In 1986, Literacy Volunteers of Laredo was established to encourage literacy throughout the Laredo community. The program is operated diligently by a staff who recruit, train, and match volunteer tutors with non-reading adults. For those who are not natural English speakers, the match between the tutor and tutee is based on the individualized needs the tutee will need with basic reading and English as a second language. The classes are delivered by excellent volunteers who donate at least three hours of their time on a weekly basis. The goal of the Literacy Volunteers is to provide confidential, student-center instruction, and assistance. The program is free of charge to adults with limited English communication skills. Currently, the program delivers its mission at eight different places spread through out the Laredo community. The places include: Laredo Public Library, Hillside Recreation Center, MOS Library, Fasken Senior Center, Laredo Manor Apartment, Bruni Plaza, Santa Teresita Community Center, and E. Hachar Recreation Center.
Xochitl Sol Valdez is a successful product and advocate for the Literacy Volunteers of Laredo. Mrs. Valdez was born in Coahuila, Mexico and moved to Laredo in 2010. In order to effectively assimilate into the Laredo community, Mrs. Valdez desired to build English communication skills. She explained that her first sign of progress began when she joined the team at Literacy Volunteers in 2016. Through the program, she faced the dynamic challenge of learning how to read, write, and speak in English. Mrs. Valdez explained that she was provided with free tutoring courses and materials that included exams, tutorials, and homework that all contributed to her growth in learning English. Her social and workforce atmosphere improved tremendously. The personal goals Mrs. Valdez currently has include feeling more confident on a daily basis. This includes being able to fluently speak English with her clients and coworkers. She also has high hopes to one day work as an announcer or hostess with television, production or the radio stations.
“Our development would not be possible without Mrs. Gloria Vazquez and Ms. Ana Olvera,” explained Mrs. Valdez. Mrs. Vazquez and Ms. Olvera serve as Mrs. Valdez’s mentors to keep on improving English. She thanks them for their valuable time and effort. Additionally, Mrs. Valdez would like to thank to all the sponsors including United Way of Laredo, who contribute and support her effort in learning the English Language. The funds provided by United Way in collaboration with other sponsors go towards delivering reading materials, writing tools, and picture dictionaries to the tutees.
Mrs. Valdez feels lucky to be able to share the progress she has made in learning English in the City of Laredo. The Literacy Volunteers program has brought her great joy and many opportunities including security to prepare job applications to enter the work force.
“Thanks to the volunteers of Laredo Literacy program, I excelled in my work and I am a professional capable of facing life. I take great pride in being able to speak two languages,” explained Mrs. Valdez.