Every week the Illinois State Library shines the spotlight on a worthy recipient of a literacy grant from the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library Literacy Office. This week they honor Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) in Oglesby. One person’s success can inspire others. In Streator, an immigrant family with five children and another on the way sought help from a local church organization.
The family was new to Streator and needed help to navigate their children’s school needs and medical services needed for the children to attend school. Referred to the IVCC family literacy program, the family was immediately enrolled in educational services. They secured a library card and the mother began taking adult education classes that included enrolling her infant in childcare. The mother was soon able to communicate with the elementary school about her children’s attendance and academic performance.
In her classes, the mother made friends and learned language skills. Through the classes and childcare services, the mother was introduced to other Hispanic families. Besides learning English, the mother had a desire to learn how to sew. So the program helped her learn to use a sewing machine. She now proudly displays the shirts, pants and other garment repairs she has sewn. As others in the Hispanic community have watched her progress, they have been inspired to follow in her footsteps. Her success story has positively impacted her community.