Our Opinion: Colter has left her mark

June 25, 2002

After 11 years as head of Literacy Volunteers of America, Imperial Valley chapter, Phyllis Colter has decided it is time to retire. Her efforts to advance literacy in the Imperial Valley is to be commended. She will be missed.

LVA is one of those agencies that does so much work behind the scenes. But Colter, from her office in the basement of the County Courthouse in El Centro, has worked at the task of teaching people young and old to read. She didn't seek notoriety — seeing people learn to read was what mattered to her.

We can only imagine how many people have improved their reading skills over the past 11 years in the Imperial Valley under the leadership of Colter.

Colter is the kind of person who wouldn't take credit for such efforts. We are sure she would credit all the volunteers who have tutored people, teaching basic reading skills. She would be right to credit the volunteers. The more people who give a little bit of their time, the better life is for everyone.


Nevertheless, those volunteers needed a leader and that is exactly what Colter has been. She brought the volunteers together with those in need of help. She created a team among volunteers so they were all working toward a single goal. In short, what Colter has done is help a great number of people discover the joys of reading and the better world of the literate.

With the skills they have obtained they have been able to improve their chances for better jobs and their quality of life, because that is what literacy can do for a person. We hope the people of the Imperial Valley realize what an important role Colter has played here.

Knowing Colter, we can't help but wonder what she will become involved in next. She has said she will continue to be involved in adult literacy. That's good to know. We hope she also lends her leadership skills to other programs in the Valley.

We are pleased to see Jean Montenegro, a longtime Imperial Valley College professor, take over the reins of LVA. She understands local literacy needs and she has a lot to offer.

She has the skills needed to continue to advance the cause of literacy in the Imperial Valley. She is a leader, she is vocal and she is willing to do what it takes to make sure LVA can meet the local demand. Under her leadership the local LVA will continue to grow and more people will discover what it is to read and open new doors in their lives.

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