Literacy Center Seeks Sponsors for Students
June 4, 2020
AURORA—The Dominican Literacy Center here is conducting an annual Sponsor-a-Student fundraiser.
 
Sister Kathleen Ryan, OP, center director, said the public is invited to support fall students by donating funds for books and materials. 
 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center in March suspended women’s tutoring in English as a second language, conversation and citizenship classes for men and women.
 
How to help
 
Donations may be made by mail or online.
 
Mail: Dominican Literacy Center,  260 Vermont Ave., Aurora, IL, 60505
 
Online: www.dominicanliteracycenter.org (go to the Ways to Help tab and click on the Donate via Mighty Cause button.”
 
Donations are tax-exempt, and through the recent CARES Act, many limitations on deducting charitable donations have been lifted for 2020.
 
Info: Sister kathleen Ryan, OP,  630-898-4636 or e-mail kathleenmryan@sbcglobal.net
Sister Ryan said, “Our hope and plan is to start classes on Sept. 10. Students who were scheduled to graduate in May will be offered another semester to attend. We will make program modifications because of the COVID-19 restrictions, but we are hopeful that we can creatively brainstorm ways to continue to serve the community as we have in the past.”
 
She added, “Many of the women who come to our center to learn to read, write and speak English are doing essential work for our country. They are cleaning hospitals and nursing homes, assembling and packing medical supplies for hospitals and bagging groceries. 
 
“Many are mothers who are helping their children with online schoolwork. We want to be ready in September to reach 200-plus women, helping them to read, write and speak English. 
 
“To do this, we need books and learning materials, and for this we are asking for your help. We invite you to help us empower more women and families to learn English and become productive and empowered mothers, employees, and community members.”
 
According to Sister Ryan, a $100 donation will cover the cost of books and learning materials for a student for a year; and $1,000 will cover the cost of one tutor-student pair, including all expenses. 
She added, “Any donation will help more women and their families learn English.” 
 
Founded in 1993 by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, the Dominican Literacy Center, offers free English classes to more than 200 immigrant women annually. 
 
Trained volunteers offer one-on-one tutoring sessions — 90-minutes weekly — to women. 
 
Additionally, free citizenship classes are offered to men and women. While instruction is free, students are asked to contribute $25 for materials.
 
The center’s mission is to enable immigrant families to participate in their communities learning to read, write and speak English.
 
Since its inception, the center has served thousands of Aurora-area residents. 
 
On the grounds of St. Therese Catholic Church in Aurora, the center has grown from five students and five tutors to 200 students from 16 countries taught by 200 dedicated volunteer tutors annually. 
 
—  Al Benson, contributor
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