Clay County Literacy Advisory Council met Tuesday morning at the YMCA to review programs implemented, discuss ways to improve literacy and how to sustain grant money received from CAPE, Community Alliances to Promote Education, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.
Each CAPE grantee has been offered the opportunity to extend its grant period for up to one year beyond the current expiration date. The extension will not provide more money, but will allow grantees to move it laterally over an additional year. A written request will be made to the program director for the extension and a response is expected within the near future.
Literacy-related services under CAPE are being challenged to find their own future funding once CAPE funding is depleted. Mary Yelton, Vicki Switzer, Caroline McCullough and Bill and Jennifer Minnis recently met to brainstorm about sustainability and agreed that training on grant writing would provide opportunities to sustain services.
A grant resources directory was developed by Switzer and McCullough. The plan is to purchase some of the grant resources to be made available at Brazil Public Library, provide education programs to literacy-related directors for application of grant writing and to use leveraging funds to assist in grant applications as matching funds if necessary.
Directors would learn how to research their own programs for related grants, do hands-on grant writing with assistance, budgeting and grant formats. A presenter will be needed to teach the course and would ideally be provided paid college course credit for this. Upon completion, a panel of reviewers will look at each grant application before submission.
The biggest needs are for facilities and personnel but many grants are for materials and training.
In other business:
- McCullough mentioned the need to establish a county-wide library system because the south branch of the library may not be able to keep its doors open once the initial CAPE grant dollars are gone without sustainability.
- Even Start is conducting its summer program with about four families.
- Alternative School staff will meet during the summer to discuss program improvements and to choose a name for the facility.
- A name has been picked for the prevention site. It will be called LEAAP, Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers. A logo is currently being designed by A+ Printing. Clay County Literacy Advisory Council will host its July meeting at the LEAAP center so that members can see the remodeling process, which is nearing completion.
It is hoped that enrollment will allow the four and five year old preschool class to be four half-day sessions instead of only two days as in the past. The facility was purchased with CAPE funds. Karen Harding, 4-C, suggested the possibility of also providing a community child care center if sustainability is not attained.
Pam Fischer, council member and first grade teacher, said if Clay County wants to solve its literacy problem, the solution is early intervention and the new school superintendent, school board and teaching staff need to unite on provide all-day kindergarten.
- The Literacy Conference is Aug. 12 and registrations may still be made.
- Harding said several Wabash Valley child day care facilities participating in Building Blocks, a child care program developed by the state, will be featured on Building Community, Judy O'Bannon's show airing on public television station WFYI at 7:30 p.m. June 26.
- Arrangements for a national trainer of Creative Curriculum are underway for teachers and child care providers at a seminar Aug. 21, 22 and 23.
- Clay County Literacy Advisory Council will have an information booth every evening during Clay County's 4-H Fair and at Clay City's 4-H Fair during the night of the parade. Volunteers are needed.