Reader program to seek funding

April 19, 2002 12:00 am

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Diane Kriletich has no short supply of reasons to support the Calaveras Adult Tutoring Program. Reading, she says, can help lessen crime, cut down on poverty, increase political awareness and build self-esteem.

Unfortunately, Kriletich is short on funding for the program.

Monday afternoon, she will ask the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors for $52,211 to help keep the program afloat.

"I'm confident they're going to find it to be a valuable program," Kriletich said. "As far as budgets, I don't know what their budget is. We're in a position where we don't have a lot of money anywhere. But the fact is without their support, there won't be a program, and it would be sad not to have a literacy program in our county."

According to data supplied by Kriletich, 17 percent of Calaveras County adults — about 4,000 — read at or below the fifth-grade level.

Adults who want to learn to read or improve their skills can join the program free of charge. It is staffed by 52 volunteers — 43 are trained tutors — and two paid employees. Meetings are at the Calaveras County Library in San Andreas, so office space is free.

The program needs $81,200 to carry on another year. If the county agrees to Kriletich's request of $52,211, state library funds would match it with $11,389. The final $17,600 would come out of the Calaveras Adult Tutoring Trust Fund.

Trust fund money comes from private donations, local businesses, fundraisers and organizations.

The program is unique to Calaveras County. Kriletich said about 100 people a year go through the program.

"There's a portion of the population not being served by anything else," Kriletich said.

"It can be a hard population to serve, because they can have low motivation. But the people who do come into the program really exceed."

Kriletich's request will come before the board in a 2:30 p.m. study session.