May 27, 2018
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Bangor literacy group seeks volunteers

By Joni Averill

Haven’t finished your shopping?

Looking for some way to give back this holiday season, by giving a gift that will last a lifetime?

Mary Marin Lyon, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, has the perfect gift-giving suggestion: Become a literacy volunteer.

You can give the gift of reading and speaking English, and help change someone’s life by participating in one, two, or both Literacy Volunteers of Bangor programs as either a volunteer basic literacy tutor or as a volunteer English language tutor.

Training for certification for both programs begins Wednesday, Jan. 7.

Marin reports the Basic Literacy Tutor Training and Certification is a 13-hour course, which offers “an overview of adult learning theory, teaching strategies for adult learners, learning disabilities and planning lessons.”

That program will be taught 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7; 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Jan. 14, 21 and 28, and Wednesday, Feb. 4, with Wednesday, Feb. 11, scheduled for a snow date. All courses are at United Technologies Center in Bangor.

The course fee is $25, and scholarships are available.

Teaching experience and-or an education degree is not required, Lyon reports.

Rather, it is important for volunteers to “have a passion for helping others and making a difference in their communities.”

English Language Learner Tutor Training and Certification is offered 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7; then 6-9 p.m. on these dates: Monday, Jan 12; Wednesday, Jan. 14; Monday Jan 19; Wednesday, Jan 21; Monday, Jan. 26; and Wednesday, Jan. 28. The snow dates are Feb. 2 and 4.

This is a 20-hour course, and you will work with “non-native English speakers as they improve their verbal and written English skills and understanding of American culture and customs,” Lyon wrote.

She added that LV-Bangor students “come from many areas,” including “Asia, Africa, Central and South America and Europe.”

To register for these programs and become a literacy volunteer, call Literacy Volunteers of Bangor at 947-8451; visit or e-mail


While we’re on the subject of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, congratulations and a welcome are in order.

First, to the staff and volunteers of LV-Bangor, congratulations on your 40th anniversary of service to the community, which we join you in celebrating in 2009.

“Since 1969,” Lyon wrote, “LV-Bangor has worked to improve the lives of Bangor-area residents who have literacy barriers that affect their social, economical and educational opportunities.”

Another congratulations is extended, as well, as LV-Bangor, according to Lyon, can proudly state that it holds the distinction of being “the first Literacy Volunteers affiliate outside [the organization’s] home state of New York.”

Lyon also reported that in fiscal year 2008 LV-Bangor volunteers “provided 13,000 hours of service to adults with literacy barriers,” and, even more importantly, that the organization really needs more volunteers because it “has a waiting list for services,” she added.

A welcome is extended to Sue Medley, who recently joined LV-Bangor as a part-time assistant to Lyon.

Medley is president of Gladden Consulting Inc., a firm that specializes in “organizational, group and team dynamics, personnel development, communication and leadership training, and project management,” Lyon wrote.

She believes Medley’s “team-centered approach to solving challenges, along with her energy and professionalism, are critical as the number of low-literate adults that we serve continues to grow.”


Ann Carter of Charlotte wrote to let readers to know that because of the blizzard an annual holiday service has been rescheduled.

“A Classic Down East Christmas Celebration,” Carter wrote, which is “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” originally was set for Dec. 21, but organizers have rescheduled it to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, at the Dennysville-Edmunds Congregational Church.

“Held in the historic Congregational Meetinghouse,” Carter wrote, “this classic service follows the story of Christmas with readings from the Old and New Testaments, illuminated by carols sung by the Dennysville Festival Choir and congregation.

“Throughout the service,” Carter wrote, attendees “will join the choir in signing familiar carols” by candlelight accompanied by the scent of fresh evergreens.

Normally held the last Sunday evening of Advent, organizers moved it to the “ninth of the 12 days of Christmas,” Carter wrote.

“Recognizing the pressures of the season, and the inclemency of the weather, it is hoped that this will answer the need of many ‘to rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.’”

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402;; 990-8288.

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