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To our volunteers...Thank you!

To our volunteers,

I started as Volunteer Coordinator in September knowing Blue Ridge Literacy had a strong community of dedicated volunteers passionate about the achievement of life goals by providing opportunities to strengthen literacy skills to adults in western Virginia. However, I did not realize just how devoted, compassionate, creative, flexible, and eager YOU, our volunteers, are to help adults meet their life goals.

Volunteer instructor, Ed Sadler, with digital literacy learners displaying their certification in Basic Computer Skills

In the 7 months I’ve been in my role we’ve accomplished more than I thought possible. We’ve started two new classes meeting the needs of pre-literacy and digital literacy learners, close to 10 learners have earned their US Citizenship, we have issued over 15 NorthStar Digital Literacy Certificates, and 1:1 tutors have spent more than 2000 hours planning for and teaching our BL and ESOL learners.

Volunteer Instructor, Kathy Santen, teaching online citizenship preparation course

Our 1:1 matches have tackled such amazing literacy goals such as earning a CNA credential, reading 5 books from the Anne of Green Gables series, gaining an associate’s degree from Virginia Western Community College, or receiving the highest grade in the class for a thesis driven essay. Learners who have never been to school before are mastering 15-minute English only conversation sessions ONLINE, and learners who felt overwhelmed by the alphabet and their sounds are now writing 3 pages of sentences on their favorite topic.

Volunteer tutor, Cindy Gribben, with her Basic Literacy learner after a great reading lesson!

Each day my heart is overflowing with gratitude for the skills gained, lessons learned, and goals met by our learners being cheered on, supported, and encouraged by amazing volunteers in our community. To my BRL Volunteers, THANK YOU. BRL appreciates all you do for us, our learners, and our community. We could not help so many meet their life goals through literacy without you. (I know I say it in EVERY email, but it’s because I mean it. I love my job and it’s because of YOU, our volunteers, working to make our community a better place every single day).

With immense gratitude,


Learners celebrating the end of the Spring Trimester with volunteer instructors (top left) Shelly Fisher and Bert Berding


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