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Literacy Project Awards Honor Tutors, Students and Supporters

OFLP winners
The Ozark Foothills Literacy Project held its annual Tutor/Student Appreciation Night on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Two tutors, two students, and one supporter were honored for their exceptional work. Winners were chosen from nominations submitted by OFLP tutors and students.

Debra Cunningham, of Batesville, was awarded 2015 Literacy Student of the Year, and M.D. Rosal, also of Batesville, was awarded 2015 English Student of the Year. Mrs. Cunningham, who was nominated by tutor Kathy McKinney, was recognized for her perseverance and for her accomplishments in her four years at OFLP. Ms. Rosal, nominated by tutor Nicole Stroud and AmeriCorps member Lauren Willette, was recognized not only for progress made as an English student, but also for her willingness to contribute to OFLP as both a translator and a volunteer tutor.

 Mike and Chris
Michael Schmidt, of Batesville, was awarded 2015 Literacy Tutor of the Year for his five year commitment as a tutor with OFLP. Mr. Schmidt's student, Chris Wilson, thanked him for teaching reading skills and for being a mentor and close friend. Pamela Keough, of Cherokee Village, was awarded 2015 English Tutor of the Year. Mrs. Keough's student Conseulo McDonald, also of Cherokee Village, thanked her tutor for her dedication to teaching English and for her friendship.

Representative James Sturch, of Batesville, was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Friend of Literacy award for his work in the Arkansas legislature to increase funding for adult literacy. Thanks to Rep. Sturch's efforts, adult literacy is poised to receive its first funding increase since 1999.

OFLP board president Marcia Wallace remarked, “I’m delighted and gratified by the numerous nominations for awards that were received from both tutors and tutees, recommending the people they are working with. It suggests both great effectiveness and dedication on the part of our volunteers and appreciation by our tutees. The extraordinary effort put forth by our students was frequently mentioned, and that they are ‘paying it forward’, helping others as their skills advance. I love knowing that, in many cases, real relationships develop as well as literacy.”

The Literacy Project serves Fulton, Sharp, Izard and Independence Counties, teaching adults who are learning to read and adults who are learning English. The nonprofit relies on trained volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring for its adult students. There are approximately 15 students currently waiting for tutors. For information about volunteering or becoming a student, please call 870-793-5912 or email info@literacyindependence.org. The Literacy Project is a United Way member agency and part of the Arkansas Literacy Councils network of adult literacy organizations.