A lack of state funding isn’t going to keep Sauk Valley Community College from offering literacy services to the community. Beginning Thursday, July 1, Sauk will provide free literacy services under Sauk’s Adult Education Department.
This change comes as Sauk's renowned literacy program Project VITAL (Volunteers in Teaching Adult Literacy) will no longer continue operation due to a lack of grant funding by the state. Because of this, Project VITAL and Sauk decided that, in order for literacy services to continue in the community, it is necessary to put these services under the Adult Education Department.
Zully Vock, who served as Project VITAL’s coordinator, said Sauk’s Adult Education Department will monitor Project VITAL’s students and volunteer tutors, and provide one-to-one tutoring. Project VITAL would have celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
“For the past 25 years, hundreds of students and tutors have helped create this wonderful program (Project VITAL),” said Vock. “We appreciate all the support given by the community, tutors, and students. The program was successful because of their dedication. Its services and commitment will continue under the Adult Education Department.”
Vock added that Sauk’s Adult Education Department will also continue to offer free GED (General Education Development) and ESL (English as a Second Language) classes at no charge. GED classes prepare students to pass the GED high school equivalency exam. ESL classes help international citizens learn to speak, read, and write more effectively in English. These classes are open entry so students may register anytime during a semester.
“Students are more likely to improve their academic performance if we combine tutoring with the free classes offered by the college,” explained Vock, who will continue to be the main contact for all literacy services originally provided by VITAL. “Since these classes were created to meet the students’ busy schedules, they are offered in different locations and at different times.”
Sauk currently offers GED and ESL classes in Sterling, Rock Falls, and Dixon.
For more information on literacy services offered at Sauk, call Zully Vock at 815/835-6310.