County literacy program shuts down

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 04:51 PM.

After 27 years, growing from an all-volunteer outreach to a fully funded program with a full-time director, the Franklin County Literacy program has shut its doors.

The reason for the closure, said both the director as well as the chair of the board overseeing the non-profit Franklin County Literacy Inc., was a shortfall in funding leading up to the start of the next fiscal year in October.

“It’s a sad day. I’m not happy about it,” said Maxine Creamer, who has served as the program’s full-time director since 2007, after starting in 1997 as a community outreach specialist.

Because of the closure, Literacy will not accept about $35,000 in funding from the county commission, which would have started flowing in on Oct. 1, at the start of the next fiscal year.

“We needed $13,000 to continue from July through September and we didn’t have the money,” she said.

“It takes more than $35,000 to do it,” said Liz Sisung, who chairs the Literacy board of directors. “There was a time we were getting $55,000 from the county.”

Creamer said that when she took the director’s position in 2007, the county’s funding was just under $70,000, fully covering the director’s salary, which started out about $25,000, as well as other costs.

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