Literacy…and a Storm Chaser!

Chatham Rotary’s February 26 program provided an update on the Pittsylvania County Literacy Program sponsored by the Pittsylvania County Library system.  The program was presented by Phyllis Roach who was named director of the Pittsylvania County Literacy Program effective September 2018. Ms. Roach grew up in Pittsylvania County and attended local schools but worked for 25 years in California as a Science teacher, high school Assistant Principal, and Middle School Principal. Prior to her work as an educator Ms. Roach attended Montana State University obtaining a BS in Earth Science and served three years in Peace Corps Kenya as an Agriculture/Forestry extension agent and volunteer trainer.  She is very excited to be of service to the adults in Pittsylvania County and their literacy needs.

Pictured: Phyllis Roach

Ms. Roach explained that the Pittsylvania County Literacy Program was founded in 1994 to serve adults in need of literacy help. The program has one employee and functions through the generosity of volunteer tutors, grants, and donations. Fundraising is focused on grant writing through local and national programs such as the J.T. Minnie Maude, Dan River, and Womack Foundations, and national groups such as the National Center for Family Literacy, ProLiteracy, and others. These funds provide materials and technology to serve adults in goals they set for themselves such as improving their reading and writing skills, job related literacy, GED tutoring, Math assistance, or any other needs. The program was without a Director for eight month’s so future plans are to reestablish county outreach to organizations like Rotary, HeadStart, community churches, NAACP, Pittsylvania County Retired Teachers, and more. In addition, the program is working collaboratively to attract larger, long-term program grants with the County Library System.

The Literacy Program is currently in need of tutors and will work to attract them and provide training funded through grants. The county provides the program with office and technology support and a small stipend used for salary.

L-R: Lisa Tuite, Phyllis Roach, Phil Mauger

March 5th, the Chatham Rotary Club was treated to an interesting weather related program by George Flickenger, WSET TV Chief Meteorologist.  
Sponsored by Mollie Holmes, Chatham Rotary, George entertained the club members with his enthusiasm and wit as he talked about his experiences as a TV Weatherman and Storm Chaser in Texas and Oklahoma prior to his relocation to Virginia and WSET TV.  

Pictured: Mollie Holmes, George Flickenger

His presentation was timely in view of the recent tornado activity in Alabama and Georgia and he was able to emphasize the dangers and safety procedures if caught in severe weather situations.  As Chief Meteorologist, George directs the operations of the weather center and its team.  He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has appeared on the reality show Storm Chasers.  Several of his videos of his storm chasing adventures added a sense of reality to what he shared with the Rotarians.

George Flickenger, WSET Meteorologist