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Using the Web to Advance Literacy

Boot Camp feature for Friday, May 30, 2003

Using the Web, to help more people read. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The answer to combating the problem of illiteracy, say organizations involved in the effort... is getting enough volunteers. With busy schedules, many people who would like to help others learn to read, just don't have the time to go through training programs. So Verizon has teamed up with two literacy groups... to offer training online. At ProLiteracy Worldwide, president Robert Wedgeworth says...

"The Verizon Literacy University we see as a major window on the future because it's going to transform the way we recruit and train volunteers. We have about half as many volunteers as we need in this country. About seventy percent of our affiliates report that they have students on waiting lists because we don't have enough volunteer tutors to help them."

The Web based training at vluonline.org allows volunteers to be trained whenever they have free time... during lunch hours at work or at home in the evenings. Andrew Brown is executive director of public affairs programs at Verizon...

"The university enables any citizen that wants to get involved to be able to go online and get consistent, quality, standard education on how to become a tutor. And that increases by many fold the literacy organization's ability to train tutors."

There are courses for existing volunteers and for potential volunteers who might want to get started without having to make a commitment. The site again is http://www.vluonline.org . Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.