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Literacy Council gets own space at library

Mar. 12, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Tri-State Literacy Council on Monday celebrated the opening of its new Adult Learning Center on the third floor of the Cabell County Public Library.

A reception and open house were held to showcase the new space, which is much larger than the small area it had operated out of for several years.

The new space has room for three computers, a quiet area, stocked bookshelves and an office to provide confidentiality to those seeking literacy services, said Emily Warder, the director of the Tri-State Literacy Council.

"We did the best we could in the small space, but literacy is a gigantic need," Warder said. "This gives our students and tutors a home."

Currently, there are 57 students of all ages and 59 tutors who can meet at any of the libraries throughout the county. Warder said she hopes the new space will be more welcoming for those who need tutoring, whether the reason is to be able to read a bedtime story to their child or pass the GED test.

That's what 67-year-old Audley Kilburn wants to do. At his age, the GED won't help him get a job -- he is an accomplished painter and worked for years in hospice care. It's about finishing something he should have done nearly 50 years ago.

"It's something I always wanted to do," said Kilburn, who wants to be a role model to those whose reading isn't up to par. "It's never too late."

His tutor, Patricia Watson, added that not being able to read puts people at such a disadvantage and it ends up hurting society as a whole.

"This will be much better," Watson said of the space. "My favorite part is all the books on display for us to use."

In addition, Krystle Davis from the Women's Club of Huntington Junior Department presented a check for $400 to the Literacy Council. The money was raised through an event in December and will be used to provide materials for students and tutors. Warder said it also can go toward new computers and computer software.

The Tri-State Literacy Council can be reached at 304-528-5700, by visiting its office on the third floor of the library in downtown Huntington or by email at literacy@cabell.lib.wv.us.

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