BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — It is estimated that 20-percent of the people in Maine lack the literacy skills to do things such as getting better jobs, helping their kids with homework, and participating fully in the community. The Literacy Volunteers of Bangor is addressing the problem by providing free one-on-one tutoring.

Mexico native, Ana Guzman came to Bangor in search of a better life. Before she could do that, she had some research to take care of.

“If you come to live in the United States, you need to learn the language of the United States because if you want what’s best for your family, then you need to study English,” she said.

Guzman was working at her husband’s restaurant, Las Palapas, when she heard of the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor.

After a year of tutoring, Guzman has come a long way…but she’s not the only one getting something out of the experience.

Marie Keane, meets with Guzman once a week, on her lunch break. The one-on-one interaction gives Guzman the undivided attention that she needs.

Last year, 400 volunteers served more than 250 adults in the Greater Bangor Area.

“There are so many ways that low literacy affects our community that I think more and more people are beginning to understand,” said Mary Lyon, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor.

Guzman said the free program has given her confidence…there is no longer a language barrier in her way.

A fall tutor training begins on Tuesday, September 27th from 6-8 p.m. The training will take place at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.

For more information on how to get involved, click here.