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Understanding Literacy Volunteers

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo and Erie County is hosting some special sessions called Power of Words.

The free, one-hour events are designed to provide the public with a better understanding of what Literacy Volunteers is all about. Sessions have already been held this summer, the next one is planned for this Wednesday at Noon. Literacy Volunteers Executive Director Tracy Diina says the community is encouraged to visit their center on Main Street in Buffalo.

"So many people that I meet say they would really love to know more about what Literacy Volunteers is all about. So these sessions are a way for people to come to our headquarters in the historic Squire Mansion on Main Street. We give them a tour, introduced them to our mission and they will hear some testimonials of success stories with some of our students," said Diina.

Diina says so far the Power of Words is working attract more local people who are committed to joining efforts in improving and promoting literacy in Buffalo.

Diina says many are surprised to learn that Literacy Volunteers teaches refugees and immigrants from than 80 countries how to read. That is part of the organizations free program.

"We actually tell stories of how the power of words actually changes peoples lives. Not only do we tell stories, but we have, on hand, individuals to tell their own story," Diina said.

But Literacy Volunteers recently added a "fee for service program" to teach foreign professionals English. Diina says this program has been helpful to people seeking work in Buffalo at the downtown medical campus or at U-B. For a listing of upcoming Power of Word sessions, go on line to www.literacybuffalo.org