Literacy Council’s New Flags Highlight Free Services

Press Release of March 18, 2022

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) recently added some new flags to its front lawn on Providence Avenue in Chester to spread the word about the free services they offer to local adults.

As broadcast by these colorful banners, DCLC’s website—delcoliteracy.org—is the best place learn about the many free classes and the employment help offered by the Literacy Council. Many of DCLC’s classes have moved online since the pandemic, and the DCLC building is open by appointment only, so the website is an important hub of information about DCLC’s offerings.

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) is putting its message of free classes and employment services for adults on display for all to see with a set of new feather banners on their front lawn in Chester. To learn more about DCLC’s free programs, visit https://delcoliteracy.org.

For example, Adults can take free classes in GED preparation, basic literacy, and English as a Second Language (ESL), or work with a volunteer tutor in those areas. Remote and in-person options are available. Interested adults can enroll for an upcoming session by filling out an interest form at https://bit.ly/DCLC-learn

Another option for adult learners is a free civics-focused ESL class that covers a variety of civics topics, including citizenship, government, geography, taxes, healthcare, and more, with opportunities for students to accelerate quickly and move into free Home Health Aide (HHA) training or GED classes. Immigrants interested in the program can complete an interest form at https://bit.ly/DCLC-NAc

DCLC also offers free job-search help to immigrants and mature workers in conjunction with the Delaware County Workforce Investment Board.

The Back to Work program provides free job-search help to Delaware County residents age 40 and over who have received Unemployment Compensation in the last year and who are looking for full-time work. Employment Coach Elaine Herbert guides participants through all steps of the job search, helping them find jobs that match their skills. Interested mature job-seekers can fill out an interest form at https://bit.ly/BacktoWorkDelco

The Immigrant Employment program offers free job-search help to immigrants living in Delaware County. DCLC employment coaches can help local immigrants look for jobs, complete applications, create a resume, prepare for interviews, and more. Some translation services are available. Interested immigrants can complete an interest form at https://bit.ly/Jobs-Imm

DCLC is also a great place to volunteer! Community members interested in helping a Delaware County neighbor improve his or her literacy skills, in either basic literacy or ESL, can learn about becoming a volunteer tutor at https://delcoliteracy.org/volunteer and complete an application at https://bit.ly/DCLC-VolApp

Take a tip from the flags waving on DCLC’s lawn: Learn about DCLC’s free programs and opportunities by visiting https://delcoliteracy.org.

Local and National Grants Help Literacy Council Offer Free Services

DCLC logo

Press Release of December 3, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) has received generous broad-based support for the free literacy and employment services it offers to local adults. National and local foundations have recognized the importance of DCLC’s work in the community by awarding grants to DCLC during 2021.

DCLC helps adults in Delaware County develop reading, writing, math and English language skills by offering free in-person and online classes, as well as job training and employment coaching to specific populations. Providing services that allow adults to improve their skills and land family-sustaining jobs has been especially vital during the economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Richard G. and Audrey A. Brinkman Foundation located in Philadelphia awarded DCLC with a generous $10,000.00 grant in 2021. Created in 2008, this foundation primarily funds a variety of educational programs to honor the memory of Richard and Audrey Brinkman. DCLC learned about the foundation through Lisa Brinkman, daughter of Richard and Audrey Brinkman. Lisa Brinkman experienced firsthand how free adult literacy services can transform lives when she shared her time and talent as a volunteer DCLC basic literacy tutor, helping an adult student improve their reading and writing.

Another local grant came from the City of Chester Grant Program, through The Community’s Foundation. The grant supports community-based programs and projects that improve the quality of life for residents of Chester, PA. Funds are provided by a Giving Circle of donors who have a personal interest in supporting the City of Chester. DCLC was founded in 1975 to offer reading and writing help to Chester residents and continues to provide services to adults living in Chester and all of Delaware County, including instruction in basic literacy, GED preparation, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

A foundation associated with a well-known author also provided support to DCLC in 2021. The Nora Roberts Foundation awarded DCLC with a $3,000.00 grant. The Nora Roberts Foundation focuses primarily on supporting literacy organizations that serve a local community. Nora Roberts is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 230 novels. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

Grants sometimes can provide material assistance, too. For example, the national organization ProLiteracy awarded DCLC with a free subscription to News for You Online, a weekly newspaper with topical articles and literacy lessons that students can access online. The subscription was awarded through the Mobile Learning Fund.

This online tool has been especially helpful for DCLC adult students who are learning virtually. Since the spring of 2020, DCLC has been offering classes and tutoring via online video platforms. News for You Online has come in handy during this shift in instruction. As one volunteer tutor explains, “My student finds the articles in News for You Online interesting and informative. News for You helps to fill in the gaps in her education and furthers her interest in current events.”

