FARMINGTON — Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties (LVFSC) held its annual meeting on Oct. 28, using “smart” television technology and the internet in all three of their learning center locations, Farmington, Livermore Falls and Phillips, following the Maine CDC guidelines.

The meeting, open to the public, featured poetry readings from four of the year’s poetry contest winners: Margaret Bremner, Katrina Machetta, Nancy Romines-Walters and Anna Crockett. Annual business was conducted and members of the community were recognized with the Hope, Health and Happiness Honors.

Pillars of Support honors went to United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, Franklin County Adult Basic Education, Spruce Mountain Adult Basic Education and the Maine Humanities Council for their partnership in achieving the LVFSC mission to empower adults through tutoring in reading, writing, math, technology and ESOL and promote literacy in the community.

Community Connectors honors went to volunteers who gave time, energy, ideas, courage and tenacity to utilize their literacy work to strengthen the bonds of community. Collectively, they keep the learning going: mailing teaching packets, sorting and delivering books, trying new teaching tools and digital platforms, teaming to build programming, creating videos to share, making sure learners can get to class and staying in touch. They are Rita Cantor, Becky Jasch, Emily Scribner, Dan Palmer, Maggie Davis, Brianna Rush, Elizabeth Cooke, Marlene Bryant, Danielle Hamlin and Susan Thorson.

Learners Who Lead honors went to students who use their courage, tenacity, creativity and passion to keep the learning going, despite many odds. They are Brittanny Savage, Dorothy Richard, Lorrie Chicoine, Anna Crocket, Cindy Welch and Matilda Holt.

The Bread and Butter honors went to organizations and individuals who live in the towns who made financial commitments from $50 to $5,000 in 2020. They are Peter and Delinda Smith, Laine Kuehn, Sally Speich, Farmington Rotary Club, Susan and Fritz Onion, Western Maine Financial Services, Mary and Tim Davis, Nancy and Joe Austin, Emily Scribner and Shiretown Bookers. Special recognition was given to the Phillips Public Library and all libraries as a whole for the reciprocal support, as well as St. Joseph’s Church.

This year LVFSC contributed $109,124.55 in educational value to the community with a network of 72 volunteers, 61 collaborators and 14 funders. There were 242 people directly impacted by adult tutoring services; 566 books and learning materials went to 66 households; and 963 books were given out separately from the tutoring program.

LVFSC helps those affected by COVID-19 to provide uninterrupted learning for 93 people. Two collaborative learning programs have expanded, with a monthly Community Connect class for adults becoming a weekly class in a hybrid classroom, produced in all three learning centers using the internet.

The monthly Bring Books to Life parent book club, in collaboration with the Farmington Early Learning Center, and initiated with seed money from the UWTVA Venture grant in 2016, expanded from serving 10 families to 46 families to date. Since parents are not allowed in the Head Start building this year, the program has pivoted to five different service delivery methods to provide free children’s books, activity kits and a group tutoring session as part of the school curriculum.

While the impact of COVID-19 has slowed the momentum of the expansion of services into northern Franklin County, the organization is still moving forward with plans to develop a fourth learning center in a location as yet to be determined. For more information, a copy of the annual report or to volunteer, call 207-500-3131, go to westernmaineliteracy.org, or email [email protected]


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