June 2019: Literacyworks in the News

A not so Typical 48 Hours in the Life of Literacyworks

Wednesday Night May 22, 2019, at 6 PM

100 Sonoma People Who Care

The Board of the Sonoma County nonprofit 100 Sonoma People Who Care selected Literacyworks as one of this year's nominees for their 2019 Nonprofit Fundraising Event. Thank you Sheila Bride of Petaluma Coffee and Tea for nominating us! 100 Sonoma is a funding circle 501(c)(3) organized to bring together community members to learn about and select one Sonoma County nonprofit annually to receive a significant financial gift.

As one of their five nominees*, Literacyworks was invited to give a 4-minute presentation on May 22, 2019, at Glenn Ranch in Petaluma on the Literacyworks Center. The only rules were that each speaker must only use their voice. No slideshows/videos/ props or anything else was permitted. Our Literacyworks Center Director, Chris Schultz, and our Center student, Diana Angel, a mother of two little girls, passionately spoke for two minutes each explaining how the Center is changing lives and making a difference in our community.

After the presentations, the guests voted for the winning nonprofit who would walk away with that night's contributions, in this case, $10,000. Who got the most votes you may ask? Drum roll…. Literacyworks did. Yeah for Chris and Diana!

*Hospice of Petaluma, Heritage Homes, The Tiny Pitbull, Point Blue Conservation Science were the other nonprofits

Thursday Morning May 22, 2019, at 7:30 AM

The Petaluma Health Care District approves Literacyworks Grant Funding request for $10,000.


All grant recipients of this years grant award were acknowledged at the Community Partnership Appreciation Breakfast on Thursday, May 23rd from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the Petaluma Women’s Club.

Literacyworks was thanked for the incredible work we do to support the health and well-being of our community. Ramona Faith, CEO of the Petaluma Health Care District and staff, expressed how grateful they were to partner and support us in this effort.

The Sonoma County Community Health Needs Assessment confirms that literacy level, income, and educational attainment is strongly correlated to health: those with low levels of literacy, low income, and education suffer poor health outcomes. Those with a higher level of literacy and education are prone to live longer due to healthier behaviors and tend to raise healthier children. Residents in Sonoma County who identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Some Other Race have a higher percentage of individuals at risk in experiencing poor health results.

The health needs our proposal is addressing concerns the health literacy, education, and access to health resources for our students and their families. We will conduct a series of workshops that bring in community providers to discuss health resources and health literacy.

Thursday Evening May 22nd, 2019, at 6:00 PM

The No Name Group

Paul Heavenridge, Executive Director of Literacyworks, spoke to about 200 of what is affectionately referred to as The No Name Group in Santa Rosa about the Literacyworks Center. Susan Moore heads the long-standing group that gathers monthly to hear and discuss topics ranging from education to politics to social justice. The reviews of the talk were all positive, and many new contacts were made.

Literacyworks Center Graduations 2019

Center Student Victoria

Center Student Victoria

We at Literacyworks Center view a student’s academic goal as a matter of personal choice. Their progress toward that goal, thanks to our staff support, is steady and at their own rate. We encourage each student to explore career options and further inform themselves of educational opportunities. We consider an individual successful, as one of our students has done, by taking classes to improve their English, then taking an accounting class and then open their own catering business. More traditional measures of success like graduating and transferring to a four-year university are not for all of our students. Many get Certificates in career programs such as Early Childhood Education, Firefighter or Environmental Horticulture.

This Spring 2019, we are overjoyed to announce eight of our students walked across the stage and received an Associate’s Degree. Six of these graduates will transfer to various universities in the fall including UCLA, UC Berkeley, Sac State, and Sonoma State. What is remarkable about this is all of these individuals started their education by taking classes well below college level. Literacyworks staff is tremendously proud of these students’ hard work, commitment, and success. We will miss working with them, but will maintain contact to follow their continued success in the future.