By Mike Kruzman /

A local non-profit that helps teach core skills to adults is seeking volunteers.

The Livingston County Literacy Coalition is a 501c3 nonprofit that champions the value of literacy in the community. They offer free tutoring and help with skills that adults need to succeed, but might lack, including reading, writing and basic math.

David Hayes is the Coalition President and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Cleary University. Speaking on WHMI's Viewpoint, he said that 4.8% of Livingston County residents ages 20 and up haven’t earned a high school diploma, with the most recent data suggesting most of those may be lacking basic literacy skills.

The biggest barrier, Hayes says, is the stigma attached to illiteracy, as society puts a high value on being literate and that those who aren’t are often frowned upon. Combatting that stigma and getting people to seek help is the difficult part. Hayes says the Literacy Coalition is in desperate need of volunteers for when people do ask for help. He said, to help, you don’t need to be a teacher or work in education, you just need a caring heart that wants to help.

Volunteers will go through a formal training program that takes about 12 hours to complete over a couple of weekends and then matched up with a learner. The tutor and learner then come up with goals for the learner that could be anything like “I want to be able to help my kids do their homework,” or “I want to be able to fill out a job application.”

The Coalition is also in need of non-tutoring volunteers that perform any number of numerous tasks that help advance their mission. More information on how to get involved can be found online at, or by calling (810) 207-5890.