Bluff City ABWA hears about Literacy Council

Bluff City ABWA met for their monthly meeting at the Pine Bluff Country Club. President Janelle Thomason opened the meeting and introduced the guest speaker for the evening.

Odessa King Grooms, a graduate of UAPB, with a degree in English and retired from International Paper Co., desired to make a difference in the lives of young people and citizens of Jefferson County by volunteering at the Literacy Council of Jefferson County. She is currently a staff member of the council.

She began her talk explaining that the council is funded by United Way, business donations, and individual donations. The council is involved in a variety of projects. They teach English as a second language as well as life skills to acclimate persons into the work force. They have computer labs, Health and Education classes, and help persons prepare for GED testing.

The council also has referrals from the driver’s License testing center for further license study. Those that are employed and need more training are helped as well as those that need assistance in filling out medical forms, such as Part D. They assist persons sent from juvenile courts as well as any walk-ins that might need literacy help. Jefferson County has a significant percentage that are illiterate and need the communities help. The council mission is Literacy.

Lawanda Smith, the secretary of Grooms was always welcomed. This meeting is always the time for awarding scholarships, a primary purpose of Bluff City ABWA, to the young people of the community.

This year, two scholarships will be awarded. The recipients are high school seniors Kristen Treglown, pursuing a bachelor of art degree in art education and Anita Butler, a bachelor of art degree in psychology. Both young women will be attending Arkansas Tech. The recipients and their mothers will be honored at the yearly June picnic.

Thomason then announced the nominating committee for 2013-2014 to be Edwina Riddle, Patsy Stroud and Charlotte England.

The meeting was ended by presenting Grooms with a token of the club’s appreciation for speaking.