Literacy Partner Lands Big Grant PDF Print E-mail

A greater number of adults will get the chance to learn skills at Mid-Valley Literacy Center with a $30,000 grant from Meyer Memorial Trust. As many as 600 students a year fill the center’s classes on GED preparation, English, Spanish literacy (a foundation for English), citizenship and Certified Nursing Assistants preparation. Instructors and tutors volunteer their time to keep costs low.

Perla Casillas is taking CNA preparation classes to find a better-paying job to support her son. She appreciates What the center is doing for the community and her family, she said.

“My son is looking at me as an example,” she said.“He can see how important an education is.”Most of the grant, about $17,000, will pay to replace the center’s GED materials to support the new GED test.  About $10,000 will pay for a new part time volunteer coordinator to recruit, retain and train the 450 volunteers spread out at 26 sites in five counties. The remaining $3,000 will go toward training on fundraising and development, which will help the board learn how to make the nonprofit sustainable.

Vivian Ang started the center five years ago after Chemeketa Community College closed its literacy volunteer program, she said.  At first the nonprofit relied heavily on grants, but now it needs to find additional funding to continue.

“You can’t get a grant to cover administration to keep your organization going,” she said. “That’s why we asked for support money for training for the director and board for fund development.”

The nonprofit also is seeking seven or eight volunteers to work on a fundraising committee. Its goal is to raise $100,000 in the fiscal year starting in July, she said. Other benchmarks for the grant include helping at least 75 adults work toward their GED and to retain volunteer tutors.


News - March 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Hats off to La Iglesia Luz del Valle, which has launched the Mid-Valley Literacy Center, headed by Vivian Ang.  The church was awarded a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation and has a cooperative arrangement with several other churches and Chemeketa Community College to provide tutoring for GED, English, citizenship and nursing classes.  Not too far away, Church on the Hill/Keizer is building partnerships in the Kennedy School neighborhood.   The two congregations are strategizing ways they can serve Central Keizer (especially the Latino community) together.  Salem Mennonite Church continues to host the SE Keizer Community Center, which is home base for the resurgent Keizer United Community Progress Team (CPT).  

Sisterhood - Homeless Connect PDF Print E-mail

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News - May 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Kudos to the multi-church Keizer Community Food Bank, which just moved from founding site John Knox Presbyterian to larger space at Faith Lutheran.  This cross-denominational, close-geography ministry is a great example to other parts of the community, and is especially important in these food-scarce times.  Over by the Little League fields, Church on the Hill/Keizer is exploring partnerships with Kennedy Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club branch onsite.  

In addition, the Keizer United CPT (community progress team) is revitalizing and expanding under leadership of Pastor Jack Knox and Joseph Penner at Salem Mennonite Church, host of the SE Keizer Community Center. Membership has doubled and great projects are planned.


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