Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 30, 2012

Group battles Cherokee County illiteracy with new grant

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress


Grants from two different organizations awarded to Circle of 10, Inc., are strengthening the fight against illiteracy in Cherokee County.

Peggy Lustig, Circle of 10 regional literacy director, said this is the second year they've received a $75,000 grant through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, who receives funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“The first year we got the grant, we were able to implement English as a Second Language programs at five libraries (in Rusk and Wood Counties), and were trying to see what needs adults have in these communities,” she said.

“Library staff let us know about the need for GED prep classes, so we're adding them to  the project” with this year's award, Lustig said.

Earlier in the year, C10 received a National Book Fund 2012 grant for $2,941, which provided books from New Readers Press for GED preparation and ESL programs.

The organization partners with literacy sites Cherokee, Rusk, Smith and Wood Counties to offer programs where they are needed most.

“Local libraries are good places to provide these classes,” Lustig said. “We do all the work and they provide us the space. And that's a big issue when you have the programs but only a small office like ours. The libraries seem to love us because they see new people coming in and it helps them fulfill goals they're working toward. It's a win-win situation.”

For more information about literacy programs offered through the organization, contact Peggy Lustig or Mary Davenport at 903-hv589-6900 or email literacyatwork2004@yahoo.com.

The regional literacy initiative’s office is located at 205 E. Commerce St., Suite 208, in Jacksonville.