Literacy Program Receives More Funding Via New Fees

The Everett Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a request to increase the limit on the revolving account for the Everett Literacy Program from $20,000 for the current fiscal year to $175,000, in an effort to help the city keep the program running by charging a small fee to students using the program.

Everett Human Services Director Carolyn Lightburn appeared before the Aldermen briefly to explain the request and indicated that the change in the limit for the revolving account would in no way impact tax payers, as the fund would be raised completely through fees charged to the students, at the Everett Adult Learning Center, equaling approximately $10 per student for the class.

The funds raised through the revolving account would be used to continue funding salaries, books and supplies for the Center.

“This account has largely been dormant since about 2006,” Lightburn told the Independent after the vote. “This request was just to kind of get it reactivated.”

The Everett Adult Literacy Center, which offers reading and English education classes for adults in the city, had previously funded the bulk of their programs from grants with some assistance form the city.

Prior to 2006, all grant monies were deposited in the revolving account, and expenses for the program were paid out of the account as well. However, Lightburn explained that as more and more grants came into the program for specific purposes, the city switched to using a system of separate accounts to track each grant it received.

Going forward, with many grant programs being cut and awards being smaller, the Literacy Program will begin relying on the fees from students to help maintain the programs. Lightburn said the program currently has about 60 students enrolled. Going forward her goal is to attract about 144 has students for this year, with a long-term goal of serving 194 students annually.

“We’re really being very aggressive in trying to bring in new students and make sure that we’re able to bring in enough funding to keep the programs going.” she explained.

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