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Community tutoring programs need volunteers to help teach children and adults reading and writing skills.

Utah County has various tutoring programs and nonprofit organizations. The School Tutoring Program, organized by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, helps all three school districts in Utah County. That program's volunteers are exclusively senior citizens who want to teach elementary school students subjects such as math, reading and spelling."We are always in need of tutors," said David Gardner, director. "Grandparent-type volunteers are consistent - they are always there. We've had some of them going for more than 14 years."

Senior citizens can also help with the Foster Grandparent Program. Volunteers in that program tutor children who may have difficulties.

Volunteers are also needed to help in the English-as-a-Second-Language program. Knowledge of another language is not necessary. Volunteers work Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., teaching reading, writing and U.S. traditions and practices.

Project Read and Read to Succeed is a basic reading and writing program to teach illiterate adults. Many bright people have not had the opportunity to read common things such as a newspaper, directions or labels. This program teaches students skills they have wanted for years.

Other volunteer opportunities include:

- Collect school supplies for children. Less-fortunate children need three-ring binders, erasable pens, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, backpacks and other school items that they can not afford.

- Teach computer skills. Volunteers are needed to help teach students computer programming and application skills at the Utah Valley State College Applied Technology Center. Various shifts are available.

- Teach piano lessons or art lessons. The Utah State Hospital needs volunteers to teach skills in the fine arts. They would work in the mornings, Monday through Friday.

- Help the visually impaired finish school. Through the Brigham Young University Reading program, volunteers read and record textbooks onto tapes for blind students to listen to later. Volunteer hours are flexible.

- Help children and youths in their own homes. Through the Education Tutor volunteer program students can get one-on-one training in a familiar environment. Volunteers are needed to help for two hours each week.

For more information about tutoring and other local volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.