Dr. Helen Latour, literacy advocate, dies Tuesday - journalpatriot: News

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Dr. Helen Latour, literacy advocate, dies Tuesday

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Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 2:00 pm

Dr. Helen Elizabeth Latour, 85, of Cricket Ivy Lane, North Wilkesboro, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 at Villages of Wilkes Skilled Care.

In 1989, Dr. Latour founded Volunteers for Wilkes Literacy (VWL), an organization to teach, through trained volunteers, reading and writing to those in need. In addition, volunteers worked to raise public awareness of the literacy needs in Wilkes County.

VWL provides one-on-one tutoring for illiterate adults, English as a second language, and citizenship instruction by trained volunteers. VWL also offers instruction for parents of children in the Head Start program.

Dr. Latour helped as a leader, instructor and fundraiser for the organization. One of the events which she organized was a spelling bee for teams from local businesses and organizations.

In 2009, Dr. Latour was presented with the North Carolina Medallion Award, the state's highest volunteer honor. She was nominated for the award by the Wilkes Volunteer Commission, which recognizes volunteer service in Wilkes County. She was the first resident of the county to receive the award.

The Medallion Awards in 2009 were presented to 20 volunteers in the state.

Funeral arrangements, to be handled by Miller Funeral Service, are incomplete.

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