BIG RAPIDS — Whether they are kids in school or adults looking to better their lives, there are a lot of people who need help with their education. There is a new opportunity to help these individuals with a simple and hands-on solution: tutoring.

This initiative is being organized by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, the Literary Council of Mecosta and several community libraries. They are working together to promote literacy support for the people of Lake, Mecosta and Osceola counties.

This coalition is looking for members of the community to become literacy volunteers, people who can go out into places like Lake County to tutor those who need assistance, be they young or old.

"We put volunteers out in the community to provide tutoring," explained Sandy Dalrymple, Director of RSVP. "This program will give them the proper certification to do that."

The volunteers will learn where to start in tutoring, session planning, better communication, word strategies, measuring progress and understanding the Litstart manual for educating students. Certification is awarded upon the completion of the 11-hour training schedule.

"We're especially looking for retired teachers so they can pass on their knowledge and expertise," said Dalrymple. "A lot of them really want to get back out there to teaching even if they aren't in a classroom anymore."

The training program will be led by educator Jerry Nickles from Ferris State University. It will be hosted from 3 to 5 p.m. on May 12 to 14, and 19 to 21, at the Big Rapids Community Library. Those attending are required to attend every session to receive certification.

All books and materials will be provided through RSVP and the community libraries.

"This tutoring will focus on reading, writing and basic math," said Dalrymple. "We want everyone to get the education they need so they can move forward in life."

For more information, call RSVP at (231) 796-4848 or visit their office at 14485 Northland Drive in Big Rapids. Those interested must register by Thursday, April 30.