Volunteer tutor receives literacy award

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A Blaine resident and volunteer tutor has received an award for his efforts to advance adult literacy in Whatcom County.

Jim West recently received the First Friends award from the Whatcom Literacy Council. West is a 14-year resident of Blaine, a Seattle native and a University of Washington graduate. West has been a volunteer tutor for over three years.

West is currently working with a French woman from Tunisia. He has also tutored an inmate at the county jail, a homeless person and a mother working on her English skills so that she could apply for a job at her daughter’s school. He has been instrumental in recruiting tutors in the Blaine area. For the last three years, he has organized neighbors and friends in Blaine to form a trivia team and create a cheering squad to support “The Goshawks” for the Whatcom Literacy Council’s trivia bee in May.

The Whatcom Literacy Council recently held one of its biggest fundraisers, the Literacy Breakfast with Nancy Pearl, on November 7. Pearl, a librarian, author and NPR commentator, spoke to a sold out crowd of over 350 at Bellingham Technical College’s Settlemyer Hall. Proceeds from the event went to the free adult literacy programs offered by the Whatcom Literacy Council.

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