The York County Literacy Council needs people who are willing to learn how to change another person's life.

The council has a waiting list of 41 people who want to improve their reading, writing and speaking skills, said Rita Hewitt, the agency's community relations manager.

Tutors are needed to teach them, she said.

The volunteer tutors would meet with a student once a week for up to two hours in a public setting arranged by the literacy council.

Training: The council will hold two Saturday tutor training sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 10 and May 17 at its facility at 800 E. King St. in York City. Attendance at both sessions is required to become a tutor.

Tutors must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or an equivalent, though they do not need a background in education, Hewitt said.

"They must be patient and sensitive to a person's needs and student skills," she said. "They should make sure they're reliable. They need to be willing to report information back to us. We track our tutor hours."

The literacy council has 200 tutors. Last year, they served close to 1,000 students ages 18 and up, Hewitt said.

There are about 40,000 functionally illiterate adults in the county, she said.

Life change: The council frequently receives calls from people who want to become literacy students, Hewitt said.

"These are people who want to make a change in their life, but they need help," she said. "They can't do it alone. They want to learn English, learn to read and write and speak. They're really interested in learning and they're ready to work hard at it."

Several of the council's students are high school dropouts who want to improve their literacy and communication skills and earn their GEDs, while others are high school graduates who still don't know how to read, Hewitt said.

The council also serves students who come to York County from around the world.

"They gave up the careers they had in other countries to come to America for a better life," Hewitt said. "Now they want to learn our language, learn how to speak and write. Then they'll go on to get more education and training so they can pursue careers in America."

Tutors must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or an equivalent. They do not need a background in education.

To attend the training sessions, call 845-8719 or email Rita Hewitt at

— Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at