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Project Read, an organization that teaches functionally illiterate individuals to read, needs volunteers to tutor adults and children and to work in their Provo office.

"We always need community tutors," said Jan Gilchrist, assistant director of Project Read. "It's probably the most worthwhile service a person can provide - to teach someone how to read."Gilchrist said many Brigham Young University students volunteer as tutors, but Project Read needs additional help from community volunteers who can commit long-term. Ideally, Project Read volunteers commit three hours each week for eight months to one year.

In addition, Project Read needs volunteers to work in their office during afternoons and evenings making telephone calls.

Project Read helps individuals improve their reading and writing skills so they can be productive and function well in society. Currently, 200 pairs of students and tutors are participating in the adult literacy program. About 135 additional pairs participate in Project Read's family literacy program, which provides tutors for children and trains parents to teach their children to read.

The family literacy program also helps parents to improve their reading skills. "A lot of times, illiteracy is a generational problem," Gilchrist said.

The following are other volunteer opportunities available throughout Utah County:

- Help furnish children's rooms in housing for low-income families. Volunteers are needed to provide new or good-condition decorations and furnishings for children's rooms in temporary family housing.

- Provide a listening ear to people in crisis. Crisis Line of Utah County needs volunteers to each work one three-hour shift each week answering hotline calls. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and must attend a training session.

- Visit terminally ill, homebound patients. Hospice volunteers are needed by Hospice of IHC to provide additional comfort to patients. Volunteers can help by visiting patients, reading books, writing letters and running errands for them.

- Teach life skills to individuals with disabilities. Youth and adult volunteers are invited to help individuals at the Utah State Developmental Center learn and practice life skills. Volunteers will be paired with a resident and will work closely with a staff member.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities throughout Utah Valley, please call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.