Fairfield County Literacy Council Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Volunteer Kathy Stemen of the Fairfield County Literacy Council reads once a month at the Sheltering Arms Daycare at Maywood Mission.  Photo from Fairfield County Literacy Council

November 2, 2022
By the Fairfield County Literacy Council

Reading helps you rise above the ordinary. Setting up successful readers is the target of Fairfield County Literacy Council who proudly celebrates their 50th anniversary in 2022. First established in 1972 by Naomi Andres and Connie Gerken and sponsored by the Church Women United, they have served the county through a variety of Literacy outreach activities. Their desire to fill a need in the community resulted in 19 persons completing the first literacy training program.

The organization prides itself on offering: Story times in preschools to encourage an early love of reading and books. Book clubs to link new readers in a shared activity. Tutoring one-on-one for those who want to improve or gain reading skills. ESL (English as a Second Language) training for those who are learning the English language. (Some of the ESL students have gone
on to apply for U.S. Citizenship with help from their skilled tutors). Workforce literacy aids teach employees how to improve their communication and problem solving through literacy, participates in the event, “Gift of Time” and uses story creation to connect reading to personal experience and creativity.

These activities have been possible through the generous support of dedicated literacy tutors, organization leaders, donations from community groups and partnerships. This support allows them to offer tutoring and literacy programs at no cost to the community members they serve. Literacy means many things. Reading the instructions on your medication bottle or the
directions for proper product use. Reading street signs and traffic warnings. Reading a story to your child before bedtime. The Literacy Council strives to assist with all of these and much more.

The Fairfield County library, assisted by a federal grant, began providing resources, materials and space in 1981. The partnership continues today. There are currently four active reading tutors and two active ESL tutors. A total of seven students are being served across both areas. To reach us for additional information or request services, we can be contacted at 740-653-2745, extension #109 through our messaging center. Further information may also be found on our webpage: fcliteracycouncil.com