Statement issued Friday:
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind., September 20, 2010 – Wabash County’s only adult literacy and basic education organization, the Learn More Center, announced that it has received a challenge grant from an anonymous donor that will match dollar-for-dollar qualifying contributions through December 31, 2010, up to $45,000. The center also reported having received a restricted grant to promote sustainability, which will fund, among other expenses, the promotional aspects of the fundraising campaign.
Operating at two locations in the county, North Manchester and Wabash, the Learn More Center is dedicated to eliminating illiteracy, encouraging educational attainment and advancing the employability of Wabash County adults. “In addition to raising funds, we want to use the campaign to raise awareness of the fact that illiteracy hurts all of us in Wabash County,” said Patty Grant, vice president of the Learn More Center board. Research indicates that illiteracy and low levels of education can contribute to unemployment, generational and cyclical poverty, crime, substance abuse, child neglect, and poor health.
The need for the organization’s services is profound, considering these statistics:
• 10% of Wabash County adults 25 years and older are unemployed
• 12% live at or below the poverty level
• 20% of Wabash County adults lack a high school diploma
• 60% of Wabash County adults have no education or training beyond high school
As of August 31st, 348 adults have received instruction in one or more of 8 categories: literacy, pre-GED and GED instruction, adult basic education, computer literacy, English as a second language, and post secondary counseling and tutoring. Students enrolled in the three lowest levels — literacy, pre-GED and GED instruction accounted for 56% of enrollment. Currently, 36% of LMC students have literacy skills below an 8th grade level in one or more areas.
“Because the Learn More Center is not a government agency and is funded solely through private donations, this challenge is an enormous opportunity,” said Grant. “If we meet the goal of $45,000 by the end of the year, we will have a total of $90,000 to help break the cycle of illiteracy and its devastating effects in Wabash County. Every donation will bring us closer to the goal of preparing adults in Wabash County for jobs that will support a family and help our community thrive.” Grant once again stressed the importance of giving during this campaign. “We want people to remember that with the dollar-for-dollar match, each donation before December 31st will go twice as far.” Donations may be sent to Learn More Center, 603 Bond Street., P.O. Box 272, North Manchester, IN 46962.
The Learn More Center was founded with the mission to provide educational services and a learning community to meet the instructional needs of adult learners in Wabash County related to workforce readiness, adult basic education and literacy. The Learn More Center is a 501(c)(3) corporation; contributions are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowed by law. For additional information, please call 260-982-6138.