“My motto has been and continues to be ‘progress (toward literacy) by the inch is cinch, by the yard is hard,'” volunteer tutor Terry Weinburger shares.
Terry came to volunteer at the Literacy Center with more than seven years of experience tutoring in several literacy centers across the nation, including Florida, California, and Virginia. He appreciates most the support learners and volunteer tutors receive at the Literacy Center of West Michigan. Our resources, staff, and what Terry calls “'good fit and match’ of prospective learners with volunteers” make for a meaningful experience for tutor pairs.
Terry currently tutors Pau Kim, a Head Start parent and mother of three from Myanmar. They have been a tutor pair since December 2021. Of their two-hour sessions Terry says, “One of my favorite segments is our duet, her alto voice and my tenor voice, singing songs that we have learned together – Amazing Grace, 500 Miles, Michael Row the Boat Ashore, and There is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn).”
Terry explains that his motivation for tutoring is “part of my personal commitment in life to assist and support every individual to learn to read, write, and communicate his/her basic life needs and aspirations.” He continues, “It comes from core belief that the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ that is articulated in the Declaration of Independence means we must remove unnecessary barriers that prevent our citizens from pursuing their happiness and their version of the American dream.”
When asked what tutoring has taught him in the last seven years, Terry exclaimed, “Humility!” He explains, “As a community, we all have the same basic needs and hopes in life, for ourselves and our loved ones…. Literacy puts a punctuation mark toward realizing our sense of personal well-being as a contributing member of our community and society.”
To learn more about becoming a volunteer tutor, visit www.literacycenterwm.org/volunteer to sign up for a brief orientation.