Our new Literacy Network learning center was packed with more than 120 people in celebration of the grand opening at 701 Dane Street on the Southside of Madison Wednesday night. Adult learners shared their stories of success, supporters like Betty Harris Custer spoke about the importance of being able to help more people, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi shared why everyone deserves to have access to the ability to succeed, and Madison College President Jack Daniels III talked about collaborating to increase literacy skills so adult students graduate and go on to a successful career.
But one of the biggest announcements includes a $250,000 challenge to the community by the Goodman Foundation, Madison Community Foundation, US Bank, Tom Terry, Bea and Lau Christensen, Findorff, Dave and Terri Beck-Engel, and Fred and Nancy Gants. Thanks to them, your gift of any size will be doubled through January 31, 2017. This special donation challenge will help us secure the future and build capacity for our organization. Please accept the challenge, and make your gift or pledge today at: www.growingthroughliteracy.org.
Building capacity is more important than ever — did you know we have 730 adults enrolled in Literacy Network programs in 29 locations across Dane County? It’s a terrific number, yet, we have 115 on a waiting list. Yes, we have the space to support more families, but we now need to build the capacity within our organization to help more people.
For most of its 42-year history, the offices of Literacy Network were not acceptable for the people being served. Adult learners had to work toward their goals in a cramped, undignified space. But it has all changed. Literacy Network purchased and renovated the former Wingra Clinic which is four-times the size of the former location. There are large classrooms, private tutoring spaces, a library, and even an area dedicated to child care. The building is a symbol of what Literacy Network is built on: strong community partnerships. Literacy Network is lucky to have many, but a long-time one with St. Mary’s Hospital led to this building, and being able to get it at a significant discount. We are also able to offer space to our program partner, Madison-area Urban Ministry.
The need for literacy skills is real — 55,000 adults in Dane County, that’s one in seven adults, struggle with low literacy. They are often the parent of a family living in poverty in our community, as studies show a close correlation between poverty and low literacy. Right now, more than 65,000 people are living in poverty across Dane County.
Your support will help Literacy Network DOUBLE its impact by the end of 2017. And don’t forget, your donation or gift is going to be doubled through the special donation challenge until the end of January, 2017. Please consider us for your end-of-year or Holiday giving, and make your gift or pledge today at: www.growingthroughliteracy.org