LVUC promotes mission, seeks new tutors, students

BUCKHANNON — Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County (LVUC) held a grand re-opening on Friday, October 21 at their new location at 88 West Main Street. LVUC faced difficulties including having to relocate their entire office, of which they had been for 20 years. Despite the difficulties they have faced and the effects COVID-19 had on their services, LVUC is accepting new students and volunteers to continue to promote their mission.

As noted on the LVUC’s Facebook page their mission is “to foster and promote literacy and life skills among adults in Upshur County, W.Va., who have low level reading and math skills.

“The primary focus of LVUC is to increase reading, math, computer and life skills of leaners who are below a sixth-grade level to a point which will enable them to take advantage of increased opportunities, such as job training programs, General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes and/or employment. Tutoring is done on a one-on-one basis and is strictly confidential.

“Literacy tutors students 16 years or older in reading, writing, math, life skills and English Second Language (ESL). We also offer community classes and workshops in computer skills, bookkeeping and healthy lifestyles.”

Director Ripley Cottrell shared, “Before COVID swept through, we had to desperately relocate within three weeks and uproot our entire office of 20 years. With little availability to store our books, we had to rely on the wonderful people who stored them in their storage buildings and garages. During COVID we lost touch with much of our staff, board members, tutors and students; afterward, we were practically starting from scratch, making new contacts along the way.”

Cottrell also noted that LVUC is entirely funded through donations, fundraising and grants. LVUC does not receive any state or federal assistance. Their biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up at is a book sale which will be held from Thursday, November 10 through Saturday, November 12 at Lorentz Church located at 3496 Old Weston Road in Buckhannon. Cottrell also shared that LVUC will be participating in Operation Christmas Child in which members and students of LVUC will be packing shoeboxes and sending them overseas.

Operation Christmas Child is a program by Samaritan’s Purse, which states, “You or your group can pack shoeboxes and touch the lives of children and families around the world, bringing hope through the Good News of Jesus Christ in the form of a simple gift.”

LVUC also helps to combat the illiteracy rate in Upshur County by helping to provide books that are placed in the “Little Free Libraries” that are located at various spots in the county. According to, “Adult literacy is tied to nearly every important social issue. Of the adults with the lowest literacy rates, 43% live in poverty. Low literacy rates are linked to more than $230 billion in healthcare costs and $225 billion in unemployment/workforce costs each year. West Virginia reportedly has an illiteracy rate of 19%.

LVUC would like to grow their group of tutors, students and volunteers. Tutor training can be completed by taking a 10-hour course. Currently only students ages 16 and up are accepted but LVUC hopes to expand to other age groups in the future.

If you would like to help LVUC by donating, becoming a tutor or to check on qualifications to be a student contact LVUC by calling (304) 472-2343. You can also email LVUC at [email protected] or follow them on Facebook by searching Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County.


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