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Getting on the Right Track: 10 NY Inmates Help Others Learn to Read

by Suzanne O.

This month, with the help of Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties, 10 inmates at the Adirondack Correctional Facility will be trained and certified as volunteer literacy tutors. All of these men have high school diplomas or GEDs and also hold facility jobs for which they are paid a nominal stipend ($.24/hour, 30 hours/week). Here is what they would like to say:

"I am training to become a volunteer tutor at a correctional facility in New York State. I want to help people read and write so they can hopefully teach others the benefit of being literate."

"Volunteering to tutor literacy in a correctional institution allows me not only to assist my peers in discovering a life outside of the limits imposed by illiteracy, but also reinforces my renewed state of mind and dedication to myself and my community."

"I am committing myself because I would like to help my peers and give to my community when I am released. I would like to give those a chance to become good at such a necessity in life."

"Since education is the key and the foundation to any building block, I am volunteering my services as a literacy volunteer to insure that I inspire others to become literate in this present day and time."

"I am a literacy tutor in training -- I believe in growth and that old saying, 'the more you know, the more you grow.'"

"I am volunteering to help other inmates learn to read and write so that they can enjoy the wonderful opportunities that they're entitled to by being citizens of this great nation."

"I am writing to you, Mr. President, to let you know that I am one of those people that is taking his free time to help others with their education -- how to read and write and speak different languages so they can better themselves and be able to help others down the line."

"What I want to do is help people out that need help in reading and writing. From this experience I will gain knowledge to learn and adapt to different types of people and learning situations."

"I am volunteering right now as a literacy volunteer and when I am released I will help in the community of Cohoes, NY, at the library, schools, food banks, churches and wherever I am needed."

Click here to read more Education stories.

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