The Whitley County Literacy Council is a non-profit organization, and contributions to it are tax deductible. The Literacy Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, or creed.
Our Mission
To promote and enhance literacy skills for those who live and/or work in Whitley County
The Whitley County Literacy Council is a non-profit organization, and contributions to it are tax deductible. The Literacy Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, or creed.
History
 
Organization - Laubach - ProLiteracy - Affiliation
 
The Literacy Council was formed in 1987. Our founding mothers were Ruth Ann Riggins and Sally Martin. They were quickly joined by a group of Whitley County residents who were concerned about the literacy level of adult county residents. The office was originally located in one room of Grace Lutheran Church and eventually moved to one room in the Marshall Community Building. The organization was affiliated with Laubach Literacy America whose motto was "each one teach one".
 
In 2002 Laubach merged with Literacy Volunteers of America to become ProLiteracy Worldwide, the largest literacy organization in the world. Organizations affiliated with Laubach were accorded affiliation with ProLiteracy. The Literacy Council is still affiliated with ProLiteracy. The annual affiliation fee entitles WCLC to discounts on purchases from New Readers Press, which as the name implies, publishes material exclusively for the adult new reader.
 
1987-2005: All tutoring was done one-on-one tutoring with 12 to 20 students per year.
 
Transition from one-on-one tutoring to drop-in study center
 
In 2005, an agreement was made with WCCS in which WCLC assumed all responsibility for GED preparation. The WCLC Learning Center located in the Marshall Building was set up as a “drop-in” study center. The Literacy Council did not conduct classes, but facilitated self-study with printed material, computers and GED study software, and on-site personnel to answer question and provide directions.
Since then 213 students received a GED.
 
Number of students in 2010 was 178.
 
Whitley County GED test site
 
Between March 2008 and December 2010, the Literacy Council provided the Whitley County GED testing site. The test was administered for the Literacy Council by the Huntington County Community School Corporation’s (HCCSC) Vocational Technical Center because the tests must be administered by individuals who do not tutor or teach the clients being tested. During the period while the test was being given in Whitley County 57% who took it passed. Another 30% passed all but one of the five parts of the test. Since the nationwide passing rate is 26%, WCLC can be proud of its record.
 
Certified teacher and federal funding
 
The state of Indiana decided to move funding for adult education from the Department of Education to the Department of Workforce Development. The WCLC Board was concerned that lower-achieving adults were being ignored so that those students who were most ready to obtain a High School Equivalency Diploma could be fast-tracked.
 
Because of this concern, when Indiana adult education was organized into twelve (12) regions within the Department of Workforce Development and Work-ONE in 2010, the Literacy Council opted to become part of the 11-county northeastern regional coalition. As a result WCLC received, for the first time ever, government monies to pay for the services of a certified teacher.
 
This was a good news/bad news situation for the Council. The good news was that the Council would be recognized by the state as the adult literacy provider in Whitley County and that classes could be offered with a state-certified teacher. All of the funds received by WCLC were used to pay a teacher’s salary.
The bad news came as the Region 3 Consortium struggled with implementing policies and procedures across a vast range of adult education groups in eleven (11) counties – from the smallest all-volunteer groups to the largest school-like organizations with salaried teachers.  
 
 
As a small entity the Literacy Council was umbrella-ed under Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) and received funds through them during the first year of the three-year grant cycle. The dollars came to WCLC who then paid the teacher. Most of the new policies were directed to the larger organizations with classroom settings with the goal of establishing consistent student conduct, data collection and progress across the state.
During the eighteen (18) months of the Council’s association with the Region 3 Consortium, the number of Literacy Council students dropped dramatically – some because of the new policies and procedures and some because of the move from the Marshall Building.
 
In January 2012 the Whitley County Literacy Council and Four County Vocational Center were not able to come to an agreement over differences so WCLC ended their association with the DWD Region 3 Consortium and FCVC.
 
New beginnings
 
Because of the move from the Marshall Building to the Whitley County Annex at the end of 2010 and the renewed emphasis on online GED testing, The Literacy Council could not continue to host GED testing.
 
Near the end of 2012 both the Executive Director and Administrative Assistant left the Council employ to take full-time jobs with benefits. Although many people tried, it was not possible to keep up the tutoring and for three-fourths of 2013 and early 2014, the Literacy Council was dormant. During 2013, the Council procured a grant from the Dekko Foundation to hire a consultant to help the Board determine if the work of the Council should continue. The consultant and representatives from the Board met several times during the last half of 2013 and concluded that there was still a need for the work of the Literacy Council.
 
The Board decided to return to our original focus on one-on-one tutoring with volunteer tutors, and in mid 2014 a new Office Administrator was hired to work 10 hours. WCLC is continuing to rebuild its volunteer base to serve as tutors for basic literacy and preparation for the High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma.
Even today, in 2018, we continue to provide the spark our students need to learn how to read, obtain their driver's license, obtain their HSE. Not a very large office but with dedicated tutors  volunteers and students who want to improve their lives.

 

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