Wednesday, September 30, 2020

New Adventures Await!

As the saying goes, "When one door closes, another opens."

At the time this photo was taken, I wasn't sure what my next adventure would be. In the time since, we've seen incredible social crises—a pandemic, a tanked economy, social and environmental justice movements, and for me, a big move to California during it all.

Purging decades of files at the LVWCC office. 20190408

There were a few people who periodically asked me, "Is LVWCC closing now?" And then again and again, "How about now?" For them and for all: it's official. LVWCC has closed.

We've seen a great deal of social isolation that has rendered our programs obsolete as they were. Adult literacy work is inherently social and it was designed with social proximity at the core. While I could not have known that we would soon face a pandemic that shut everything down, I always felt a sense of urgency toward making things paperless and digital. We were on the right track. And I'm still thinking of how activities of grassroots adult literacy programs would look for those who pursue them in the future.

So here we are. These are my parting words for the LVWCC community:

Serving as a volunteer and a board member for 10 years in our little grassroots organization was the experience of a lifetime. I learned so much about people, our struggles, and what it means to persevere. I have also learned what moving on entails (from such a great cause with caring people). It's difficult to move on, but we can.

We can set our minds to accomplish anything we want.

The perfect partnership is a public library and an adult literacy agency. People want to read well. They want to connect with others through their learning.

All communities should feel a responsibility to offer support services for low-level readers and limited-English speakers so they can advance. They are not at fault if they lack abilities or resources—it's our fault if they are not supported. We must use what we have been given to tip the scales in their favor so they can join us. We all deserve to have a good quality of life, and we are better when we work on literacy together: family, workplace, and community.

I'll look for ways to incorporate what I've learned in my future adventures. I hate letting anything go to waste. If you're interested, take a look:

Friday, October 4, 2019

Success! Maria passes GED Tests


Esther, Maria, and Loretta at the Pav YMCA

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Hello from around the world!


LVWCC Conversation CafĂ© at Oak Park Public Library

Friday, June 9, 2017

Online Course for Public Libraries About Adult Literacy

ProLiteracy and the American Library Association have teamed up to produce a free online course for public librarians on how to support adult literacy.

Find out more | Original Post

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RAILS and Gale Cengage team up to offer Career Online High School

If you live in a library district who participates in RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) you can now get your actual high school diploma and a career certificate completely online. Participating libraries may offer "free enrollment to a limited number of qualified adult students within their service areas." The online learning platform is provided by Gale Cengage.

Career Online High School is a legitimate and accredited program that community colleges will have a tough time competing with. You can actually transfer-in credits that you have already completed from your former high school(s).

Monday, May 9, 2016

A permanent home for our study groups

Our Citizenship and GED study groups will remain at the Pav YMCA.

The Y believes in helping others build a better life. As a part of their focus on social responsibility, our goals and activities truly fit there. They also offer childcare, which has been high on our wishlist of support from a host organization.

To celebrate this milestone in the development of our local adult literacy initiative, we included the study groups in the Pav YMCA's annual support campaign video.

While we've been at the Y, we've been happy to bring on a new GED tutor and Pav YMCA member, Loretta Harper, who has experience in homeschooling. As you can see from the video, she's found our GED study group to be a good use of her talents. You'll also see Susan Brownell, who has been with us since the beginning and she continues to flourish as our Citizenship tutor.

Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County is proud to provide academic support and tutor training to the shared groups. We feel confident that the Y will be a great place to recruit the volunteers for sustainability in the years to come.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A year ahead with big changes

This month I will be leaving my Outreach Services role at the Berwyn Public Library for a new role as Marketing & Financial Development Director at the Pav YMCA in Berwyn. I look forward to using the skills I developed in marketing and grant writing at the Berwyn Library in my new role at the YMCA. In terms of career advancement, it's a natural step forward.

For the last 4 months, I have been working in both organizations in order to make a smooth transition. After 6 years with the Library, a long transition period is just the right way to go--most of my personal identity has been with the Library and the programs we created. So from here, I have to begin thinking of myself in a new light.