“We are grateful to these foundations for their support,” said DCLC Executive Director Pat Gunnin. “DCLC is generously funded by a variety of sources, including government grants, individuals, and corporate sponsors. This wide-ranging support truly makes a difference in the lives of the adults who study at Delaware County Literacy Council,” he added.

To get involved and/or learn more about DCLC’s programs, including free online and in-person classes for local adults, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Fun Workshops & Delco VIPs Headline Expert Academy Telethon

Kathy Deitch, Phil Rosenthal, Alex Garfinkel

Press Release of October 4, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) is once again shining a spotlight on some of Delco’s best and brightest in an online celebration of adult literacy. The 2021 Expert Academy Telethon will feature accomplished professionals with ties to our area sharing knowledge in exciting workshops. The 2021 Champions of Adult Literacy will also be honored during the online event, and some Delco heroes and special guests will appear.

The Expert Academy Telethon is free and will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday, October 20. Details are available at https://delcoliteracy.org/donate/expert-academy-telethon/

The three lively workshops by experts will focus on writing for TV, on singing, and on cooking.

TV writer and producer Phil Rosenthal will discuss comedy writing in his insightful workshop “Writing for Television: How I Made My Life into a Sitcom.” Phil is the creator of the legendary sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. He currently stars in the food travelogue series Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. Phil will be interviewed by his wife Monica Horan Rosenthal, a Delaware County native whom fans will recognize as Amy MacDougall/Barrone from Everybody Loves Raymond.

Brad Ingelsby
Brad Ingelsby, creator of the HBO mini-series Mare of Easttown, will be one of the Delaware County special guests appearing at the Literacy Council’s free Expert Academy Telethon, held online on Wednesday, October 20 at 7:00 PM.

Kathy Deitch, a Ridley Park native who starred as Shen Shen in the original Broadway ensemble cast of Wicked, will help you take your singing voice to new heights in her innovative interactive workshop “Anyone Can Sing.” Kathy’s performing credits include Rent directed by Neil Patrick Harris, Silence! The Musical (LA Weekly Award), American Horror Story: Freak Show, and the thriller Loft, opposite Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet.

Local chef Alex Garfinkel will demonstrate how to prepare some delectable small dishes from Spain in his workshop “Tapas Three Ways.” Alex started his catering business out of his parents’ kitchen in Delaware County while catering for the movie Creed, which was filming in Philadelphia. Alex learned his craft in some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin, Morimoto, Amada, and Lacroix. He also studied under Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz in Spain. Alex is chef and co-owner of Balboa Catering and Balboa at American Silk supper club in Philadelphia.

“These workshop will give viewers the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and learn something new, just as the adults who study at DCLC show every day that they are brave enough to keep learning and challenging themselves so that they can improve their lives,” says DCLC’s Executive Director Pat Gunnin.

To add to the evening’s excitement, Brad Ingelsby, Villanova alum and creator of the award-winning HBO mini-series Mare of Easttown, will be sharing a message of encouragement, as well as his thoughts on literacy and some insight into his work. Mare of Easttown, which is set in Delaware County, won several primetime Emmys this year and made Delaware County and our distinctive accent the talk of the entertainment world!

News anchor Lucy Bustamante of NBC10/Telemundo62, who resides in Haverford, Delaware County, will be the emcee for the evening. She is the daughter of Cuban refugees who migrated to the U.S., which gives her a unique appreciation of the challenges faced by immigrants who come to DCLC to learn English.

The inspiring 2021 Champions of Adult Literacy will be honored during the telethon. Neighbor to Neighbor Community Development Corporation in Sharon Hill will be recognized as the 2021 Community Champion; Dr. Monica Taylor, Vice-Chair of County Council, will be honored as the 2021 Hometown Hero Champion; and Temadji Kantangar will be honored as the 2021 Student Champion.

Anyone interested in learning even more from the experts can check out the premium-package donation options. With these packages, individuals can get writing tips or singing tips directly from experts Phil Rosenthal or Kathy Deitch in live Zoom sessions held later in the year. A four-course meal prepared by Chef Alex Garfinkel held at Balboa at American Silk is also available through the premium packages. Learn more at https://bit.ly/reg-experts.

The Expert Academy Telethon is generously supported by Major Sponsors Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union and PECO and Supporting Sponsors Brinker Simpson and Sun East Federal Credit Union. Other generous sponsors of the event include King’s Automotive, Rose Valley Appraisal, White Horse Village, HOP Energy, John Cipollone Heating & Cooling, KPInterface, Monarch Staffing, Rafferty Subaru, Swarthmore House Parts, Wayne Jewelers, and Ameriprise Advisor Michael Hartnett. Any business or organization interested in sponsoring the Expert Academy Telethon can phone Susan at 610-876-4811 or visit the event website at https://delcoliteracy.org/donate/expert-academy-telethon/.

