BIG RAPIDS Angels of Actions Literacy In Action in Big Rapids is in search of tutors for its program which aids local families and students. The goal of Literacy in Actionis to strengthen families through an incentive-based approach, believing that access plus education, equals change. The programworks with families to foster child development and offer child tutoring and parental support. Programs are also offered that assist adults with furthering their employment, or personal literacy skills, arming them with the necessary tools to support themselves and their families, something that program director Sara Hinojosa said is a need within the community. We work with children that are falling through the cracks in reading and math at school, Hinojosa said. Most of their families are unsure of where to go, or where to even start, so they come to us. We have a whole assessment process and programs that we use to track their progress and everything like that. The kids meet for an hour a week, typically, sometimes more depending on the tutors availability. The program currently has 14 children actively in need of tutoring, with more being added to the waiting list. Through donations of gently used and new books, the program rewards literacy students with books when they meet their goals. In addition to the students that come to LIA, Angels of Action also give children in their Backpack Blessings program books four times throughout the school year. Hinojosa said the program needs tutors dedicated to serving local families. I’m looking for somebody, for the most part, that’s going to stick around because we really like to have that relationship, long term built with the children, Hinojosa said It truly can be anybody. You don’t even have to have a background in any kind of teaching reading or math, you can simply be just somebody that wants to give back and work with the children that need it. Currently, LIA offers one-on-one sessions with volunteer tutors throughout the week. Sessions are normally held in the morning. The program does not aid students with their homework in schools, but instead focuses on the fundamentals of reading and mathematics with students to help improve their retention and understanding. Angels of Action Director Kim Easler said the program has seen success with the students its worked with. I think we have a good mix of students because we do reading and math, Easler said. We are aiming to bring up their skills so they can continue to move forward. We would love to have satellite Literacy In Action centers to make it more accessible for the people in the outlying areas. Right now, we don’t have the funding or the capacity to do that, but it’s definitely on our bucket list because we know that it can just benefit so many more children. For more information on the LIA program, and to inquire about becoming a tutor, visit: