In observance of September being International Literacy Month, the Miami Public Library Adult Literacy Program held its annual cel- ebration of adult learners and tutors on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. The program, which began in 2005, now has 19 active students and 15 volunteer tutors. During the ceremony, learners and tutors were recognized for their commitment of time and achievements through- out the year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. Last year, Miami's Literacy vol- unteers completed over 600 hours in teaching and prepa- ration time.

In the presence of family members and many distin- guished guests, three of the learners, Mark Murray, Leonor Hernandez, and Maria Andres read stories that were published by the Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries (ODL) in their annual "Celebrate Our Journey" book. Each year learners are asked to write their own sto- ries that are meaningful to them, then they and their tutors work on them during their lesson time before the stories are submitted to ODL for publishing.

Miami's Literacy Program is made available in part through a yearly grant from

ODL and donations from individuals and organiza- tions. Literacy Coordinator Gloria Benton noted that the organization has just been awarded a $7,200 grant from ODL which will supply free materials and equipment for adult learners. "Being able to read, understand, and act on written material is funda-

mental in our daily lives as parents, students, workers, and citizens. Literacy impacts health, family, and community. We' re very proud of our learners and volunteer tutors. There are many places to volunteer in Miami, so we're very grate- ful that so many recognize the need and importance of

literacy and are willing to put in the time and commit- ment to the program," stated Gloria.

If you' re interested in helping adults improve their reading skills, or if you know someone who would benefit from the program, please call the Miami Public Library at 918-541-2292.