Council celebrates International Literacy Day

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

The Roosevelt County Literacy Council will host a block party on Saturday in celebration of International Literacy Day.

“It’s to bring awareness to our community about our programs,” Roosevelt County Literacy Council Executive Director Pete Martinez said.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Portales Public Library lawn, located on South Avenue B. As part of the festivities, hot dogs will be served. Reading tents will also be set up where participants can read and learn about the various programs offered through the Literacy Council office, Martinez said.

“It’s just a day of literacy, devoted to reading and books,” Martinez said.

The celebration is a way to introduce the literacy council to the community and teach them about the services offered, Martinez said.

Manned by volunteers, programs offered through the literacy council include free tutoring in the areas of English as a Second Language, Adult Literacy and pre-GED tutoring.

The celebration is also a way for the community to meet some of the volunteers who are involved with the literacy council and put a face on the literacy council,” according to Eastern New Mexico University professor and volunteer Patrice Caldwell.

“It’s International Literacy Day. We want to emphasize that literacy is a local issue but also an international concern,” Caldwell said.

At a glance:

Statistics for Roosevelt County

• Total Population: 16, 702

• Adult Population 25 and older: 9,517

• Adults with less than a ninth grade education: 15.3 percent

• Adults with less than a 12th grade education: 33.9 percent

• Adults at Literacy level I: 21 percent

• Adults at Literacy Level II or below: 48 percent

• Adults and children who speak other than English at home: 22 percent

• Adults and children who speak other than English at home and who only speak limited English: 32.4 percent

• Persons in Poverty: 26 percent

• Children in poverty: 35.1 percent

Source: New Mexico Coalition for Reading