Literacy Volunteers in Upshur County is located in a quiet house in a quiet neighborhood in Buckhannon, owned by the Holy Rosary Church, where people from around the county can go for a variety of services, including help for one of the most basic needs: being able to read and write.
“We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We provide free confidential one-on-one and group tutoring for adults who read below the fourth grade level. We do ESL, which is English as a second language. We have free computer classes about twice a month,” said Kristy Stewart, incoming director of the program.
But the future of the group is now in question. The church that has been allowing them to operate from the building now needs the space for its growing activities, and they need the space Literacy Volunteers current uses. So the organization will have to leave by September first, and so far, they have nowhere to go.
“We get no, no state or federal help, and that makes things very difficult for us in terms of finding a location rent-free or cheap,” Stewart said.
The organization is looking for help to find a new place to operate before the September deadline approaches. While the group is still getting grants to fund its programs, they say they need to find a new place on the cheap, or many area residents will be left in the lurch.
“If we would close, there’s nothing else in Upshur County that provides free services. They would have to find paid services, and a lot of our student base, because of the illiteracy, they have trouble with jobs,” said Stewart.