With everything from phone apps to spin off games, Scrabble is becoming more and more popular. One local group uses the game's popularity to celebrate it's 30th birthday, and spread awareness about literacy.
The Literacy Volunteers of Mon and Preston County host the Scrabble tournament each year. It raises money to help people like Chester Ayesman. He's been learning from literacy volunteers for the last 10 years.
"They set goals," said Ayesman, explaining how the volunteers help. "My goals are, I want to learn how to read out of the bible, do stuff with my wife, go to the store, different stuff like that."
Scrabble teams included Morgantown High School students, and the West Virginia University student volunteers like Nathaniel Collins
"I teach a preparatory class for citizenship," said Collins, president of the WVU Friends of Literacy Volunteers. "And so basically we go every question that could be asked on the citizenship. So we go over American history, civics, government, and just general questions like that. Also, I help them file the form."
1 in 7 adults in Monongalia County and 1 in 5 in Preston County have trouble with literacy. Having difficulty with basic literacy can cause trouble with essential life skills.
"For example, people who have difficulty with literacy usually read at about a third or fourth grade level. Newspapers, books, magazines, maps, bank statements are at about a ninth grade level," said Erin Clemens, LVMPC Executive Director. "So you're not going to be able to read a host of information that's important and essential for your daily life."
Literacy Volunteers of Mon and Preston Counties help adults learn by using tutors.
"If you have an adult learner and you just feel like your adult reading skills aren't up to par, we can help you out with that. Or if you don't speak English properly, but you would like to we can help you with that with more one on one tutoring."
Ayesman said that having the one on one tutor has helped him be more productive in every day tasks.
"There's a lot of ways you can learn. You have to have will power, if you don't have will power, you better forget it."
Literacy Volunteers can be contacted by visiting it's Facebook page.