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NALA Trains Tutors to Better Serve Low Literate Adults - KOAM TV 7

NALA Trains Tutors to Better Serve Low Literate Adults

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30 million adults in the country are low literate. It's a challenge many in the Four States face. Joplin NALA helps adults strengthen their skills, today training tutors to best help those students.
Before they can work with students 1 on 1, tutors with NALA have to hit the books.
"There's always more to learn and more clues and things to try and use with adult learners," says Diamond resident Sharon Peterson.
A former early education teacher, Peterson has been volunteering with NALA for several years and is looking to build on her techniques.But working with adults requires a different set of skills than with children.
"We're equals, we just have respect for one another, appreciating their background where they're coming from what they know and have to offer," says Peterson.
180 adults will take advantage of services provided by NALA each year. Program coordinator Joan Doner says many are hesitant to seek help.
"Very often times students think i'm the only one who can't read but that's not true, or i'm the only one that needs to improve my basic skills," says Doner.
8 percent of adults in Jasper and Newton County are reading below a 5th grade level, which can have an impact on the community.
""People that are low literate and don't have books in the home and don't understand the value of education often times pass that on to their children," says Doner.
Combating that cycle depends on volunteers. Tutor training focuses less on cirricculum and more on working with adults that are used to making their own decisions and have more life experience and less time than a typical student. Tutors that return year after year say it's a fulfilling experience
"A feeling of having contributed and feeling good about what we've been able to accomplish together, I don't think I've ever had a student that didn't make progress," says Peterson.

Those  interested in volunteering with Joplin NALA don't need a background in education.

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