This past October marked the full one year anniversary of Eric’s time as the Literacy Coordinator for the Hillsborough Literacy Council and the Hillsborough County Public Library. We are also coming up on the anniversary of Laura’s start date as well in just over a week, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a bit about what has happened in this past year, and share with you some of the statistics this year compared to last.
First of all, I am happy to say that we managed to organize and execute the typical four New Tutor Training Sessions in the past year. They were held in various locations around the county, and we even had banner attendance at one of them, 38 attendees! Laura was able to match most new tutors within a few weeks, as long as they were willing to tutor in a location with students currently available. Don’t forget, if you are a waiting tutor, you can always check the list of available students right here on our web page.
Secondly, we got to meet many of you through our Tutor Meet and Greets, which were held every two months at different locations around the county as well. We look forward to hosting more Meet and Greets in 2019, and we hope to meet more tutors to share ideas and concerns. This past year we got many great tips on how to improve communication, how to use the website, materials to offer, and much more. So please, don’t stay away! We love to hear from you and we think you will enjoy meeting other volunteers like you.
Speaking of tutors, do you know that we currently have 119 tutors? Perhaps there’s more of you out there than you think (or maybe less!). We certainly didn’t get a chance to see all of you at the Meet and Greets, but we also get to meet many of you at the trainings. If you have been around for a while, some of these new tutors would love to get to know you! So please, don’t hesitate to use any of the communication channels that we offer. Those are: our phone number, our email, our Facebook page, our Instagram account (search for Hillsborough Literacy Council), commenting on this blog by clicking the title of the article, and our texting service. There are a lot of ways to stay in touch and also many ways to share your wisdom.
By the way, if you haven’t liked our Facebook page or started following us on Instagram, please do so. By linking with us on social media, you help to build a network of connections that can help us reach more and more potential students and tutors. The HLC has had a Facebook account for some time now, but we have tried to increase our activity there, and, of course, the Instagram account is new this year.
We had a wonderful Student and Tutor Appreciation Assembly in September. We would love to see more of you attend because it is for you! We served a breakfast in the beautiful Italian club, and we were wonderfully entertained by our guest speaker, Mellissa Alonso Teston. As always, we gave out awards for students and tutors of the year, as well as the Sylvia Miller achievement award to Lark Underwood. Put it on your calendars for next year! September 21, 2019.
This year has also seen the come and go of a few board members. First of all, Laquinda Brewington and Aldina Dzebo moved on to their next projects, and we were fortunate to bring on Karla Guzman-Mims, Dr. Jenifer Schneider, and Brandi Meredith as new board members. They have been very influential and helpful this past year!
Finally, our stats show an overall increase in calls received this year by the Literacy Department from students, tutors, and the general public. We’re very happy to see that rise in traffic. Our numbers of students and tutors overall have held relatively steady in number, as was mentioned earlier, roughly 150 active students, and about 100 active tutors. However, our list of waiting ESL students has increased to over 100. We hope that in the coming months, we see that number fall.
This has been an active year for the Hillsborough Literacy Council! We are looking forward to another year on the horizon. It is only possible because of the great work by so many volunteers. So, Thank You! And we’ll see you again in 2019!