SOAR! of Lawrence County

  Success and Opportunity At Reading! (SOAR!) Adult Literacy is a nonprofit organization funded by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations. It is a partnership between Lawrence County Economic Growth Council and the Bedford Chamber of Commerce, and is supported by and housed at StoneGate Arts & Education Center, 931 15th St., Bedford.

   An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. have poor reading skills condemning them to low earnings, a lower quality of life and limited opportunities. As many as 750,000 adults in Indiana can't read well enough to understand job applications, highway signs, their child's homework, warning signs, monthly bills, shopping ads, food labels, or a newspaper.

   When people volunteer to become SOAR! tutors, they are required to attend a series of trainings and commit to a minimum of two hours per week to provide tutoring sessions to their students. All student information is strictly confidential.
   Students and tutors meet in one-on-one sessions approximately once a week. Volunteers can help individuals gain confidence and self-esteem while increasing their students' abilities to function well in everyday situations requiring reading.

SOAR! is:

  • Free: To adults who have not acquired basic reading and survival skills;
  • Confidential: One-on-one tutoring within a supportive and nurturing environment;
  • A Chance: For adults to gain increased confidence and independence by mastering skills necessary for everyday life;
  • Community: Members helping others fulfill their reading and survival skills goals to become more self-sufficient members of the  community.

SOAR! benefits:

  • Businesses: Employers gain workers with improved skills, providing higher productivity and safety;
  • Families: Parents can read information assisting them to take care of their children and homes. Parents are able to help their child with schoolwork and speak with teachers;
  • The community: The larger community benefits because better reading abilities lead to fewer adults on public assistance and better-informed individuals.

Contact SOAR! if you:

  • Want to receive reading help;
  • Are an employer with an employee who needs reading help;
  • Would like to volunteer as a tutor or office helper;
  • Want to contribute financially;
  • Would like more information.

For information:

  • Contact: SOAR! of Lawrence County;
  • Where: StoneGate Arts & Education Center, 931 15th St., Bedford, IN 47421;
  • Phone: (812) 279-8126;
  • Executive Director: Adele Bowden-Purlee;
  • Email:;
  • Website:

StoneGate Center Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Friday, 8:30 a.m.-noon; afternoons by appointment.

StoneGate Arts & Education Center

The Heart & Future of the Community

Adele Bowden-Purlee

(812) 279-8126 • 931 15th. St.
bedford, IN 47421 us

opening the door to lifelong learning

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All rights reserved.