...because who doesn't like a good end-of-year listicle?
Really I’m writing this list/article because as a non-profit organization, we need to. It’s really important to keep track of what is working, what is not working, student progress, etc. We also thought those who support us would like to know how we’re doing. We rely on support of the community to keep us going and we take the stewardship of their donations very seriously. Here’s what we’ve accomplished and why we need your continued support to teach adults to read.
6. We paid off the mortgage on our beautiful building this year. In the Spring of 2018, the Literacy Council celebrates 10 years in one location! Before that, our agency rented spaces in no less than seven places over the previous several years. It’s good to have a permanent home and have it paid off. As our director, Ken, always tells visitors, “We couldn’t have done it alone. We had a lot of help over the years.”
5. The place keeps getting better and better. For one, this year a local artist, (and our very own tutor!) Jay Longmeier, unveiled an impressive canvas mural of a Lima Locomotive that provides the backdrop for our front office. A second impressive improvement is the Art Park that Husky helped us move from downtown to our side yard. Flowers, a garden path, benches, a tool shed and five uniquely Lima works of art decorate the previously unused space. You won’t regret stopping by just to see these two improvements.
4. Also this year, we celebrated 30 years of teaching adults to read. So many students and so many volunteers later, we feel we’ve made a difference in the community. We’ve created a space where students have earned their GEDs, gone on to college and gained employment. Students have passed the citizenship test. Students have registered to vote and signed up for library cards for the very first time.
3. We increased the number of new students and the number of volunteer tutors this year. By the end of last year we had enrolled 15 new adult literacy students. This year that number is up again, with 23 new students. And thanks to our volunteer social media specialist, Robert Rose, and our office manager Connie Glancy, we’ve trained a total of 15 new tutors. And we have several more on the waitlist for training.
2. Our office finally developed an online student intake and progress tracking system this year. This is big! We used to do all the tracking by hand, counting student hours and volunteer hours with tick marks. Student progress was locked in individual folders. Now we have online forms, spreadsheets and charts. It’s not a perfect system yet, but this data has to make us better at building the best program we can.
1. Two new employees joined our cause. For years, the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council has collaborated with Pathstone (formerly Experience Works), to employ seniors in our office. The employees get the chance to build their skills and resumes, and our non-profit benefits by having another helping hand in the office. This year it’s been a pleasure to welcome Sue and Melvin to our team. They are tutoring, answering phones, and reaching out in the community to help us find even more adults struggling with literacy.
Here's your chance to help us continue our work
As this year closes and another one begins, we are grateful for the opportunity to teach adults to read. We are fortunate for our volunteers and financial supporters And we are hopeful that one day illiteracy will be eliminated. As a friend of literacy, please consider supporting the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council with a small donation.
Use this link https://www.paypal.me/kblanchard563 to donate electronically.
Or if you prefer, mail a check to:
Northwest Ohio Literacy Council
563 W. Spring St.
Lima, OH 45801
What's in a name?
So many agencies in the area talk about partnerships and collaborations. I think we have one of the best partnerships! We are a longtime Lima non-profit working with a state and federally-funded adult education program. But together, the seven of us, work together as one resource to improve the education of adults in the community. You could walk into the office any day and be met with a smiling face that wants to help.
Since the sign out front was erected a few years ago, there have been a couple name changes. The name of the state-funded ABLE (Adult Basic Literacy and Education) program changed, most recently to Lima City Schools Aspire Adult Education and Career Pathways. I know, that’s a mouthful. But our work is the same, and getting better and more focused on the community needs every year. Along with several GED instructors and volunteer tutors, our partnership is united in our goals, namely:
Don’t be confused by names, we’re here in Lima to help. We’re the best kept secret, hidden in plain sight or even a rose by another name. Just see for yourself at our joint website LimaLiteracy.net where you can watch a touching GED student success story, refer a student for our services, or even comment on this blog!
Literacy advocate working for the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council and the Lima City Schools Adult Education and Career Pathways program