Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Adult Literacy Day Declared and Literacy Award Winner Announced

The Board of Supervisors announced Adult Literacy Day for Tulare County and congratulated Literacy Advocate Heather Freitas in its meeting today.

“With the illiteracy rate in Tulare County at 41 percent, the impact this has on our economy and our community is serious. We want every Tulare County citizen to be aware of not just the problem, but of the resources the county has for building a solution. Heather Freitas is one of the leaders in using these resources for her clients,” said Brian Lewis, County Librarian , in making the award.

Ms. Freitas, a Self Sufficiency Counselor in the Health and Human Services Visalia District Office, was chosen for the third time to receive the Literacy Advocate Award given by the Library Literacy Center. The award is presented quarterly as part of the joint HHSA and Literacy Center venture designed for HHSA clients whose lack of reading, writing and mathematical skills make it difficult or impossible to find jobs. The HHSA clients are assessed, then matched with Literacy volunteers who provide one-on-one tutoring for the learners.

The award was conceived by Pat Habeck, head of the Literacy Office, as a way of thanking and honoring those HHSA staff in the five TulareWORKS District Offices who encourage their clients to participate in the literacy program.

Also attending the Board meeting and presentation were Karen Hansen, TulareWORKS Employment Services Unit Manager; Donna Hawley Ortiz, TulareWORKS Division Manager; Jackie Whitney, HHSA Visalia Office Unit Manager; Tessa Houston, Employment Services Program Specialist, and Literacy Office tutors and staff.