Literacy Network invites you to support adult learners by giving to the Harry Chamberlain fund
Harry Chamberlain spent his life in the service of others. He worked for 41 years at the Madison Streets Department, was a supervisor and built two homes for his family. So it was a surprise to everyone when Harry admitted his illiteracy in his late 70s. His determination to read led him to Literacy Network, where he was matched with volunteer tutor Tom DeChant.
"What continually impressed me about Harry was his determination and perseverance," said Tom. "Even as his health declined, we continued to meet twice a week, often for well over an hour. He helped me realize that aging is no barrier to learning - old dogs can learn new tricks."
About 1 in 7 adults in Dane County needs help understanding a job application, child's report card, or prescription label. That's approximately 55,000 people in our community. Many of the adults in our community have very low literacy skills: some come to us with just a first or second grade reading level, even though they went through the American education system.
Harry's daughter Sandra recalls, "Dad would say that Tom was coming over for a session, so no interruptions until we are done."
When Harry started to have health problems, he was given a 20-page booklet with home care information. Working with medical professionals, Literacy Network staff pared down the booklet to two pages of essential information. This helped Harry better understand what to do.
Harry passed away on February 8th of this year. His family encouraged us to share his story to help the thousands of adults in Dane County who struggle with learning disabilities. Like Harry, thousands of adults in Dane County struggle with learning disabilities.
You can help support Harry's legacy. With your support, Literacy Network invest in the PowerPath system, an easy-to-use engagement, screening, and intervention system built on over 35 years of evidence-based research.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 by July 15 to provide PowerPath training and resources to hundreds in the coming years. Tom, Sandra and Harry's family and friends have already contributed $1,600 toward this goal.