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History

History

Literacy Council Established

May 29, 1979

In 1979, the Literacy Council of Carroll County was founded by Sister Rosalia, the principal of St. John’s Catholic School in Westminster, and Kathryn Sieverts, a Lutheran laywoman. The mission was to promote literacy by training tutors to teach reading, speaking, spelling, and math to youth and adults in Carroll County. Judy Ritchie was the first director.

First Office

May 29, 1988

The first volunteers worked out of various locations. But thanks to the generosity of Grace Lutheran Church, the Literacy Council moved into their first office at 30 Carroll Street in Westminster. Marian Carr took over as director, and served from 1998 to 1995.

Growing Program Moves to a Larger Office

May 29, 1994

More space was needed, so the Literacy Council office moved onto the second floor of 95 Carroll Street. The Council started a new program at the Central Laundry Facility, a minimum-security prison, training skilled inmates to tutor other inmates in literacy skills.

Expanding Services

January 1, 1997

From 1997 through 2014, the Literacy Council continued to grow and to expand services under the directorships of Dee Hines, Carol Sapora, and Janet Garcia.

Relocated to the Carroll Non-Profit Building

May 4, 2006

With support from the Anverse Foundation, the Literacy Council moved to its present home in the Carroll Non-Profit Building at 255 Clifton Boulevard in Westminster.

New Director Initiates Major Overhaul

May 29, 2015

New director Sam Greenholtz restructured the Board of Directors and initiated a major overhaul, starting with staff, programming, and fundraising.

New Fundraiser

May 29, 2015

For the first time, the Annual Charity Golf Tournament (7th year) raised funds for the Literacy Council, and was established as an annual Council fundraiser.

Partnership with CCPS

May 29, 2019

The Literacy Council and Carroll County Public School signed a formal partnership agreement, and immediately began working together to meet the needs of the community.

Revitalized Program

May 29, 2019

Since 2015, the program overhaul led by the director has resulted in a strong, revitalized Literacy Council. The number of programs and budget have more than doubled, fundraising has significantly increased, and staffing has been increased to meet program needs.

40th Anniversary

June 1, 2019

The Literacy Council recognized our partners and highlighted the accomplishments of our students, tutors, and volunteers at the December 10, 2019 Holiday Luncheon and 40th Anniversary Celebration. In recognition of the importance of the work we do and our commitment to the community, the Literacy Council was awarded proclamations from the Board of County Commissioners of Carroll County and the General Assembly of Maryland.

Partnerships with HSP and Carroll County Commissioners

March 1, 2020

The Literacy Council and the Human Services Programs of Carroll County, Inc. signed a formal partnership agreement to work together to meet the needs of the community. The Literacy Council also formed a partnership with the Board of Carroll County Commissioners.

COVID Impacts and Move to Virtual Learning

June 1, 2020

As with other education programs, the coronavirus pandemic meant in-person learning was on hold for several months. To mitigate the impacts, the Literacy Council began to implement options for virtual learning, including providing technical training and computers for students and tutors, and trialing the use of on-line education programs.

Launched New Webpage

December 21, 2020

The Literacy Council worked with Gauge Digital Media to design and launch a new, improved webpage. The new webpage is easier to manage and update, and includes expanded on-line options for submitting requests and collecting information.