VOLUNTEER VIEW: Whatcom Literacy Council helps adults to improve reading skills

Whatcom Literacy Council was established in 1983 and had 75 volunteers in 2014.

Purpose: We offer free tutoring and small classes to adults who ask for help to improve their literacy skills. We support 75 volunteers to serve 500-plus learners each year.

Volunteer highlight: John Whitmer, a retired WWU chemistry professor, has been a volunteer since 2007. He currently tutors two different learners, and has helped in the classroom at Bellingham Technical College. His student Andres Parra came from Columbia with no English proficiency. With John’s help, Parra attended and graduated from Bellingham Technical College’s Instrumentation program, and is now taking additional classes at Whatcom Community College.

Signature fundraiser: Our two big fundraisers are the Trivia Bee and silent auction April 24 at Bellingham High School and the Breakfast with Nancy Pearl Nov. 6 at Settlemyer Hall on the BTC campus.

Wish list: We need new laptops and resource materials for our small library.

For more information, go online to whatcomliteracy.org.