SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Cliffard Anderson is a master of the English language and he is using that mastery in a special way.
Cliffard is a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College and has been there since April of 1996. Since he first started, this retired Air Force veteran and construction manager has been waging his own quiet war against illiteracy in the work force.
"A lot of so-called skills labor don't read well - some of them not at all," said Anderson.
That need to educate the workforce is Cliffard Anderson's motivation as an Enhanced Learning Tutor and Tester for countless students. His best guess is 150 students that he has tutored and that has gotten him noticed by his peers.
"Last year he (Cliffard) had 800 hours of volunteer time and you don't have too many volunteers in our community that can give that many hours," said Sue Lee, executive director for Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College.
That is a whole bunch of A-E-I-O-and U's, but Cliffard wants you to understand the importance of the (wh)Y's.
"It means a great deal to see people that could not do anything - be able to enjoy life and protect themselves in ways they never could," said an excited Anderson.
One of those people is Steven Booth, Cliffard's landscaper, who said without this program and Cliffard Anderson he would not be able to read.
"I wouldn't be doing too well," said Booth. "It took me a while, but I finally got it."
Steven is just one of Cliffard's many success stories.
"We had one lady who had an IQ of over 160 that could not read," said Anderson. "Could you imagine a powerful mind trapped behind a disability like that? We were able to free her."
"I have seen somewhere where you could actually see it happen, see the light turn on. It's great," he said.
For more information about the Literacy Volunteers program in Shreveport, call Sue Lee at 318-869-2411 or click here to go to their website.