LCUP President Pat Bauer: How the LCUP Literacy Program Changed My Life

pat1Each fall the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas holds as essay contest open to all of our students. We ask that the participants answer the question, ?How has the LCUP literacy program changed your life? in 500 words or less. ???This year I gave myself the same assignment. Here are my 500 words about how being a volunteer for adult literacy has changed my life.

This November marks 10 years of service in both the Rotary Club of Dunedin and the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas. This is not a mere coincidence. It was through a speaker at a Rotary luncheon that I learned of the opportunity to serve as a literacy tutor. The president of LCUP, Vicki Vinour, was persuasive and urged me to also join the board of directors and really get involved. This was at a time when I had just left full-time teaching at the USF School of Library and Information Science and was looking for a way to be active in my community and continue teaching in some capacity.?? Needless to say, I quickly found my niche in the Dunedin Public Library where our LCUP office is located.

In December 2008 I became President of LCUP and this role has truly been all-consuming. During the past 6 years I have been very fortunate to have the support of great cohorts in literacy who have not only taught me valuable lessons about curriculum and instruction for adult literacy students, but also life lessons that can be only learned by being engaged in important work in the community. Having the opportunity to match an adult learner with a tutor is a great pleasure. I know just how a matchmaker must feel when the bride and groom are perfectly suited to one another.

Another great pleasure is leading a group of English Language Learners in a conversation about current events, US history, or American culture. Learning to talk less and listen more has been an important aspect of my professional development in adult literacy. Our students are capable of teaching us so much about the world beyond Dunedin and Pinellas County, and I know that by listening to them I have become a different person.

Working with colleagues to plan new programs that help our students achieve personal literacy goals (such as becoming computer literate) has taught me the value of a ?working? board that is directed by our mission. Recruiting a training team and working with these dedicated teachers to prepare new tutors has given me opportunities to engage in program development in library communities throughout North Pinellas County. By serving the cause of literacy, I feel like I have given back to my community in ways that I never had time for when I was teaching full time in the school system or at the university. My thanks to Vicki Vinour, who persuaded me to become involved, and to my friend and mentor, Ann Palmer, who is always there to advise. Most importantly, I thank my husband, Tom Bauer, who understands my need to be involved in this important work and knows how to take up the slack on the home front when I am elsewhere.



Gary Richey Named LCUP Volunteer of the Year

LCUP tutor and board member Gary Richey was named 2014 Volunteer of the Year during the annual breakfast on Honeymoon Island.? Gary wears many hats?tutor, technology expert, and child care provider.?? A lifelong resident of Pinellas County and? cancer survivor, Gary says that he never realized how much volunteering for the Literacy Council ?would change my life.” Helping others has always been something I love to do.” he said. “I have learned that I am much more capable than I ever thought I was.”



Gary Richey receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Opal Hamm, the first recipient of the award, as LCUP President Pat Bauer looks on.

LCUP Welcomes New Board Member Gary Richey

Gary RicOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhey is LCUP?s newest board member. He wears many hats for our organization?tutor, conservation specialist, technology expert, and child care provider.??

A lifelong resident of Pinellas County, Gary likes to read, write, compute, walk, bike, watch horror films, and collect horror movie memorabilia when he?s not helping with LCUP activities.? Gary is also a cancer survivor who says that he never realized how much volunteering for the Literacy Council ?would change my life.??

Celebrating 25 Years of Service – Our Mission

The Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to teaching adults (age 16 and older) literacy skills using individualized curricula to enhance their self esteem, increase occupational and social opportunities and to enrich lifestyles.?We serve Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, and Tarpon Springs.

Services provided for the adult learner:

  • Basic Literacy for native English speakers needing help in enhancing their reading and writing abilities
  • ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) tutoring for those needing help in speaking, reading and writing English as well as understanding American culture
  • Test preparation assistance for those students taking the GED, TESOL, citizenship, or other exams
  • Health literacy outreach in the community

Instructional materials include:

  • Reading Horizons web-based?phonics program
  • Staying Healthy curriculum
  • Living in Pinellas
  • Everyday materials relevant to the student’s goals such as newspapers, manuals, and books
  • Workbooks and instructional materials from New Readers Press

Register for Just-in-Time Tutor Training

If you would like to volunteer as a tutor, you can! Please call the LCUP office for more information or to register at 727.298-3080 ext. 1724. If we can’t answer the phone when you call, please leave a message. You may also register online by filling in the form below. In either case, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!

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