This letter is one of sincere thanks to Zion Lutheran Church for their generous support of the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council during the recent Day of Giving. Along with a donation from the Lichtenfeld Endowment fund, Zion Lutheran staff, parishioners and friends raised and donated almost $4,000 for the Literacy Council.
I especially want to thank Sheila Stemen Smith, who, upon learning of the difficulties faced by low literate adults and families in our region, spearheaded this effort. Indeed, our area is very indicative of the issues and numbers of low literacy and numeracy. Roughly one in six adults in our region read at a third grade level or below, and it has been our mission for the last 38 years to reach those individuals and help those that want to change their and their families’ lives.
As much as the financial help is appreciated (greatly), it is equally important that we have been given an opportunity to share our mission with another segment of our society. The idea of not being able to read, or to have such low reading skills that one is essentially dysfunctional, is a foreign idea to many in our community. Such is the problem of low literate adults; living with a hidden, debilitating problem.
Again, a great big Thank You to all of the folks at Zion Lutheran Church. We want to wish them a Merry Christmas, a wonderful New Year, and we are looking forward to any future endeavors we have to improve our community.
Ken Blanchard, Director, Northwest Ohio Literacy Council