According to local statistics, one-half of the adults who live in Smith County read below the 8th grade level and one-half of those adults read below the 5th grade level. Nationwide, more than 40 million adults function at the lowest literacy level and 90 million Americans have trouble reading and/or writing.
The Literacy Council of Tyler (LCOT) seeks to change that fact by changing lives through literacy right here in our community. The LCOT helps more than 2, 500 adults each year improve their literacy skills. With a committed staff and host of volunteer tutors, LCOT offers adults who have a desire to improve their literacy skills the opportunity to learn and grow. These services are offered in partnership with Tyler Junior College, Tyler Independent School District, and area churches, businesses, and libraries, and are free of charge to the adult learner.
On Wednesday, August 11 at Harvey Convention Center, LCOT will hold its 19th Annual Corporate Spelling Bee, which raises much needed funds for the organization. LCOT board member Ann Curry is serving as chairman for the Spelling Bee this year. She encourages local businesses and organizations to participate in this fun-filled event as a way to promote teamwork and support literacy at the same time.
“Volunteering for LCOT is a way to improve the entire community. A more literate community is an economically stable community. LCOT trains and prepares people for the workforce, for job placement, and job advancement. Adult education is really family education: teach the parent, reach the child,” Mrs. Curry said.
Mrs. Curry has been associated with the Literacy Council of Tyler for 15 years. Retired from Curry Johnson Julian, Inc. Court Reporting, she is active with training and mentoring newly-certified court reporters. Mrs. Curry was a member of the Texas Court Reporters Association and served as chairman of the education committee.
Born in Crockett, Texas, Mrs. Curry has lived in Tyler for 32 years. She is a graduate of Kennard High School in Kennard, Texas. Mrs. Curry attended Stephen F. Austin State College in Nacogdoches, Texas, and earned her bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. She holds her certification in court reporting from Alvin Community College in Alvin, Texas. Mrs. Curry and her husband of 43 years, Virgil, are the parents of Steve and his wife, Michelle. The Curry’s have four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and their seventh great grandchild is expected in December.
“Volunteerism for me is giving of your time and energy generously and willingly to benefit others. Helping others in a caring and compassionate manner is a great way to help them, and at the same time find that you have reaped benefits of your own,” Mrs. Curry said. “Volunteering in this community-minded city is an easy task as there are so many organizations in need of caring, generous people to give of their time and energy.”
For more information about the Literacy Council of Tyler’s Annual Corporate Spelling Bee, please call 903-533-0330 or visit www.lcotyler.org.