BANGOR, Maine — Literacy volunteer tutors help adults who want to improve their reading, writing and speaking skills in hopes of getting a new job, allow them to help their children with homework and be active in their communities. 

It also helps adults who need help in...

"Becoming a U.S. Citizen, it could be gaining career skills, it could be a high school equivalency test, voting for the first time, reading to a grandchild," Kathleen Jenkins, a volunteer at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor that has been helping students for three years now, said. 

Jenkins is currently helping Ketson Dubuisson from Haiti improve his English and to be able to take a test that would enable him to be a student at Eastern Maine Community College and accomplish his goal of being a nurse.

Dubuisson has been living in the United States for seven years now, but he says it's never too late to improve your English skills and help you get that job you've always wanted.

Students choose what skills they want to work on and then are matched with the volunteer who can best help them meet their goals.

But without the volunteers, programs like those at Literacy Volunteers in Bangor can't reach all those in need. Right now, Literacy Volunteers in Bangor is looking for 30 to 40 volunteers.

Volunteers that last year was able to help 345 adults improve their literacy skills.

The next training session for volunteers is set for March.

"There's always a need for volunteers, this particular training is being offered during the day, which we recognize doesn't work necessarily for people that are working, however, we have a need right now from adults who are asking for tutors that their availability is during the daytime, and so we are lacking daytime, available volunteer tutors," Mary Marin Taylor, the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers in Bangor said 

40% of the adults served in Bangor are local people who want to improve their reading and writing, and the other 40% are immigrants who are learning English and the culture and customs in the United States.

"One of the reasons why people don't recognize it is that it's really under the surface its an invisible issue for a lot of folks unless you live it," said Taylor.

"For me, I'm making a lot of progress...I can feel that," said Dubuisson.

You can check out this application form or call Literacy Volunteers in Bangor to help your local community members to be employed and educated. You can also contact their office in Bangor at 207-947-8451 or email them at info@LVBangor.org. 

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