- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A $1.5 million campaign has been launched to fund the Literacy Center of the Midlands’ move into a bigger space.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1NyN8GZ ) reports that the Omaha center plans to move to Cedarnole Plaza, which has 8,300 square feet of space on two levels. The space would be more than three times larger than the center’s previous two locations. The lower floor will house classrooms and a library with a multipurpose area and computer lab. The top floor will have offices.

Executive Director Kirsten Case says the top floor is a “bonus” because the space is not included in the cost of the least.

About 100 volunteers at the center prepare adults in more than 70 classes a week for high school equivalency tests or teach them basic literacy skills. Most of the center’s clients are referred by welfare caseworkers, probation officers, nonprofit aid groups and other sources.

“We need a better situation for the people we are serving,” Case said. “We’ve been the duct tape and super glue place for a long time, and it’s not working.”

The fundraising campaign will pay for furnishings, equipment and staffing, as well as purchasing the new space. Case says that she hopes to hire a volunteer coordinator and a student success coordinator to work closely with clients, who range in age from 18 to 80.

According to the literacy center, about 14 percent of adults living in the metro area are functionally illiterate.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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