JI Foundation funds Fellsmere Learning Center for Literacy Services

news release

Tutor Jim Kerns helps a student with Computer Skills

Although Literacy Services of Indian River County has been serving adults living in Fellsmere since 2012, they did not have a functional space until the fall of 2020. This made it hard to have consistent programming and a presence in the community.  When the City of Fellsmere offered space in the City Building, the organization eagerly agreed and set out to make it an effective learning environment for adults seeking to improve their English language and literacy skills.

The new space offered plenty of room for tutors to meet with students, but not much privacy. The organization’s Computer Lab, which is open to anyone in the community, also needed additional computers to be able to offer computer classes. Thankfully, the John’s Island Foundation provided the necessary funding for all of this and more.

The Foundation’s grant enabled Literacy Services to furnish their new space with cubicles for tutors to meet with students or for students to study in a quiet space. Four more computers were added to the lab and a class was started in October. The space is now a welcoming, comfortable and productive place to learn, thanks to the generosity of the John’s Island Foundation and all of its donors.

Literacy Services was founded in 1971 and its mission is to deliver comprehensive and innovative learning opportunities to local adults seeking English language and literacy skills to achieve their goals. Literacy Services’ vision is that all adults are empowered with the literacy skills they need to thrive in the community. The organization served nearly 200 individuals in the county last year, with 30% living in Fellsmere. Over 40 individuals used the Computer lab for 275 hours. With this new space furnished by the John’s Island Foundation, Literacy Services will be able to reach more students and expand programming opportunities.

This year, Literacy Services is celebrating its 50th Anniversary serving the community and will be hosting events throughout the season beginning with a Launch Party and culminating with a special evening on March 7, 2022, at Sea Oaks. Sponsorships are still available for the season and more information can be found on the organization’s website at http://www.literacyservicesirc.org.

The organization, a United Way supported agency, relies on over 100 volunteer tutors who provide free, confidential and one-to-one tutoring to individuals aged 16 and older or within group settings at the request of local employers. Tutors do not need prior teaching experience and receive training, ongoing support and resources from Literacy Services. There is a waiting list of over 60 students and more tutors are needed.

For more information about the Anniversary events or Literacy Services of Indian River County, please visit http://www.literacyservicesirc.org or call 772-778-2223.

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