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Scrabble tourney to aid literacy efforts

March 2 in Port Henry

To raise money and awareness for literacy programs in the region, the Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties will hold its annual Scrabble tournament in Port Henry Saturday, March 2, at Moriah Central School.

To raise money and awareness for literacy programs in the region, the Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties will hold its annual Scrabble tournament in Port Henry Saturday, March 2, at Moriah Central School.

— L-I-T-E-R-A-C-Y.

To raise money and awareness for literacy programs in the region, the Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties will hold its annual Scrabble tournament in Port Henry Saturday, March 2, at Moriah Central School.

Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. with play starting at 1 p.m. Registration fee is $10 a person.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three players. For information contact the Literacy Volunteers office in Port Henry at 546-3008.

More than 10 percent of North Country residents can’t read well enough to complete daily tasks.

“It’s a much bigger problem than most people realize,” said Maria Burke, director of the Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin Counties. “A lot of people can’t support their families, help their children with homework or have other struggles because they don’t have the necessary literacy skills.”

A report by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education showed 12 percent of Essex County residents and 15 percent of Franklin County residents lack basic reading skills, Burke said.

Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin Counties offers free, confidential tutoring on a one-to-one basis and in small groups to anyone older than age 16. Most of its students are people working toward high school graduate equivalency degrees (GED) or foreign workers who lack English skills, Burke said.

It also provides educational services to inmates at Moriah Shock in Mineville, Adirondack Correctional Facility in Ray Brook and Bere Hill Correctional Facility in Malone.

“We’re available to anybody who needs help,” Burke said.

Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties has offices in Port Henry, Saranac Lake and Malone with a satellite site in Lake Placid.

Although Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties only works with adults, it promotes reading at young ages through its Roo the Reader program. The program mascot, Roo the Reader, recently distributed free books during Moriah Madness at Moriah Central School.

Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties also sponsors special events to promote reading and its programs. Besides the Scrabble tournament it holds an annual spelling bee.

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