The Family Literacy Center is currently seeking individuals throughout Utah County to teach literacy skills to parents and children.

The Family Literacy Center works primarily with children who are struggling below their grade level. "The goal is to get the students reading at their grade level," said Rachel McOmber, volunteer coordinator for The Family Literacy Center.The center conducts an initial screening to target the specific needs of the student. An assessment of parental resources follows to determine activities in the home that facilitate reading skills. The program provides necessary training to parents as a supplement to the work of the tutor.

Volunteers are matched with an individual and are able to set their own schedules at a convenient time, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The center would prefer a six- to nine-month commitment to provide stability for students.

Currently there are 500 participating members in 14 locations throughout Utah County, held in schools and libraries in Orem, Provo, American Fork, Lehi, Mapleton, Payson, and Springville.

Volunteers are the most important facet of the organization because it is completely supported by the tutors.

Other opportunities to promote literacy are available throughout Utah County. Some of these are listed below.

- Tutor an adult in your community. Project Read is searching for tutors to teach basic reading and writing skills to adults in Utah County. This position involves three hours of service each week and requires an eight month minimum commitment. Training will be provided for interested volunteers. Second language skills are helpful but not necessary.

- Senior citizens needed to teach children. Individuals, age 55 and older, are needed to tutor children in local public schools. There are a variety of opportunities to work in the elementary grades. Volunteers can be instrumental in facilitating group activities.

- Healthy Utah Valley READS has organized a summer literacy program in conjunction with the three school districts covering Utah County and is in need of volunteers to work in the libraries during the summer months. Their objective is to keep each school library in Utah County operating during the summer. They will provide a reading program for children and have scheduled story times in each of the schools and public libraries.

For more information about volunteer opportunities in Utah County, contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit the Web site at (