Since the 80’s, Literacy Green Bay has been a constant resource to help adults and families in Wisconsin acquire educational, computer and workforce skills. This month, the nonprofit hosts its seventh-annual award and appreciation virtual fundraiser to honor the individuals and organizations who exemplified Literacy Green Bay’s mission in the past year.
In 1980, Literacy Council of Brown County was formed in Wisconsin as a result of the influx of refugees from Southeast Asia in need of help learning the English language. What started as a tutor-training workshop is now a nonprofit that offers adult tutoring, Family Literacy GED classes, English language classes, citizenship tutoring and computer access as an important means to help adults and families acquire the reading, writing, math, English language, computer and workforce skills they need to function effectively as workers and community members. In 2008, the organization’s name was changed to Literacy Green Bay. Last year alone, the ELL classes helped more than 450 students.
With its start as a tutoring organization, the role of tutors is still an important one within Literacy Green Bay. The organization provides 12 hours of training for volunteer tutors, creates a curriculum and matches tutors with students, some of whom are studying to get their GED, learn the English language or gain skills to become a member of the workforce.
Executive director Robyn Hallet says “watching [the students] blossom and unfold and be more willing to take steps that maybe are at first a little uncomfortable” are among the biggest rewards of being a part of Literacy Green Bay. “And working with people of diverse backgrounds who might be new to our community.” It is the hope that tutors commit to a year of volunteer work, meeting with students twice a week.
Literacy Green Bay is honoring its volunteers, students and sponsors during its seventh-annual awards and appreciation virtual breakfast on Tuesday, August 11, at noon CST. Supporters can view the event live here.
For those unable to volunteer but still hoping to help the cause of literacy, “just advocate for us. Follow us on social media platforms, especially Facebook. Share the posts that we make with others,” Hallet says. And, of course, donations can go a long way. “We do rely on the public to help support the program, and we ask for people to consider making contributions.”