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Success Stories Archive

Christine missed a lot of information during school because she didn't have hearing aids. Now, she's working on her writing and speech and gaining more self-confidence at Buffalo-Pepin Literacy Alliance.

This is her story.

For McLit (Marathon County Literacy Council), literacy is not just about reading and writing, but about learning directly from the people served as well. “You get right in their lives when you are doing literacy. You can make a difference to change their lives for the good. That’s part of our mission.” Connie Heidemann, Executive Director of McLit said.

This is their story.

Joshua was having a hard time finding a job. He didn’t know how best to represent himself during a job interview or have the skills to keep a job. At McLit (Marathon County Literacy Council), Joshua found the support he needed to change his life.

This is his story.

Neighborhood House's International Learning Program serves refugees from mostly war-torn countries. Many have never been to school nor held a pencil.

These students are now learning remotely. This is their story.

May Oo shares, “We need to learn English to understand this country [and] for this country to understand us."

May and her 5-year old son arrived as refugees from Myanmar in 2013 and took English and #citizenship classes at
Neighborhood House's International Learning Program.

This is her story.

Building relationships are key to FVL’s success. “Because we have a close relationship with people, they trust us in other matters - a resource to navigate the community,” Brian Leone Tracy, Executive Director, states.

This year, they will serve over 300 people through the close, personalized connection of tutors, and some small conversation groups.

Elin Noe Perez worked on the processing line at a meat packaging facility for ten years. Although he tried to interview for a promotion, he was nervous and struggled with English, his second language.

Then, he decided to improve his English and study for his U.S. Citizenship at Fox Valley Literacy.

For 20 years, Jefferson County Literacy Council (JCLC) delivered its literacy programs across eight different communities without interconnecting transportation.

Now, JCLC rises to meet any challenge it faces - even the COVID pandemic.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape of literacy tutoring is changing, but PCLC adapted quickly to shift their fundraiser and to transition learners and tutors to virtual.

This is their story.

Lili Vera and Gordon Williams, her tutor, have met regularly for one and a half years and steadily Lili's life changed "totally - forever."

When COVID-19 closures shutdown in person meetings, Lili refused to quit. She knew that somehow they'd have to figure it out.

After Judy Stone, the founder of Walworth County Literacy Council (WCLC), retired, she devoted her time to addressing the pressing literacy issues in Walworth and started building a literacy council from the ground up.

Today, WCLC helps adults achieve their educational goals, primarily through one to one instruction meeting once or twice a week. These pairs work on reading, English as a second language, citizenship preparation, and G.E.D. preparation.

When Oanh came to Walworth County Literacy Council (WCLC), her goals were to be a good parent to her sons, attain Citizenship, and improve her English.

The path to success wasn’t easy for Oanh but on January 12, 2020, she passed her Naturalization Civics test and Interview for Citizenship.

"We do more than teach English," says Ellen Hossman, Executive Director of Literacy Council of Green County. "We encourage community building. . . most of our tutors become part of their learner's families."

Along with one-to-one and small group instruction, learners and tutors at the Council share each other's culture and each other's lives.

For 22 years, Lindsay Hyland has been an integral part of the Literacy Council of Green County.

She shared her many skills with hundreds of learners and beyond to others connected to the Spanish speaking community in Monroe, Wisconsin.

As a tutor and mentor, she offers her knowledge freely, with humility.

Congratulations to Journey House's five graduates of their THRIVE Workforce Banking program with PNC Bank.

Journey House's THRIVE (Transforming, Healthy, Reliable, Inspiring, Valued, and Employable) training and internship program prepares participants for careers in banking, culinary arts, retail, construction & architectural design, emergency services, manufacturing, sports turf management & landscaping, food & agriculture, green economy, and STEAM through industry recognized certificate training programs.

Joe's experience in high school was sometimes difficult. He fell behind and was not able to catch up in time to graduate with his peers.

The Menominee Tribal Education’s GED Prep Program gave him a chance to move forward in life.

It all started with healthcare. Janet Glime, President of Marinette and Oconto Counties Literacy Council, worked as a nurse previously and noticed people coming into the hospital not being able to read well.

When she checked the low literacy rates, she found that the highest need came from the outlying areas. With this in mind, the literacy council came to serve both Marinette and Oconto counties in Northeastern Wisconsin. The program uses one-to-one tutoring so that the learner and tutor can focus on the learner’s specific goals.

Ruth Riesch met a farmer in the Emergency Room in the hospital where she worked who couldn't read to fill out his hospital form. That interaction stuck with her for years.

When she retired, she decided to do something to help literacy in her community and became a tutor at Marinette and Oconto Counties.

She has helped learners start their own business, learn the names for tools to improve their work skills, and practice speaking with her child's school.

Jeff Burkhart, Executive Director of Literacy Network of Dane County, says, "This is one of the biggest impacts that you can make in the community . . by being a tutor and supporting the programs that we offer."

Literacy Network of Dane County provides a wide range of programs including individualized tutoring and workplace literacy tailored to employer/employee needs.

Hear more about Literacy Network

Reyna's son was diagnosed with Autism and she wanted to speak English to communicate with health care providers and the school.

After 6 years of tutoring and classes at Literacy Network of Dane County, Reyna is happy with her progress. She said, "I can fight for my children's rights and my rights too."

Listen to her story

Congratulations, Journey House, for celebrating 50 years this year. They started out as a literacy program and grew to one of the biggest programs in Milwaukee.

Jesus, a talented pastry chef and owner of Todo Postres bakery, came to Journey House to improve his English. He wanted to expand his business to an English speaking clientele.

Literacy Green Bay (LGB) works with learners to develop rudimentary skills (how to form the letters and hold a pencil) and takes them all the way to forming sentences and paragraphs and even earning their citizenship or GEDs.

Cristina came to the United States from Mexico in 2006. Two years later, she began English Language classes at Literacy Green Bay.

She was determined to improve her English skills and set a goal of obtaining citizenship. On April 4, 2019, she became a US Citizen.