Literacy Services of Wisconsin receives $10,000 AT&T Innovation Award to promote adult literacy

LSW to use AT&T Grant to help 600 adult students in Milwaukee area increase literacy skills, gain more desirable employment

State Sen. Lena Taylor joined AT&T in announcing a $10,000 AT&T Innovation Award to Literacy Services to support their adult literacy programs. The event also honored Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Pictured here are (L-R): State Sen. Lena Taylor, Literacy Services’ Executive Director India McCanse and Dextra Hadnot of AT&T.

During a special event honoring Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Literacy Services of Wisconsin (LSW) was presented with a $10,000 AT&T Innovation & Investment Award last week to support the organization’s adult literacy programs.

LSW will use the AT&T donation to help 600 adult students in its Workforce Development program increase their literacy skills, become better educated, and gain more desirable employment. More than 50,000 adults in Greater Milwaukee cannot read above a second grade level. LSW is focused on helping those adults increase their literacy skills and improve their lives.

“Our mission is to not only educate, but motivate and inspire engaged adults to achieve greater independence and transform their lives,” said India McCanse, LSW Executive Director. “It’s never too late to learn how to read, and this grant from AT&T will help us enhance the innovative literacy education that we provide to adult students in Greater Milwaukee.”

AT&T presented a $10,000 Innovation Award to Literacy Services of Wisconsin to support their adult literacy programs. Pictured here (L-R): State Senator Lena Taylor, Milwaukee Succeeds Director Mike Soika, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Literacy Services Executive Director India McCanse, Literacy Services Board member David Hanson, and Dextra Hadnot of AT&T.

LSW’s Workforce Development Initiative has three main program goals: 1) increase literacy skills such as reading, writing and comprehension; 2) increase GED graduates; and 3) help adult students increase their workforce readiness skills and secure employment. Last year, 92 percent of adult students in LSW’s basic reading program increased their reading level, and 98 percent of GED exams taken were passed successfully.

“For nearly 50 years, Literacy Services of Wisconsin has been an important part of the Greater Milwaukee community, helping adults who want to improve their education and their lives,”said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who proclaimed Friday, March 1 as “You’re Never Too Old to Learn to Read Day” in Milwaukee.

“Too many adults in Milwaukee cannot read above a second grade level, and helping them improve their education will put them on a path to a good job and a better future,” said State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). “We are fortunate to have great organizations like Literacy Services and business partners like AT&T working together to combat the problem of adult literacy and transform lives.”

Adult student John Hale shares the story of his inspirational journey to literacy, thanks to the help of Literacy Services, while Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Literacy Services Executive Director India McCanse look on.

The AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program provides funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by: advancing education, enhancing the environment, promoting economic development, or delivering other community services. This is the 14th award under the new program designed to support local organizations that enhance and give back to their communities.

“AT&T is proud to support Literacy Services of Wisconsin and its efforts to improve adult literacy in the Milwaukee area,” said Dextra Hadnot, Director of Government Affairs for AT&T Wisconsin. “At AT&T, we realize that investing in a well-educated workforce may be the single most important thing we can do to help America remain the leader in a digital global economy.”