Alana Rock: Jefferson Award winner loves helping adults learn how to read

The books being shipped to Palm Beach County libraries are the latest chapter in Alana Rock's 35 year teaching career. "I love to teach reading and writing and spelling."

That love for reading led her to design a manual for adults in the county. "Anyone can come, it's for people who don't know how to read and most of the people that we get that either English is a second language or people who have lived here all of the lives but for some reason did not profit from the school situation."

Alana trains tutors who then teach students how to read. "It's in the libraries around the district. They try to match up the student and the tutor depending on where they live so their nearest library would be where it would be held."

The retired special education teacher volunteers every week. "I tell my tutors that they will make a difference in people's lives. Because they go from hiding and not reading to being able to read, it changes their lives, it changes their children's lives, their grandchildren's lives, their economic status, it's a wonderful thing that the tutors do."

She is able to help thanks to a Publix Supermarket charities grant and the Library Literacy Friends organization. "And it just makes me happy, and it's something that I can pass this school on and it makes a big difference in people's lives."
 

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