2020 was, to put it simply, a tough year. As I and other staff at The Literacy Cooperative reflect on this year, in all of its hardships as well as its successes, we are strengthened in our commitment to literacy. COVID-19 has caused more in our community to experience the everyday challenges faced by many adults who are low literate, including lack of daycare that fits their job needs, school and work schedule changes, food insecurities, and fear of eviction.
Many organizations and businesses, including The Literacy Cooperative, had to quickly adjust to remote working and in-person events being canceled. Nevertheless – the pandemic did not and could not cancel our mission. Our staff quickly transitioned our professional development sessions to a virtual platform, hosted our RAA Luncheon online, and brainstormed new ways to get free books and resources into the community. We partnered with restaurants and other organizations to give away thousands of books, we expanded our social media audience, increased enrollment in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL), and created interactive online workshops for families.
When it came to our community’s annual corporate spelling bee, the CLE-Bee, we considered canceling. But we decided the Bee couldn’t be grounded. Thanks to hours upon hours of hard work, we were able to put together an immersive and exciting online spelling bee, which drew over 140 attendees as well as 16 participating teams.
These are just a few examples of our dedicated and committed team working together and supporting one another remotely during a difficult time, as you will read later on. Our full-time staff remained full-time the entirety of the year and our volunteers were able to provide crucial help when possible. We are all so thrilled to be able to advocate for literacy for another year.
Please become our partner in this mission by increasing awareness of the challenges of low literacy, becoming an ambassador for improving literacy, telling your neighbor about DPIL, or making a gift at www.literacycooperative.org/donate.
Thank you to our funders, donors, friends, and Board of Trustees for all of your support this year.
With Warm Regards,
Bob Paponetti, President and CEO