Former newspaper editor and columnist Gaylen Duskey has been named Calhoun Literacy Coordinator, according to Shelly Allen of the Calhoun Literacy Council.

Allen expressed a desire to make the literacy program more responsive to the needs of the community and that was going to be Duskey's mission.

"I look forward to the challenge," Duskey said.

Citing figures that showed a functional illiteracy rate of approximately 24 percent in Calhoun County Duskey said, "We have the potential to serve several people."

"It is my job to get the message to the people that need us most," he said, "unfortunately those that need us most are probably the most difficult to get our message to."

Duskey said his first order of business would be trying to find people willing to volunteer to become literacy tutors.

"We need to get our tutors on board as soon as we can," he said. "Then we need to make a strong effort to find the people that need our services and convince them they need our services.

"The biggest shame in being illiterate, or functionally illiterate, is to have the opportunity to do something about it and not do anything. It is easy to see how someone could have fallen through the cracks back then they were in school … and that is nothing to be ashamed of."

"We now need to make sure those people don't have a stigma is seeking our help."

To sign up for volunteer training or to request tutoring services please contact The Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center at 354-6151.