Computer course put the icing on the cake for a local woman

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Learning computer skills turned out to be the missing ingredient for a local cake decorator, thanks to the Literacy Council of Garland County.

“It’s frustrating not knowing how to work something you need every day,” when it comes to computer skills, says Sarah Richardson, executive director of the Literacy Council of Garland County.

In May, Rolanda “Ro” Bugos came to the council office to enroll in the weekly “Tech Tuesday” computer class. She said she was a skilled cake decorator who wanted to return to that field after moving to Hot Springs, but her computer skills prevented her from doing so.

The requirements for online applications and background checks proved to be an obstacle with his limited skills.

Tutor Jim Rardin helped Bugos learn how to use his smartphone to check his emails. In a few short lessons on using email, filling out online forms and how to upload scanned documents to computers, she had landed the job, according to a press release.

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“This is a dream come true! I couldn’t have gotten here without your class. I’m so grateful. I tell everyone who says they struggle with computers about your class,” Bugos said in The version.

“Computer skills have become an essential part of literacy today,” Richardson said in the release, noting that according to the American Library Association, digital literacy is “the ability to use computer technologies. information and communication skills to find, evaluate, create and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”

Richardson said they’re “working on exactly that with the adults we serve.”

Every Tuesday, from 2-4 p.m., the Literacy Council hosts “Tech Tuesday,” a course designed for adults to work on computer skills. On the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, an additional tutor is available to help adult students learn how to use their mobile phone. Other offerings include “Medicare 101” at 1 p.m. Thursday through Dec. 2.

Classes are free, but participants are encouraged to register by calling 501-463-2911 to ensure availability.

There are also currently tutors available for any adult seeking help with reading, writing, math or English as a second language, health, literacy and computer skills.

“It’s not, you know, the professor holding the rule or shaking it at you. The guy teaching this class on the smartphone is really easy to talk to. He adapts it to whoever’s sitting across from him. And it works really well.” Richardson said, adding that they are always looking for volunteers.

“We have volunteer opportunities for tutoring. We have volunteer opportunities once a month and just come into the office and do filing or help with a specific task. We need anything a business would have. So , if tutoring is uncomfortable for you, we have other opportunities,” she said.

Help can still be offered through monetary donations, Richardson said, noting that about a third of the council’s budget “comes from local giving, individual giving and fundraising. So every little bit goes a long way.” difference here to keep the office open and make sure we have the materials.”

Donations can be made by texting GCLITERACY to 24321, emailing Richardson at [email protected] or by regular mail to 119 Hobson Ave., Hot Springs, AR 71901

More information about the Literacy Council of Garland County can be found at https://www.literacycouncilgarlandcounty.org or on Facebook by searching Literacy Council of Garland County.

Sarah Richardson, executive director of the Literacy Council of Garland County, discusses computer skills. – File photo by The Sentinel-Record

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