Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced the winners of the 2021 Spotlight on Literacy Awards, which recognize participants in Illinois literacy programs. Statewide, 10 students and 10 volunteers were honored for their achievements. One of those honorees, Ann Vogel, Oakwood, has been a tutor for Danville Area Community College’s Reader’s Route program for the past eight years.
Ann Vogel, who holds a Master’s degree in Special Education, became a volunteer tutor for the Reader’s Route after retiring from a 34-year career as a K-12 Special Education teacher. She says, “I wanted to…give back to the community and…help those that struggle with basic reading and math. I feel everyone deserves a chance to better themselves and to become a success.”
During her 8 years with the Reader’s Route, Ann has tutored well over 100 students. The ultimate goal of Reader’s Route tutors and students is to prepare students to successfully complete a high school equivalency exam like the GED. Though Ann has tutored in all subjects, math is her specialty.
In her nomination, one of her learners said, “Ann has a way of breaking down problems and explaining them in a way that makes it easier to understand.” Another said, “Ann has been super helpful…she won’t just tell you the answer, she makes you think and guides you to (it).”
Paulina Padjen, Reader’s Route Literacy Coordinator, says, “Ann is the type of person who lives to give…during the pandemic she invited learners to call her at home so she could tutor them over the phone. She didn’t want them to get behind.”
Due to COVID restrictions, Ann was recognized for her Spotlight on Service Award during a virtual ceremony that was held in early July.
In FY2021, the Secretary of State and State Librarian awarded funding to 103 programs that supported adult, family and workplace literacy efforts statewide. The programs enabled 12,124 total students to be served including 930 children. 4,856 volunteers served as adult literacy tutors.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor for the Reader's Route, please contact Paulina Padjen, Literacy Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-443-8899 for more information.