russian students are studying English reading and writing skills.

Literacy volunteers work county-wide in public facilities. The services are free.

Volunteers also visit the Work Release Center and the Greene County Jail. Recently, three learners from the jail received GEDs.

"The (Greene County) Coalition is a wonderful thing," Burcham explained. "It tries to break a cycle. If you can't read, you can't get a job. If you don't have a job, you can't pay bills. If you can't pay bills, you depend on society."

If anyone would like to contribute to the literacy program, the address is P.O. Box 24, Bloomfield, Ind., 47424.

Also for reservations to the annual dinner, contact Burcham at 384-4124.

A complete list of the many Greene County businesses that are participating in the literacy donation promotion will be published at a later date.

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