Wanda Purvis

Daily Point of Light # 1409 Jun 29, 1999

Wanda Purvis is involved in the public school system as a volunteer mentor for kindergarten students. She is also a volunteer for the community day care center and was instrumental in setting up the school's after-school program in cooperation with the public school system. She is a literacy tutor trainer and a trainer for English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Additionally, she tutors students on a one-on-one basis.

Purvis provides visits, books, tapes and big-print magazines for the elderly who are shut-ins at home, in the nursing home or at the Senior Citizens Center. Through her membership in Altrusa Club, she developed a birthday project for the nursing home. A colorful poster was designed to show their name and birthday to place on their door the month of their birthday. Then when the birthday party is held at the home, they are given special recognition with a flower to wear that day. To some, this may seem insignificant, but to see their happy faces makes the effort worthwhile for Purvis.

An influx of people of Hispanic descent has caused the Literacy Council to do more ESL tutoring. Many employers request ESL classes for their employees. Purvis is the one who continually gets volunteers for teaching and conducts the outreach to get the students and keep them excited and interested in completing the classes. To provide a contact place for persons needing tutoring or ESL classes, Purvis established a Literacy Office and Library to hold books, tapes and other materials that tutors and students may need. She also obtained volunteers to man the office and library on a regular basis.

Purvis is always on the lookout for volunteers. She is present at any seminars or fairs on volunteering, armed with materials concerning the Literacy Council. She also works with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program to recruit volunteers. She continues to teach classes for volunteers to learn to become certified trainers. She also tutors her own students and volunteers to teach the ESL classes, which are held four times per week. Purvis is diligent in seeking donations and grants to fund the work of the Literacy Council through contacts with businesses and through private donations.