Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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January 30, 2014

Brushing up on language skills

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Giving back is at the center of a free series of classes coming to Pauls Valley meant to help anyone, any age learn to read and write just a little better.

Renee Gibson, who lives in Davis but works in PV, is a former educator who has decided a good way to give back is to do what she knows — teach.

What Gibson has in mind is to hold classes at Pauls Valley’s public library on a regular basis for anyone interested in improving their writing and reading skills.

It all gets started next week when Gibson heads up a class from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 at the library. This class for all ages is designed to help with writing.

A reading class will be the same times, same place on the following Monday, Feb. 10.

“With this class I want to help people learn how to improve their overall writing skills,” Gibson said about the first class.

“In the other class we’ll be improving the reading skills,” she said. “It’s unbelievable how low a level of reading skills are out there.”

As for her style of teaching, Gibson says it’s kind of a mixture with a more one-on-one approach.

“Everyone has a different philosophy to teaching reading,” she said.

“I teach them to break down words, there’s also phonics. I don’t think there’s just one way of doing it. Each person has a different way of learning.

“If I can help a child or adult read a little better then I’ve accomplished something.”

Gibson is originally from Marlow and played basketball for OSU back in the ‘70s before turning her attention to teaching.

She wound up teaching for 15 years with a third of that as an English and reading teacher at two Texas schools.

During the recent holiday period Gibson was trying to come up with some kind of project that would allow her to “give back.”

She decided to use what she knew, language and teaching, as the idea for these free classes for any ages was born.

“I’ve always volunteered,” Gibson said. “I need to do more, and I want to keep my skills sharp, plus there’s a need out there.

“I’ve been taught to give back to my community.”

The idea soon combined with a place she made a point to check out after coming here to work — the local public library.

“The library has always been a favorite place for me,” she said.

“A library is one of the best resources in a community.”

Now the plan is to offer the free classes on the first and second Monday of each month at the library located across the street from the Garvin County Courthouse in Pauls Valley.

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