contributed by Jenette Jurczyk
It is one thing to know that our Community Assistant Fund (CAF) Grants and community outreach goes to support local non-profits in our town, but it is another to see the impact firsthand.
Last month, I was invited to take a tour of The Reading Group, a non-profit organization celebrating 45 years of service in the Champaign-Urbana Community. During the tour of their offices and classrooms, located in The Village at the Crossing, the executive director Winnie Crowder educated me on the history of the organization and how JLCU has had a direct impact on their mission.
Founded by Urbana resident Marilyn Kay, The Reading Group is a program for students who require special assistance with reading above and beyond what they can get in the school system. Many students who suffer from dyslexia and other reading challenges can get lost in the schools and feel like they can never keep up with their peers.
The Reading Group offers special, affordable, one-on-one teaching and tutoring to students and adults who can overcome such challenges in as little as ten weeks with the right approach.
Winnie showed me the series of books that they were able to purchase for their library with the last CAF Grant they were awarded by the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana. The “Who is?”, “Who was?” and “What is?” books series are designed for those who are building their confidence as readers and JLCU has helped to purchase about 70 titles in the series.
She expressed her gratitude for the work that JLCU does to help smaller non-profits that don’t always have the same capacity for fundraising.
You can learn more about The Reading Group at www.readinggroup.org. If you are interested in working with them, they do have teaching positions open and they are looking for potential candidates to join their Board of Directors.