Wayne Pike ADULT LITERACY Program
I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors for the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program (WPALP). I have always been an avid reader starting with my beloved Dr Seuss stories. I originally signed up as a tutor but quickly realized that I wanted to contribute more.
The Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program began as a grassroots initiative in 1986. Alice Brown and Priscilla Krum, two very devoted women were on a mission to register voters in Wayne County. They soon realized that the illiterate had little voice in their community and the world. These two women had a vision for the future – this included a society in which every citizen could be a well-informed voter.
WPALP has grown into an organization that has affected so many lives in a most profound way. What touched me the most was that everybody, and I mean everybody, has an astounding story – the tutors as well as the students.
One of the most significant stories to me was the gentleman who decided he wanted to learn how to read after his wife had passed away. He had a drawer filled with love letters she had written while he was in the war.
Could you imagine not being able to read? Not being able to read a love letter, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Nor would you be able to fill out an application, read directions, a map, your mail, a recipe, package labels, prescriptions… and texting would certainly be out of the question. And that’s the day to day that we normally take for granted. How sad not to be able to travel to distant worlds and different eras without the ability to read a great novel.
Board President, Annette Perry, is the driving force who leads by example. She is a tutor but also lobbies, fundraises and faces each challenge head on. Diane Gaffney is the Tutor Coordinator who is also a tutor herself. She is a little woman with a huge spirit. She is fearless and unrelenting in her efforts. The Executive Director, David Sutton, is fairly new but a welcomed addition to this passionate organization.
The Vision of the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program is to support adults in their endeavors to function as literate and contributing members of society. Their goals are to create a comprehensive and fully coordinated adult literacy and basic education system; ensure that all adults with limited literacy skills have the opportunity to pursue appropriate educational or job credentialing opportunities; assist adults to fulfill their human potential and to participate fully in society. Students come to WPALP looking to complete their GED, better their reading, writing or math skills, or to learn the English language.
Funding this great program is always a challenge. State budget cuts make it even more difficult. The program is completely free for students. Books, testing and administrative costs are expensive. Each tutor is subject to a background check which costs money. I invite you to visit their website at WPALP.org. Learn more about becoming a tutor or a volunteer – particularly those interested in social media, video production, fundraising and email management. Or, make a donation. It’s easy to do right on the website through PayPal.
Literacy is the key that can unlock potential. Help to open the door to a brighter future in your community.