Covering the Land of Lincoln

YWCA teams up with The Literacy Council to offer enhanced community services

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – An organization dedicated to empowering women and eliminating racism will partner with the Rockford Literacy Council to knock down barriers in the region.

The Young Women Christian Associates, YWCA, and The Literacy Council will first focus on eliminating travel barriers, which keep community members from accessing necessary resources and services. To fix the on-going problem, the groups will use an existing Literacy Council office on Rockford’s west side to create a one-stop shop.

“So for us to be able to have a west side facility to provide greater access to people, meeting people where they are. I think it’s just vitally important to really being customer centric,” said Kris Machajewski, YWCA Northwester CEO.

Using $25K from the state, the YWCA and Rockford Literacy Council will renovate the council’s office. The plan is to add classrooms and parking spaces, as well as adult literacy and English as a second language classes.

Leaders say this decision is “long overdue.”

“It’s really exciting to see that we did have so many supporters come out here today,” said Machajewski.

Experts say people who learn to communicate effectively and build organizational skills get better paying jobs and increase housing opportunities. The expanded office space will allow for larger class sizes, giving more residents access to those employment-boosting resources.

“I think it just goes to speak volumes on the importance of non-profits working together in this manner,” she says.

The classes will be taught by various tutors and representatives from the YWCA and The Literacy Council. Leaders of both organizations say combining their efforts means they can be more effective with helping area families.

“We usually have our funding that we have normally, but with the YWCA partnership they might have more avenues or additional funding that can fight for us,” said Nicole Fasano, The Literacy Council board president.

The council needs volunteers to help adults with academic disadvantages to offer your help, just visit the organizations website for more information.

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