Wilmington literacy tutor serves in many ways

Wilmington literacy tutor serves in many ways

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.

Photo by Matt Born
Richard Robbins works with a student at the Literacy Council in Wilmington on Jan. 14. He has been volunteering at the organization for more than 16 years.


For more than 13 years, Dick Robbins has been teaching students and positively encouraging the way adults feel about learning. With a passion for people, Robbins began volunteering for the Cape Fear Literacy Council after he retired from engineering. He’s never looked back.

The Cape Fear Literacy Council provides free and confidential individual literacy services to adults to help them reach their full potential.

“It is very rewarding to see students grow and improve academically and go on to make great accomplishments such as getting their GED or learning to speak English,” Robbins said. “We not only assist with long-term educational goals but offer help with the daily routines of life such as reading medication bottles and road signs.”

Robbins has special interests in math tutoring, working with international students and locating ways to reach more students.

Using a variety of teaching methods,, Robbins breaks down language barriers and provides adults with possibly difficult educational backgrounds with a positive learning experience.

“Dick creates a genuine connection and does not let limited hours or different learning needs become obstacles to their learning,” said Erin Payne, community outreach and volunteer management coordinator for the Literacy Council. “Because of Dick’s strong belief that education is a key to providing more choices, his students are not only inspired under his tutelage, but their learning levels increase as well.”

Robbins has worked with more than 60 students in small classes and one-on-one. In addition to tutoring, he’s also part of the Literacy Tutor Training Team and serves as a lead trainer. He assists in renewing, organizing training and leading training segments.

Robbins works with the Advisory Council’s Program and Building Committees, looking for ways to expand the Literacy Council to meet demand for additional space.

“We are currently working on several upgrades of our facility,” says Robbins. “We are working to get six additional classrooms that will provide the opportunity to offer more classes to the community.”

There’s no job too big or small for him to handle.

“You will also see him up on a ladder changing the light bulbs or in the computer lab, under a desk looking for the reason why a computer is not functioning properly. Dick even mows the grass and maintains CFLC’s yards, landscaping and parking lots,” Payne said. “Dick is part of the heart of the CFLC organization.”

To volunteer, donate or participate with the Cape Fear Literacy Council, call 251-0911 or email info@cfliteracy.org.

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