Winnebago County Literacy Council Receives $5,000 from Women Who Care Greater Oshkosh

At our June 2, 2015 member meeting, the Winnebago County Literacy Council was chosen by a majority vote to be the recipient of a $5,000 donation, the aggregate funds contributed by the 43 Women Who Care Greater Oshkosh Area members in attendance.

The Winnebago County Literacy Council is a not-for-profit organization, not funded by any local government, that provides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, one on one literacy tutoring, and a Road to Work (RTW) program for refugees seeking to start a new life. Classes are taught by professional instructors who are paid by WCLC, however all services are offered at no charge to the learners.

Located at the Oshkosh Public Library, the Literacy Council continues to experience a significant increase in the number of refugees and immigrants needing ESL tutoring. Low English-literacy skills are the number one issue for their learners and more learners are re-enrolling in the programs. WCLC also attracts ESL learners who have spent months or years in our community, unaware of the services available until one of the current learners referred them. This kind of growth and referral system within the refugee community continues to escalate as new family members and friends are resettled in Oshkosh.

Women Who Care of Greater Oshkosh Presents Winnebago Literacy Council with $5,000 check.

The demand for tutors exceeds the Winnebago County Literacy Council's current capacity. The organization actually provided 109 learners with a tutor during 2013 while the waiting list grew to 44 learners. They served 136 learners with a tutor match during 2014 while the waiting list hit a high of 91 learners.

Helping low-literate adults improve their basic skills has a direct and measurable impact on both the education and quality of life of their children and the economic wellbeing of the family unit. Adults with literacy skills find it easier to obtain and retain employment (SOURCE: National Institute for Literacy). As the education level of adults improves, so does their children's success in school. If parents cannot read and face economic hardship, their children suffer, often encountering barriers to learning and to reading, and the cycle of illiteracy continues.

The funds received from the Women Who Care donation will allow WCLC to increase the Volunteer Coordinators hours of work providing more personal contact to reach additional potential volunteers for the Council, and assist the Education Coordinator in providing tutor enrichment with resources and curriculum.

Mission:

To make an immediate and significant impact on our community while building relationships among women in the greater Oshkosh area.

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