A new relationship between Bridgerland Literacy and the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University will help the literacy program continue to offer services to members of the community.
“We are a very small nonprofit and that limits kind of what we can do. There are not a lot of financial resources. There are not a lot of person resources and those kinds of things. Being able to access those is incredibly helpful to us,” said Alice Shepard, the program director at Bridgerland Literacy.
Bridgerland Literacy began in 1987 in an effort to help improve adult literacy rates in Cache Valley. Services at the center help patrons accomplish goals such as passing the GED, learning the content language of a specific field or gaining a better understanding of English as a non-native speaker.
Matt Wappett, the executive director of the Center for Persons with Disabilities, said he began working with Shepard to bring Bridgerland Literacy under the umbrella of the center in January when he learned the center was planning on shutting their doors because of a lack of funds.
“One of my priorities has been to bring on programs that are serving populations more diverse and potentially underserved than we have in the past,” Wappett said.
Wappett said he was concerned that if Bridgerland Literacy dissolved it would have negative consequences for people who need the resource.
“Not being able to read and write limits employment opportunities. It limits the information you can access,” Wappett said.
According to Shepard, this new relationship will help her connect with an already established volunteer network, such as professors that include volunteer work in their curriculums.
“Working with the CPD we can now access some of those professors that we were unaware of that could increase our volunteer numbers,” Shepard said.
If volunteer numbers increase, Shepard wants to be able to start community writing courses and a literacy lab where individuals could drop in for help on writing, reading and math related work or assignments.
“I’ve wanted to do that for a while, but I haven’t had the resources to do that. I don’t have the amount of tutors to do that. I don’t have the space and everything to do that,” Shepard said.
To learn more about or to access services, contact Shepard at 435 750-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite the new partnership, Bridgerland Literacy will remain at its current location on the Bridgerland Technical College’s west campus, 1410 N. 1000 West, Logan.