Literacy Council raises funds to continue training

December 19th, 2008    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

An auction fund-raiser was held to benefit the Literacy Council of Clermont and Brown counties Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Live Oaks Vocational School, in Milford.

The Literacy Council is a not-for-profit volunteer agency which provides one-on-one reading, writing and spelling education skills to adults in Clermont and Brown counties. Most of the adults who are tutored have lived with reading challenges all of their lives.

In addition, the Literacy Council offers English as a second language to those moving to the United States from other countries.

Volunteer tutors undergo 12 hour certification training in the Laubach method of tutoring and are then paired with students in their area, they usually meet in libraries once or twice a week using books and materials provided by the Literacy Council. The benefits from this fund-raiser will be used to help purchase books and materials used in the program.

Auctioneers for the event were students and instructors from Live Oaks Auctioneering School. Those who participated included instructor, Bennett Vaughn; students, Lee Morris, Ken Vordem Esche, John Baitz, Pat Vaughn and R.J. Vilardo.

"The five students in the class knew they were going to be demonstrating their newly learned auctioneer's skills in order to graduate," Susan Vilardo, executive director of the Literacy Council said. "My father, R.J. Vilardo, presented this idea to his fellow classmates, 'Let's have the proceeds from the auction go to The Literacy Council.' With 100 percent class agreement and in less than four weeks the auction was organized, advertised, announced and executed through the sole efforts of the auctioneering instructor and these passionate students."

On the evening of the auction, each student showed their auctioneer's skills by calling the bids and encouraging the audience to part with their last penny.

Vilardo praised all of the students for their exciting and sometimes humorous display of talent.

"Some of my family who were present are still in shock at my father's ability to run an auction," said Vilardo. "At 78 years, I think he has begun a new profession."

At the end of the evening, The Literacy Council learned that nearly $1,800 had been raised for their mission of helping to teach adults to read.

To find out more about becoming a literacy tutor or getting help for someone who wants to learn to read, contact Joy Brown at (513) 943-3740 or visit their website at
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