Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth

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Anniversary Reunion
September 24, 2009

20 Years of Dedication
To Adult Literacy!


On Thursday September 24, 2009, the Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth celebrated 20 years of dedication to Adult Literacy with an anniversary reunion of more than 140 people at the Plymouth Public Library. This was a great time for many people gathered together and connected with old friends. The celebration was held from 6:00 – 8:00 in the Dr. Richard M. Shiff Garden, the reading hall, and the Otto Fehlow Meeting Room.  The garden held a tent decorated with white lanterns and a table filled with many desserts including a large sheet cake. The wisteria in the garden was filled with tiny white lights and lanterns. The hall featured seven exhibit tables that displayed the history of the Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth with many photographs, scrapbooks, copies of Reflections, special bookmarks, and a Memories sheet for attendees to fill out.  The Otto Fehlow Meeting Room was the starting point with a good cup of coffee provided by library trustee Gordon Dunn and Literacy Committee volunteers Cynthia Teles, Linda Edmonds, Ed McSharry, Liz Halloran, Pauline Locke, Gayle Petitpas, and Ellie Neville.



          In attendance at the program were Jeanne Annino, Literacy Coordinator and Mary Anne Odell, original coordinator of the literacy department when it started at Plymouth Public Library on North Street.  Beverly Ness, who was on the very first Literacy Committee twenty years ago, took photographs of this event.  Director of Community Services / Library Director Dinah O’Brien and Assistant Director Jennifer Harris were there with additional library trustees Jeff Chute, Deborah Etzel, and Kathy Cartmell. Monica Mullin, representative from Senator Therese Murray’s office, also joined in the celebration.  Judy Langley, Technology Coordinator, and Jean Marie, former Assistant Technology Coordinator, spent time with students and tutors in the Learning Center. Community Planner Roger Berg and teachers Kristen Enos, Mike Landolfi, Barbara Soper, DonnaLee Williams, and Mary Beth Mac Neil visited with former students and GED graduates.  Stacie Fehrm, Educational Counselor, conversed with students a about what goals they had achieved since being with the program. 

          Over the past twenty years, the Literacy Program has worked with over 1500 people in the community.  The Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth serves to help adults in the greater Plymouth area – both adults working towards their GED (classes) and adult learning English as a second language (tutor program).  The mission of the Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth is to provide adults in the greater Plymouth area the opportunity to develop and improve the life and literacy skills needed to achieve personal growth, to further their education, to seek better employment, and to benefit their overall quality of life. The tutoring program offers to Plymouth residents, individualized, confidential, “one to one” tutoring in basic reading, math, writing, and English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL).  Tutoring takes place in the Plymouth Public Library.

            The Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth was originally funded with a library grant in 1989.  A few years later, the program received the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Grant which funded the Technology Learning Center.  The Learning Center is open for the use of all students, tutors, and program staff at specific hours.  Located on the first floor of the library, it contains 8 computers with access to the Internet and many software programs in reading, writing, math, and GED.  This valuable learning space is presently funded through the Plymouth Public Library Corporation, the Town of Plymouth, Entergy, Plymouth Rotary, Wal-Mart, BJ’s Charitable Foundation, and individual donations.  GED classes are funded through the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


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