America is a country built on amazing promises. You’ll find one of my favorites on every dollar bill: E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One – for those who need to brush up on Latin). Like 44% of all Americans, at least one of my Grandparents came here as an immigrant. According to a recent Gallup Poll almost half of American adults can only trace their family tree back 3 generations before we find our roots set in some other soil.
There is nothing more American than people who are different finding common ground together to weave the rich tapestry that we find in every community across America. This is not a finite process. It continues every day as new families join us to help us make our American promises a reality.
At the Volunteer Center, we are about making connections that make our people, and our communities stronger. That’s why we have invested in Adult Literacy for almost 50 years, and why it is still one of our signature programs. So as we celebrate Literacy Month this September, and as we head into our Fall Tutor recruitment, we want to highlight why the work of our Adult Literacy Tutors matters to all of us who believe in democracy and strong communities.
The positive benefit to our Literacy Students and their families from tutoring is well known and well documented: better jobs, a path from poverty, better health and better school performance from their children. Over 200 families each year reap these benefits from the connections they have with their tutors; and we have a long waiting list of families who would love the same opportunity – if only we had more tutors.
I find it equally important that our tutors are meeting their neighbors where they are and helping them make the timeless journey of people who came to this country, embraced their communities, enriched our country and added to our American Culture. One tutor and one student at a time, they are weaving the tapestry that makes our community strong. Their actions turn that beautiful idea – that we can create one American people from many roots – into a reality every day.
If you have 2 hours a week to invest in this American Dream, we can give you the tools and training to make a difference.
Join us for an free one hour orientation to learn how you can be a part of our team of dedicated volunteer tutors. Our next orientation is on Saturday, October 8th, 10 a.m. at the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center.
Blog Post Written by Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney. Karen has led the Volunteer Center for more than 30 years and is an internationally recognized leader, trainer and speaker in the field of volunteerism, community building and nonprofit management. Karen’s formula for success is “hope, fun, curiosity, gratitude, belief in people and good data.”