Guest post by Michele Erikson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) awarded its Wisconsin Adult Literacy Project (WALP) Grant. The $83,000 grant provided to Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. will help develop and enhance Wisconsin’s adult, family, and workplace literacy system through direct services to literacy agencies. Services include technical assistance, regional coordination, and professional development.
Who is Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.?
Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. is a statewide coalition of community-based literacy agencies that support adults and families. Since 1985, Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. has been helping local literacy agencies of all kinds with professional development, training, resources and curriculum, referrals, and advocacy. 70 local member agencies provide direct literacy services to nearly 10,000 adult students in 86% of Wisconsin counties. The services help adults to improve literacy skills, earn their GED/HSED, learn English, gain citizenship, or improve digital, workforce, and health literacy skills. The majority of students represent communities of color, and also include immigrants and refugees, tribal nations, justice-involved individuals, and families with low to moderate income.
How is Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. connected to the DPI?
Since 2005, the DPI has supported the WALP Grant, which provides funding for needed literacy services. Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. is the state umbrella organization disseminating capacity-building support, and its local members are the conduit to connecting those in need of literacy services with their local K-12 schools, technical colleges, W-2 agencies, workforce development boards, and their training programs. Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. is connecting the dots between several state agencies that address the well-being of children, parents, job seekers, justice-involved individuals, low-income families, and new Americans.
The DPI has been instrumental in helping Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. fund local literacy needs across the state by allowing regional literacy consultants to support local program needs. Because of grant funding, local member agencies can:
- fill their resource library with textbooks,
- connect tutors and students virtually,
- increase the knowledge, capacity, and sustainability of their board of directors,
- attend professional development opportunities, and
- receive tutor training materials, literacy assessments, kids’ books, and office supplies.