The Delaware County Literacy Council provides free literacy services that help local adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Harrah’s Supports Delaware County Literacy Council with Generous Grant

Harrahs and DCLC staff with check

Press Release of August 9, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) was recently awarded a generous grant of $5,000.00 from Harrah’s Philadelphia through the Caesars Foundation.

Representatives of Harrah’s Philadelphia Racetrack & Casino gathered at DCLC’s building in Chester to celebrate the grant by presenting a symbolic check to DCLC staff members

Harrah’s Philadelphia team members gathered at Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) in Chester to celebrate a $5,000.00 grant awarded to DCLC by Harrah’s through Caesars Foundation. Shown with the check are (L to R): Katey Kimpel, Harrah’s Director of Marketing; Chris Albrecht, Harrah’s Senior Vice President and General Manager; Pat Gunnin, DCLC Executive Director; Liz Brenner, DCLC Director of Student Support Services; Patty Cain, Harrah’s Vice President of Human Resources; Scott Love, Harrah’s Director of Hospitality and DCLC Board Member; Nick Capriotti, Harrah’s Vice President of Finance; and Matt Conner, Harrah’s Vice President of Security and Facilities/Engineer.

“DCLC teaches reading, writing, and math to local adults. Harrah’s is proud to support these efforts that are so vital to our community,” said Harrah’s Vice President of Human Resources Patty Cain.

The generous gift will help DCLC to continue offering remote and in-person classes in adult basic education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and GED preparation to adults in Delaware County.

Since opening in 2007, Harrah’s has been a strong community presence in the City of Chester and a steady supporter of DCLC. Talented staff members from Harrah’s have served regularly on DCLC’s Board of Directors, and Harrah’s has hosted and sponsored DCLC’s Champions of Adult Literacy fundraising event since 2013. Also, as a major employer in the area, Harrah’s provides job opportunities for adults who are improving their skills and seeking a better life.

“Clearly, Harrah’s is a wonderful community partner with a great track record of positive impact,” said Pat Gunnin, DCLC Executive Director.

The Delaware County Literacy Council helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

FMFCU Foundation Golf Classic Results in Generous Gift to Literacy Council

Check from Franklin Mint

Press Release of July 21, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) recently received a generous gift of $5,000.00 from the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) Foundation that represented a fun afternoon of golf and community spirit.

FMFCU Foundation’s sold-out Second Annual Golf Classic was held on June 7 at the Radley Run Country Club in West Chester PA. Proceeds from the successful fundraising event were donated to local food banks and other community organizations, including DCLC.

“We were so pleased with the turnout and the good we have been able to do in the community through this event,” said Rick Durante, Executive Director of FMFCU Foundation and Co-President of DCLC’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Durante, (shown at right) and Danielle Griffin, Foundation Program Manager, presented the $5,000.00 donation to DCLC Executive Director Pat Gunnin (shown at left) with a symbolic “big check.”

“We are grateful for the support of FMFCU Foundation. This donation will help local adults improve their literacy skills and work toward their goals,” said Mr. Gunnin.

The Delaware County Literacy Council helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Check from Franklin Mint
Rick Durante, Executive Director of Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) Foundation (shown at right), along with Danielle Griffin, Foundation Program Manager, present a $5,000.00 donation to Pat Gunnin (shown at left), Executive Director of Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC). The donation represents proceeds from FMFCU Foundation’s Second Annual Golf Classic, held in June.

Gunnin Named Executive Director of Delaware County Literacy Council

Press Release of June 14, 2021

Patrick “Pat” Gunnin has been named Executive Director of Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC). He started in the position on June 1, 2021.

Gunnin brings more than 40 years of experience in nonprofit operations to his role as Executive Director, with specific expertise in resource development, board development, financial management, human resource development, and program development and management.

Most recently Gunnin served as Chief Programs Officer for YWCA in Delaware, overseeing
economic empowerment and self-employment/work readiness programs for Delaware residents.

As a national trainer with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Gunnin traveled across the country presenting workshops on supervision, leadership, and program management and development. He also served in a variety of leadership roles for Boys & Girls Clubs in Delaware, Michigan, Mississippi, Washington DC, Maryland, North Carolina, and Florida.

Of leading the Literacy Council, Gunnin states “I look forward to working with the staff and board to best meet the needs of the adult students we serve and to make the organization financially sustainable.”

Gunnin says he admires the resilience of the adults who study at the Literacy Council, including those who came to this country from another place to improve their lives. “I love the diversity of our adult students,” he declares.

Gunnin holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, and a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics from High Point University in High Point, NC.

DCLC was founded in 1975 by local volunteers who noticed their neighbors were struggling with reading and writing. DCLC helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that they can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.delcoliteracy.org.