Gifts of Gratefulness
“To be grateful is to find blessings in everything.” Alan Cohen
As the year comes quickly to a close, we have so much gratitude for all the wonderful students, coaches, volunteers and opportunities for growth this year has brought to Literacy Connects. Journey with us as we reflect on some of the great events, happenings and connections of 2015 and simply share what we’re grateful for:
- Being able to do work we believe in!
- Reliable volunteers who find their place and flourish, especially when it’s a place where we have a huge need!
- 1st year Anniversary in the building! Celebrating year 1 in our new space, we are excited for the expanded opportunities to offer classes and training, have our lending Library all under one roof and meeting space that community partners can also use!
- The Thomas R. Brown Foundation grant for the parking lot repaving & renovation of classrooms (in progress) – Over the Thanksgiving break, the parking lot was repaved and the classroom renovations began. We are excited about having additional space for classes in the spring!
- 13,000 Books from First Book! Literacy Connects is grateful to be the recipient of 13,000 books from First Book that will be used for the Reach Out and Read and Reading Seed programs. First Book provides free, new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy: access to books.
- 2015 Extreme Landscape Winner: We are thrilled to be chosen as the winner of Santa Rita Landscaping’s 2015 Extreme Landscape Giveaway! They will bring our courtyard landscape vision to life with a $15,000 makeover!
- Big Read Connects Tucson: As a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant, Literacy Connects has had the pleasure of exploring the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. The program started in September of 2015 and will continue through May of 2016. Working with partners throughout the community, we are building more and better literacy and arts programming in Southern Arizona through collaboration and cooperation.
- English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) Intensive Class. An intensive adult English class was held at Literacy Connects this past summer for four weeks (two hours a day, four days a week). This class filled up immediately and had a wait list for the first week. As soon as the new classrooms are finished, more classes will be offered.
- Reading Seed Orientations. New and returning coaches attended orientations and professional development courses at Literacy Connects throughout the fall.
- Our annual fundraiser (this year, the theme was “Opening Doors”) had a special appearance from Edgar Allen Poe! This event raises money to support the programs and services of Literacy Connects.
- SUPER Saturday was a day devoted to professional development for our volunteers.
- Refugee Tutor Training for volunteers who tutor or teach English to low-literacy refugee adults was a new training that we were able to offer twice this year.
We are grateful for everything that happened in 2015 and we’re looking forward to all the great work we’ll do together in 2016!