Fox Valley Literacy (FVL) will host an open house to showcase its new name and identity while also demonstrating its long-standing literacy and education programs — and maybe secure some new volunteers and donations in the process — Thursday evening from 5 to 7 pm at 1301 East Franklin Street in Appleton.
“We are hoping for all the community to visit us. To check out our programs, to know more about what we do,” Volunteer Coordinator Norys Piña said in an interview Tuesday. Piña said Fox Valley Literacy staff will have activities set up in many classrooms and offices to demonstrate their many programs, including tutoring, the “Conversation Circle” that helps English Language Learners get more comfortable in daily conversation, and citizenship test preparation. You can even take a mock citizenship test to see how you’d fare.
FVL runs two general programs: Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learners (ELL).
ABE students “want to obtain their GED or HSED, or obtain their citizenship,” Piña said. “So, all these students already speak English. Some native English speakers and some that transition from the ELL program to the ABE. And, then we have our ELL, for English Language Learners. We have immigrants, refugees” in the ELL program, she said.
Piña said more than 160 volunteer tutors served more than 450 members of the community last year.
FVL will also be seeking donations — all of which will be doubled until June 6 thanks to a $15,000 matching grant from the JJ Keller Foundation.
“We don’t receive any government funds, so we are always looking for donors and we want people to know what we do and how important it is to invest in literacy,” Piña said. “But, we also need tutors. All our tutors are volunteers.”
Piña said those who wish to volunteer as tutors go through a few hours of online training and one three-hour classroom session, and are asked to commit to tutor at least once a week for a year or so.
The occasion for the open house comes as the former Fox Valley Literacy Council rebrands as simply Fox Valley Literacy with a new logo following a strategic planning process.
“We want a new face for the organization,” Piña said. “people in the community said, “Oh this is the most hidden treasure in the community,’ and we don’t want to be hidden.”
Those unable to attend the open house can still donate or volunteer at https://www.fvlc.net/.