Daily Point of Light # 1940 Jul 11, 2001

Joe Spencer has been active in the community through his service in the Boy Scouts of America for the past 30 years. He has also been actively involved in his religious organization. He recently retired from the Utah Education System after 30 years of service as a teacher and an administrator.

He currently served on the Public Library Board in the city of Payson, Utah, and is a dedicated volunteer for the Utah “I Can Read” program. As a past principal of Barnett Elementary School, he has returned to tutor children at that school twice a week for the past two years. He has the vision, expertise and dedication is takes to help children increase their reading skills, learn to love reading, and become confident, literate members of society.

Spencer has applied for many grants to aid the literacy programs of the library and actively serves on the board year after year. Last year, Spencer headed up the volunteer recruiting program for “I Can Read” at Barnett, Taylor, Parkview, and Wilson Elementary Schools in Payson. This was no small task. He has spent countless hours on the phone inviting members of the school, PTA and community to get involved with the literacy programs of the schools for Payson.

Spencer’s diligence and dedication helped to meet the needs of each of the schools. At Barnett, there were 18 volunteers and 18 children were serviced in “I Can Read.” This year, they were able to service more than 60 children in the school who are reading below grade-level.

Without volunteers like Spencer, many youth would go through life with serious deficits in reading skills. Literacy is perhaps the most important skill a person can obtain, and Spencer is constantly seeking new ways to promote literacy in the community of Payson.