Tutor Spotlight: JoAnne Dement

May 20, 2017

Post image for Tutor Spotlight: JoAnne Dement
Pasadena Voice Vice President of Operations Brian Lancione (right) presenting JoAnne Dement with a Pasadena Volunteer of the Month award.

For about 40 years, Riviera Beach resident JoAnne Dement educated children in Baltimore County, striving to get kids to see the value of education. When she retired four years ago, she saw an article highlighting Anne Arundel County Literacy Council volunteers and she immediately contacted the nonprofit to see how she could help.
“I realized that, unlike many of the kids, the adult population loved getting help,” she said. “When I started, it was the perfect match. I thought, ‘I now have an audience that really wants to learn.”
The Anne Arundel Literacy Council requires tutors to meet one-on-one with students for at least one hour per week. Using the Laubach book series provided by the council, Dement and other volunteers teach students who sometimes don’t have a fifth-grade reading ability, some who have dyslexia or had a bad education, and others for whom English is a second language. In the last few years, the council added a math component.
One of Dement’s students has continued his work with her for all four years, while others come and go as they meet their specific goals. Because of her education background, the former librarian is able to go off-script if needed to meet each student’s unique needs.
“A lot of these adults need job stuff. I try to make it as relevant to the real world as I can and concentrate on what their need is,” Dement said. “Laubach is great, but we’re here for whatever they need.”
Aside from tutoring, Dement also assesses incoming students to decide what Laubach books they need…So, what is Dement’s favorite part about volunteering? “Probably making new friends,” she said. “My students have become great friends and the volunteers are good people, helping others in a way that is totally non-judgmental.”
Dement encourages others to join Anne Arundel County Literacy Council, particularly those who can help students from North County. Anyone interested should contact Executive Director Lisa Vernon at director@aaclc.org or 410-269-4419. Not only will students benefit but the volunteers will also. “The students may be getting something out of it, but the tutors are getting more,” she said, referring to the student-teacher relationships.- See more at: http://www.pasadenavoice.com/community/joanne-dement-introduces-her-students-literacy#sthash.DBgCC61E.dpuf
Written by Zack Sparks

Previous post:

Next post: