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Literacy Group Receives Software

By Staff | Aug 5, 2009

Jason Warren, left, CEO of Ohio Valley Online, and Ken Block, president of the Wetzel-Tyler Volunteers for Better Reading, show off the new computer software designed to help students learn to read or to improve their reading.

Persons of all ages with reading difficulties now have a new tool available locally to help them learn.

The Wetzel-Tyler Volunteers for Better Reading, (WTVBR) with support from Ohio Valley Online, now is able to use the Kurzweil 3000 software to help children and adults improve their reading skills at no cost to the student.

Kurzweil 3000TM is the comprehensive reading, writing, and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties or those who are English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners.

The software was obtained from the Ohio-Marshall chapter of ProLiteracy West Virginia, which obtained a total of five sets of the expensive software with a grant from the Verizon Telecom Pioneers. Ohio Valley Online installed the software on the WTVBR desktop and laptop computers and tutor training will be held in the next several weeks.

“Everyone here at Ohio Valley Online is pleased to help all individuals and organizations with whatever technology needs arise,” Jason Warren, CEO, said. “Whether it’s a much needed software package, Web sites, network setup, computer updates, or new computer systems, Ohio Valley Online is here to help. We’re your friend in the computer business.”

The software can access virtually any information, whether it is printed, electronic, or on the Web. The information is scanned into the computer and a voice reads the material back to the student. The student can hear and see breaks in syllables, words, sentences, phrases, or paragraphs. At the student’s command, the voice can define a word or phrase. A male or female voice can read the selection at a speed adjusted for the student. The material can be translated into as many as six different languages.

“We are pleased to be able to use the latest technology to help us tutor persons with reading difficulties,” said Ken Block, WTVBR president. “The support we receive from businesses like Ohio Valley Online and Verizon make it possible for us to reach out to anyone who needs help, whatever their age.”

Block noted that WTVBR tutors use other electronic teaching aids, such as HEC Reading Horizons and the Learning Express Library, which is accessed through the New Martinsville Public Library.

All services offered through WTVBR are free and confidential. Students work one-on-one with a tutor at a time and frequency worked out between the two.

More information about free help with reading is available by calling 304-455-1933.