Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook
May 7, 2014
Literacy Connexus salutes H.D. White . . .

H.D. White believes that if you come to this country and can't speak the language, you are a captive. It has been his delight to help set the captives free since 1986.


It all started when, approaching retirement, he had the

opportunity to learn about Adult Reading and Writing services. H.D. joined a committee to investigate starting an adult literacy ministry in his community, and never looked back. He became the first Director of the Amarillo Area Baptist Association Literacy Council--a position he still holds today.


L:  Darl Landis, H.D.'s associate 
R:  H.D. White

"It's all about helping a person become all he can be," H.D. said. He acknowledged that English is not the easiest language to learn to speak--and that learning to write it is just as difficult--but exciting things happen when individuals master those skills. 


Students typically come to H.D. after participating in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Both First Baptist Church and Paramount Baptist Church ESL ministries maintain close ties with H.D. "He comes to every ESL workshop and gives a word of encouragement to new teachers," Paramount ESL Director Ann Clark said. "He is our 'go to' resource when we need information about a specific part of town or church with which to connect."


H.D.'s job is to recruit new tutors, match students to tutors, arrange meeting places, and make sure everyone has what they need. Students and tutors then meet one-on-one every week in a church, apartment complex office, library, or other public facility. "The libraries here are very helpful--as long as you don't talk too loud," he chuckled.


Students progress through a series of four Laubach reading and writing books over a two to two-and-a-half year span, advancing to a 5th grade level of reading and writing proficiency. Along the way, they receive more than literacy skills.

Najat Angalo: a student of Ruby's . . . and a new American citizen
"H.D. has a heart for the non-reader as a way to reaching them for Christ," said Ruby Depuy, a tutor of 18 years. "Our ministry has evolved with our changing demographics, now serving immigrants to our city, which is a huge challenge. H.D. has met this challenge head-on, working tirelessly to share the love of Jesus with people who come to our country for a better life."

"In the beginning it was a mission, and it is still a mission," H.D. said. "Each tutoring session includes a lesson and a devotional. We tell them, 'you're going to get a lesson from our Bible.'"  


"We're always going to have students," H.D. said. "We need tutors and we need to keep them active." He currently has 32, and offers a new volunteer training at least once a year. "I've been blessed to have good teachers and good workshop leaders," he said.


Both Ann and Ruby described one more blessing in H.D.'s corner--his wife. "Myrtle is an amazing helpmate to him, supplying encouragement, food, and anything that is needed," Ruby said. "She is very supportive of the work H.D. does and goes with him many times to interview students," added Ann. "She's also a great cook and has provided refreshments for lots of workshops." 

Myrtle and H.D. White

H.D. summed up his ministry of more than 25 years, expressing compassion for his students and appreciation for his tutors and supporters. "Every once in a while, a student will ask, 'Why do you do this? Do you get paid?' And we have the opportunity to witness. You can't put a value on that," he said. He added that he is always on the look-out for others to join his ministry, and never misses an opening to talk about the program and to recruit volunteers . . . "and everyone in my church knows it!" 


We have a feeling that when 91 1/2 year old H.D. White talks, people listen!

"Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own." --Harold Coffin

But you'll never catch us doing that at Literacy Connexus!
Count off these  Ten Ways We Make an Impact and join us in celebrating 10 years of Literacy Connexus.
Lester Meriwether, Executive Director 
4802 Highway 377 S., Suite 14
Fort Worth, TX 76116
Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook

Pam Moore, Editor   

Trivia Challenge 
1. Mark Twain called it "a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get." The Louisiana French term lagniappe refers to:


a) an afternoon snooze


b) a pot of crawfish stew to share with visitors


c) a kerchief worn wet to cool the neck


d) something thrown in, gratis, for good measure 

2. In Spanish, la lomita de las responsabilidades--the little hill of responsibilities--is a term for: 


a) the pitcher's mound


b) an ant hill


c) making a mountain out of a mole hill


d) government

3. English words that are their own opposites--to the confusion of ESL students--including cleave, which can mean to cling or to split, fix, which can mean a solution or a problem, and sanction, which can mean to allow or to prohibit--are known as:  

a) pushme-pullyu words


b) Jekyll and Hyde words


c) Janus words


d) slugs



Problem accessing  the answers? Reply to this email and we'll shoot them your way.  

These instructional links may help: 


Donate Today  
Click to donate
Literacy Connexus