by Amie Sites
Christmas came a bit early for the Literacy Volunteers of Cass County.
Dave Miller, LVCC president, said the organization received a $3,000 anonymous donation to be used by the adult literacy program to continue enriching the lives of county residents who take advantage of the organization’s English tutoring services.
“It was a surprise to us,” Miller said. “We are pleased people feel our organization is deserving. We are helping people read and learn the English language.”
Nancy Taylor, tutor and former president, said the donation was heart-warming.
“We’re so excited,” Taylor said. “Adult literacy is one of those things that is not thought of too much and when someone actually remembers, it just makes your heart swell.”
Miller said LVCC board members haven’t decided what the money will go toward, but it might be used to update library materials for the organization’s tutors and students.
The volunteer program currently has 18 tutors and 28 students and matches tutors with students expressing desire to improve reading or language skills.
“We need an educated populace,” Miller said. “Anybody who cannot function in a society and read information is disadvantaged. For people who come to this county and wish to speak English, they deserve to be applauded for wanting to assimilate to our country.”
Miller said he is currently tutoring a Hispanic couple. He said though they have benefited from the tutoring, he has benefited too.
“They become more than students,” he explained. “They become friends.”
LVCC wasn’t the only organization to get an early surprise from Santa.
Rena Sterrett, program director for Cass County Reading Railroad, said the program received two anonymous donations on Dec. 12.
A $4,300 donation was earmarked for the Begindergarten program and $4,063 was donated to be used for any Reading Railroad program.
Sterrett said the program received donations last year as well.
“It will help the program tremendously,” Sterrett said. “We’re hoping to reach more children through the Begindergarten program and this will help us do that.”
The other donation could go toward many areas, she added, including buying books.
Sterrett said she believes people donate because they realize the good the program is doing.
“Reading railroad is touching the community in such a large way,” Sterrett said. “It’s such a great program that is preparing children for school and helping families get involved.”
Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.