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The purpose of the Pittsylvania County Literacy Program is to promote literacy, education, and learning by provision to the public of materials and personnel who shall teach reading, writing, spelling, and basic mathematics skills to such of the public who shall request the learning of said skills.
The Pittsylvania County Literacy Program was organized in 1990 in response to the cessation of state funding to public libraries for literacy programs in the libraries. The organization is all volunteer with the exception of a part time paid Director. The basic role in the community is one-on-one tutoring for adults. Volunteer tutors must be at least 18 years old, have transportation, commit to at least one hour per week with their student, have a high school diploma or GED, and have a clean criminal history. Many of the program's tutors are retired teachers, although previous teaching experience is not necessary. Student/teacher materials and training are provided free of charge.
Pittsylvania County is the largest county in VA with a population of 61,500. Thirty-two percent of the population 25 and older have not received a high school diploma. Fourteen percent have less than a 9th grade education. With the closing of textile plants in the area and the decline of small farms, the unemployment rate in the area is troubling. Unemployed persons are seeking new employment and need basic literacy skills to be able to complete job applications and compete for jobs. Persons seeking literacy assistance vary in literacy needs from basic reading and math to assistance with GED preparation. Currently there are approximately 28 tutors in the program and 35 students. Volunteer tutors are always needed and welcomed.