Friday, July 16, 2010

Literacy Advocate Award Comes With A Root Beer Float

Heather Freitas was the only person who got a freebie today at the Tulare County Library Literacy Program’s Root Beer Float fund raiser.

Heather received her float as part of the presentation to her of the Literacy Advocate Award at the Center’s quarterly tutor meeting. The award is presented to the Health and Human Services counselor who has made the most referrals to the joint HHSA/Literacy program in the preceding quarter.

In making the presentation, Brian Lewis, County Librarian, said, ‘Because Heather is a four-time winner of this award, we wanted to do something special to recognize her. In addition to the free float, we asked her here so all of our tutors could meet her in person. We are very thankful that we have a great partner in Heather for our joint HHSA/Literacy referral program.’

The referral program is a joint HHSA and Literacy venture conceived by Patricia Habeck and Karen Hansen, HHSA Employment Services Unit Manager, both of whom took part in honoring Heather. The project is 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 as a way of thanking and honoring those HHSA staff who encourage their clients to participate in the literacy program. Almost 200 referrals have been made by counselors from the five TulareWORKS offices, and Heather has made 28 of them.