I don’t remember learning how to read. My parents read to me from the time I was born, and somehow it just became a part of me. Words, word games, books are as important to me as breathing.
As Joe and I had our children, we too read to them from the time they were born, and they absorbed it as well.
I loved my time working as receptionist at the Brunner Literacy Center, for every day I could watch others share the joy of words and reading. It is amazing to see people who might have been looked down on in school, realize that they can learn, and see faces light up with smiles as they actually begin to read.
The love and patience of the tutors leads person after person to achieve the goals that brought the students to the Literacy Center. Learning to read, improving reading levels, getting a GED, learning to speak English, learning the vocabulary and math skills needed to get into nursing or other programs – you never know what needs the next person to come through the door will have. But we do know that whatever the need, just the right tutor will show up to volunteer their time and meet that need.
While the tutors are volunteers, books and other supplies need to be paid for, and this is one way that those of us who aren’t able to tutor can help. Many generous donors have greatly helped the Literacy Center since it opened. Joe and I are both retired now and on a fixed income, but when we heard about the Literacy Leaders program, we were glad to join in. We can’t give a lot, but having it set up as an automatic payment each month means we don’t have to think about it, and each month we are doing something so more faces can smile.
Whether you can afford to give a little or a lot each month, please consider joining us as Literacy Leaders, and helping us spread the smiles!
For the past six weeks, Wednesdays at the BLC have shined even brighter than normal. That's because every Wednesday since Ash Wednesday, March 1st, some of the fine folks from St. Charles-Borromeo in Kettering have come by the Center with carloads of supplies for our students.
This year the St. Charles-Borromeo parish chose the Brunner Literacy Center as a recipient of their annual Lenten donation drive. Individuals and families contributed items like bus tokens, gift cards, notebooks, backpacks, and office supplies. These supplies came in bags and bags, filling up trunks of cars, filling up shopping carts. In fact, BLC staff and volunteers often had to borrow shopping carts from the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store next door just to get all the bags into the building! And every week even more supplies would arrive.
The Brunner Literacy Center has grown a great deal from where it was a year ago. We now operate at four different locations throughout Dayton, and we serve a more diverse population than ever before, including refugees, food pantry patrons, and those involved in the correctional system. Literacy changes lives. We know that to be true. And the people of St. Charles are making sure our students' lives change for the better. We are very grateful for their kindness, generosity, love, and support, and we wish the best to everyone who has helped us and our students this spring.
The BLC received a tremendous donation of supplies today from the Farrell family and their friends. These gifts will last the Center a long time, benefitting our students, volunteers, and staff, as well as substantially easing the financial burdens of certain aspects of daily site maintenance.
When the Farrells first contacted the BLC back in October, we had no idea what was in store for us. They explained that their family has a Christmas tradition of throwing a party for family and friends, and in lieu of personal gifts to their family, they select a charity and ask their guests to contribute something tangible to that organization. Everyone brings their gifts to the party, and the Farrells make the delivery later on. They asked for the BLC's wishlist of supplies, and we sent it to them. We already appreciated their interest and willingness to help, but we were not prepared for the sheer magnitude of their family and friends' generosity.
Check out these pictures:
We took inventory before finding storage places for all these gifts (no easy feat!), and here's approximately what we received:
Absolutely incredible. The BLC is deeply grateful to the Farrells, their families, and their friends for this beautiful Christmas gift!
The Brunner Literacy Center joined Fifth Street Brewpub's Guest Bartender Night on Monday, September 5th for an evening of fun, friends, and fabulous food and drinks.
Fifth Street Brewpub, a local co-op, does a lot of good for the Dayton community. As a member-run business, they clearly see collaboration as a powerful way to achieve great results, and one of the ways FSB brings local organizations into the conversation is through their Guest Bartender Night series. These events bring awareness and funds to organizations of all interests, from acapella to animal wellness to adult literacy.
The BLC has received a gift of just over $1500 from AT&T Ohio.
Mark Romito, Director of External Affairs for AT&T Ohio, visited the Brunner Literacy Center on Wednesday, September 7th to present a check of $1,561.00. These funds are a wonderful asset that will help the BLC to continue our daily operations and keep our services free of charge to our students.
You may notice that the amount of the check is a bit unorthodox. During his visit, Mark explained that by the time BLC grant writer Sr. Ruth Ann Meyer contacted him, she must have gone through every website and back channel possible to get there. Her persistence encouraged AT&T to take notice of the Brunner Literacy Center's positive contributions to the community, education, and workforce development. As a result, AT&T made a gift of its remaining community funds that were available, which happened to total the $1,561 shown.
This story comes as no surprise to those of us who are familiar with Sr. Ruth Ann's considerable tenacity and skillful research. Prior to her work with the BLC, Sr. Ruth Ann, who has her PhD in mathematics, worked as an academic researcher and grant writer for Western Michigan University. She has brought phenomenal success to the BLC, achieving a grant response rate of around 60%. Typical response rates hover around 20%. Sr. Ruth Ann's success rate is a strong testament to the importance of the literacy services being provided by the BLC.
We acknowledge with sincere gratitude the efforts made by Sr. Ruth Ann Meyer, AT&T, and Mark Romito to further our mission of bringing literacy skills to adults in Dayton.