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Alaska Literacy Program
1345 Rudakof Circle Suite #104
Anchorage AK, 99508
(907) 337-1981
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Jul
20
2020
Posted in ALP News.    

 

July 9, 2020

 

Dear Amazing ALP Community,

 

We want to start this letter with a big heartfelt thank you to everyone. Your dedication, flexibility, and passion for the work that ALP does have allowed us to move to non-in-person classes at an impressive speed. We are excited to celebrate the completion of our first summer session, where more than 14 volunteers provided direct online instruction to 40+ students and distance education to an additional 20+ students. We maintained regular contact with students and volunteers that were not able to move to online program delivery. We received emergency COVID-19 funding and amended budgets to get a technology lending library filled with laptops, headsets, and hotspots. We are currently in the process of preparing for our first virtual training of new volunteers. All of these changes happened in less than three months only because of all of you!

 

It took a lot of effort to make the transition to online learning and we cannot express our gratitude enough to everyone who has come with us. The volunteers who have been exceedingly patient with us as they learned so many new computer skills. The ALP staff that has worked harder and more creatively than ever before. The Board of Directors who have provided ongoing leadership throughout this transition. And the students, who are facing significant challenges of technology access, the burdens of direct service jobs, and accessibility to childcare.

 

ALP's current funding is stable, and we feel incredibly grateful that we were less severely impacted than many other nonprofits. However, we do have some challenges facing us with unrestricted funds, which helps us pay for utilities, repairs, and supplies. These unrestricted funds will also help with the costs of reopening our building and the increased need for supplies to keep everyone safe and healthy. We have already canceled BizBee, and our Scrabble event is most likely not far behind. We have waived all student tuition and materials fees and have developed a technology lending library to keep classes accessible. We enjoy some fundraising success with our virtual trivia nights, but we face a significant gap in general funds. If you find that you are fortunate and can make a donation or increase your regular donation, please consider ALP.

 

As we look forward to Fall, we are working hard to find a way to have a limited number of in-person classes while continuing to offer online courses. What we do know about starting up in-person classes is that ALP will not look and feel like it has in the past. Here are our proposed changes. We will make very specific efforts to keep everyone safe by having single points of entry and exit for each class, having mask and distance requirements, increased cleaning procedures, discontinuing coffee, tea, and water service, and limiting the freedom to move around the building to visit with others. We have already purchased specialized shields designed for speech therapists and the hard of hearing community for our volunteers and staff to allow for more effective teaching and communication. We are balancing the undeniable desire of students, volunteers, and staff to have the in-person community come together and everyone's safety. Any plans we carefully craft are subject to change based on Municipal and State Requirements.

 

We take our mission of changing lives through literacy very seriously. No matter who you are in our community, when we come together at ALP, we make meaningful human connections, and all of our lives are changed through the work of literacy. We share our stories, food, cultural practices, world views, and traumas. The pandemic and national attention on systematic racism have laid bare the discrepancies that exist for so many marginalized communities. At ALP, we are unique at a time of such division to have the opportunity to develop compassion and empathy for each other.

 

May you all stay safe and continue the meaningful work of changing lives through literacy.

 

With immense amounts of gratitude,

 

DeeAnn Apgar                                     Polly Smith                              Lori Pickett

Board of Directors, President             Executive Director                   Deputy Director

 

Downloads

July 2020 Letter to Community (111 KB)

 

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