Volunteers Lauded for Tutoring in Literacy

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Byline: Melynda Findlay Daily Herald Staff Writer

Eighteen years of hard work are finally being lauded this week for Jo Fowler of Downers Grove and Jean Williams of Wheaton.

To celebrate the recent National Volunteer Week, Literacy Volunteers of DuPage are honoring Fowler and Williams, who have both been with the agency for almost two decades.

Fowler has tutored 10 adult students from five different countries in English as a Second Language.

Since her work with them, several of the students have gone on to get a driver's license, become American citizens and one even became a certified public accountant.

Tutoring helps her learn about other countries and gives her a new appreciation for other cultures, Fowler said.

Williams has always taught Adult Basic Literacy students.

It takes a lot of courage to admit you can't read, and she admires people who do that, Williams said.

She enjoys being able to support students by helping them feel more secure in their jobs, she said, and boosting their self- esteem.

Literacy Volunteers of DuPage provides one-to-one English skills tutoring to help adults function independently. The program provides customized tutoring in both basic literacy skills and English as a Second Language.

Volunteers all attend an 18-hour training course, and ongoing support and education is provided. No teaching experience is necessary. Tutors meet with their learners at a time and location convenient to both.

Currently, there is a shortage of qualified tutors, as well as a waiting list of students. For details about how to volunteer, visit www.literacyvolunteersdupage.org or call (630) 416-6699.

Olympic dreams: The South East Association for Special Parks and Recreation swim team racked up an impressive array of ribbons and medals at the Special Olympics District Aquatic meet, which took place in March at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville.

The team collected 50 medals and 12 ribbons, including 16 gold medals, 10 silver medals, 12 bronze medals, five fourth-place ribbons, three fifth-place ribbons, two sixth-place ribbons, one seventh-place ribbon and one eighth-place ribbon.

Twelve SEASPAR swimmers also will move on to state competition at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Normal in June.

The team includes Ann Boland, Ian Bolton, Ryan Burke, Melissa Engelhardt, Jason Grudem, Emily Lundvall, Kristen McInerney, Brian Meany, Holly Muckey, Neha Naik, Wayne Neumann, Alexandria Pareigis, Diana Pehas, Maryann Roman, Sam Smetko, Daniel Smrokowski, Benjamin Sojka, Matthew Spaargaren, Michelle Sullivan and Jaclyn Swidergal.

Team coaches are John Coll, Don Egan and Janice Scott. …