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Literacy Council WILCO Hosts Auction
By Charlotte Kovalchuk, Hello Georgetown Contributor
From helping people earn their GED to teaching English as a second language, the Literacy Council WILCO’s mission has always been to uplift the community by giving residents the tools they need to earn a sustainable income. During an uncertain time, that goal has become more critical than ever.
The “mom and pop shop of adult education,” as Executive Director Kimberly Goode calls it, the Literacy Council is based in Georgetown but helps people all over Williamson County by offering basic adult education, English classes and vocational certification classes.
“We help people earn sustainable incomes, thereby they improve their lives, their family’s lives and that of our community. It strengthens our economy. It makes us stronger,” she said, adding that the more educated the community, the less likely it will have violent crimes, divorces and uninsured residents.
As soon as COVID-19 hit, the organization’s in-person classes went virtual, the usual 900 students dropped to 128 and the 126 volunteer teachers, many of whom are in the high-risk demographic, decreased to 35. The organization’s funding has taken a hit during the last few months, especially since grant providers are focusing more on organizations that offer a safety net for the community. The Literacy Council is what Kimberly called a rebuild organization that helps eliminate the need for a safety net. Usually funded 80 percent by grants and 20 percent by fundraising, the group had to switch its focus to fundraising, which inspired the idea for an online auction.
The Literacy Council hopes to raise $10,000 to continue services during the auction that kicked off this week at www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/literacy-council-wilco-12965. People can also donate at www.literacycouncilwilco.org.
The Literacy Council WILCO began in 1985 with a focus on teaching literacy to gain knowledge and enjoyment through books, which has shifted to job preparedness with a three-fold mission – engage, empower and employ.
“We realized this connection between people that read and people that are successful in life,” Kimberly said. “It’s now about gaining knowledge that helps you become a better community member, better employee, a better parent. If you happen to pick up a book in the meantime, that’s awesome, but you need to make sure you have a couch to read it on.”