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Community Party Celebrates DCLC’s
40th Anniversary & Gwen Cottman’s Retirement

DCLC Receives a County ResolutionCounty Council members John McBlain (left) and Michael Culp (right) congratulate Gwen Cottman as they present DCLC with a County Resolution.

The lawn of DCLC's historic building in Chester was full of energy and excitement on Thursday, July 16, as the Literacy Council celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a community party featuring free cake and balloons!

This public event also honored the 30-year career of DCLC GED Instructor Gwen Cottman, who is retiring at the end of the summer. Gwen has helped countless adult students earn their GEDs and also has organized and hosted DCLC's Annual Black History Celebration for many years. Gwen's positive attitude and personal touch have inspired all who have been fortunate enough to know and work with her.

Delaware County Council presented a special resolution to the Literacy Council in honor of the occasion, and two County Council members were among some of the local VIPs on hand to serve cake to guests.

PA Representative Margo Davidson and Michael Chitwood

The generous VIPs who joined in the fun by serving cake and greeting guests included Michael Culp and John McBlain of Delaware County Council; PA Representative Margo Davidson (shown in photo at left); Superintendent of Upper Darby Police Michael Chitwood (shown in photo at left); and Kenny Covert, founder of the Brothers of Concern community organization. John Linder, Mayor of Chester, even dropped by to extend his congratulations!

Thanks to all who helped make the celebration a great example of the community collaboration that makes the Literacy Council a special place for adults to learn! If you missed the celebration, partake in the 40th Anniversary by visiting DCLC's 40th Anniversary Facebook page ( and share your wishes!

35,000 already raised--help us get to 40!

UPDATE: $35,000
raised so far


Each full-color book = $1,000 in contributions

Help Us Celebrate 40 Years
with New and Renewed Donations—We’re Almost There!

Goal of $40,000 Set for Anniversary Fundraising

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) is seeking to raise $40,000 in donations.

DCLC's anniversary fundraising is in full swing. With generous donations from a wide variety of supporters, we are well on our way to reaching our goal, as represented by the 35 full-color books at right. Help us add the last five books (and more!) to the stack by becoming an important part of the Literacy Council's story as a DCLC donor.

DCLC is able to provide high-quality literacy services for local adults because of generous donations from local individuals, small businesses, foundations, and corporations.

In 2015, DCLC celebrates 40 years of helping adults to improve their skills, learn to speak English, earn their GEDs, get better jobs, and vastly improve their lives.

It all started in 1975 when a group of intrepid volunteers, including our current Master Tutor Trainer Bob Preston, started training volunteers to teach their adult neighbors to read and write. With a few twists and turns along the way, the movement gained momentum, incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and exists today as the Delaware County Literacy Council.

More than 18,000 students have been served by the Literacy Council in the last 40 years. Include the tutors, teachers, supporters, and staff involved in helping these adult students achieve their goals, and it adds up to an impressive number of inspirational stories.

Help us celebrate each and every success by ensuring that there will be more successful adult students in DCLC's future. Add more books to our stack and help us reach our goal by clicking on the "donate now" button at top left or by sending a check made out to "Delaware County Literacy Council" to 2217 Providence Ave., Chester PA 19013.

Student Spotlight: Warren Wright
Benefits from an Inquiring Mind

Warren Wright and Jeff Haviland--DCLC Student and Volunteer Tutor

Adult student Warren Wright (at left in photo) "loves to question the 'whys' and 'why nots' of what people assume," says his volunteer tutor Jeff Haviland. This quality was just one of the reasons Jeff nominated Warren for DCLC's Student of the Month award.

Warren also "connects the things we learn to real-world applications," according to Jeff. Warren is such an enthusiastic student that he readily offers to speak to prospective DCLC tutors and DCLC students to let them know all he is getting out of the program. Warren's reading level has increased by several grade levels since he started at DCLC in 2014, and Warren has also made great improvements in math.

Congratulations, Warren, on being named April 2015 Student of the Month!

For more inspirational stories by and about DCLC’s adult students, visit our Student Showcase and our Student of the Month features.

Free GED, ESL, Basic Literacy Services for Adults

Adults interested in GED preparation, English as a Second Language (ESL), or Basic Literacy instruction or tutoring should contact DCLC at 610.876.4811 to learn about the intake process. New students will be enrolled in orientation sessions throughout 2013. Services available include classes, small-group instruction, and one-on-one tutoring at various Delaware County locations. Read more ….

Free Tutor Training Available for New Volunteers

Free training for new volunteers who will tutor in Adult Basic Education (ABE) or English as a Second Language (ESL) is offered throughout the year. The next ABE Tutor Training will be held Monday/Wednesday evenings,
July 13, 15, 20, and 22, 2015, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., with a follow-up session on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The next ESL Tutor Training will be held Saturday, July 11, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,
and Monday/Wednesday evenings, July 13 and 15, 2015, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a follow-up session on Thursday, August 6, 2015, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. All trainings are held at the Delaware County Literacy Council, 2217 Providence Avenue, Chester PA 19013. Bachelor's degree, attendance at all sessions, and pre-registration are required.

Call Melina at 610.876.4811 to discuss volunteer opportunities and the application process, or read more about how to become a volunteer tutor.

DCLC Building Has Modified Hours

DCLC will have special hours on Fridays during the summer. From Friday, May 22, to Friday, August 28, 2015, DCLC will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, the DCLC building will be closing at Noon on Friday, September 4, and will be closed Monday, September 7, 2015, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

“One BookDiscussion Group Considers Good Morning, Beautiful Business by Judy Wicks on Mon., Aug. 10

Join a group of DCLC tutors and other book lovers in reading a work of literature each month to promote reading and to share ideas about the books that are read.

The “One Book...One Literacy Council” will next meet on Monday, August 10, at Noon, to discuss Good Morning, Beautiful Business, by Judy Wicks, which tells the true story of the White Dog Cafe in West Philadelphia. “One Book...One Literacy Council” meets regularly on the second Monday of each month.

The meeting will take place at DCLC, 2217 Providence Avenue, Chester PA 19013. Feel free to bring your lunch to this informal gathering. All are welcome. No RSVP is required.

Participants also can post their reactions to the book on our blog.

The “One Book...One Literacy Council” group reads books of mutual interest and meets regularly (usually the second Monday of the month) to discuss them. To learn which books have been discussed previously by the group, read our list of past books.

July Selection:
Good Morning, Beautiful Business
by Judy Wicks