Rhinelander Literacy Initiative
The Rhinelander Literacy Initiative is a new partnership between Rhinelander District Library and Literacy Wisconsin. Interested volunteers can contact Esther O’Brien at the library.
Library seeks volunteers to help adults gain skills, confidence
By Eileen Persike
RHINELANDER – One in seven Wisconsin adults struggles with reading and writing. The Rhinelander District Library and Wisconsin Literacy are partnering to lower that statistic, starting in the Rhinelander area.
The Rhinelander Literacy Initiative aims to empower adults in the area by working with volunteers to provide individualized tutoring.
“There are few adult literacy resources available in the Rhinelander area, especially free, individualized resources,” said Esther O’Brien, RDL adult programming coordinator. “Literacy is a crucial issue because it affects many other areas of everyday life – health literacy, digital literacy, and civic literacy, for example.”
Moreover, she added, literacy often becomes a generational concern.
“If parents struggle with literacy, the next generation may face similar struggles,” O’Brien said. “By providing free, one-to-one tutoring, the Rhinelander Literacy organization will bridge a gap, will empower adults in the Rhinelander area and provide them with confidence and agency.”
The library is looking for anyone interested in volunteering for the project. In addition to tutoring students, volunteer opportunities may include tutor training, communications and records management, board membership, project coordination and event coordination.
The library is holding monthly hybrid meetings where informal planning discussions are currently taking place. Anyone interested is welcome to join; the project is ongoing and long term. The next meeting is Friday, Aug. 11, 10-11 a.m. at the Rhinelander District Library meeting room, or virtually via Bluejeans.
While the library is currently leading the project, O’Brien said the eventual goal is to establish an independent nonprofit agency. For more information or to volunteer, call O’Brien at 715-365-1070, ext. 1089.