The Literacy Center of Milford envisions a community of harmony and abundance where all people and their children attain their educational and life goals, and become functioning and contributing members of the Greater Milford Area and society.
The mission of the Literacy Center of Milford is to provide services at no cost to any individual who wishes to learn the English language or enhance their reading, writing, speaking and math skills necessary to lead productive lives in our community.
The Center's headquarters are located at the Fannie Beach Center at 16 Dixon Street in Milford. Its organization consists of a Board of Directors, which includes a President, and an Executive Director who guide its operation. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Center gets its funding from civic donations, corporate and financial institution donations, charity foundation grants, fundraising events, and individual contributions.
The Center is a hub of learning with well over 100 continuing education students annually and about 6,000 hours logged by volunteer tutors who arm them for the real world with defined literacy skills.
As a community-minded organization with a deep understanding of literacy's vital role in determining a community's vitality, prosperity, and well-being, the Center ensures that its mission of nonprofit literacy continues to grow. Thereby, the organization continues to forge strong links to the Greater Milford Area community and its school systems in developing programs in support of its educational mission for the common good.
The Center's adult literacy programs are designed to help students with the GED (General Education Development) exam and with the process of attaining US Citizenship, as well as to develop basic skills in English with its ESL (English-as-a-second-language) program or math in order to become functioning members of society. In 2014, the Center expanded its curriculum to include a hands-on, basic computer education program so that students can become comfortable with computing.
The Center also provides an expanding literacy programs designed for children, from babies and toddlers to middle-school-age kids. It holds weekly story hours, book give-a-ways, individual reading sessions, and family-based literacy programs at the local middle school. In 2013, our volunteer readers logged over 400 hours in our children reading programs, and donated 2,000 books to local children.
The Center is a proud affiliate of the national Pro Literacy of America network of adult basic education and literacy programs, and recently became a United Way of Milford member agency. This 'partnering' is an acknowledgement that the Center shares the United Way's approach to improving lives, which is through mobilizing the caring power of communities. The Center also works with the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
Like most organizational beginnings, the Center started out small – as a committee-run satellite office of the Literacy Volunteers of New Haven with funding from the Junior Women's Club of Milford. The charity later became the sole task of Frances O'Neill, its first Executive Director. She ran the program out of her home until 1992 when the City of Milford provided office space at the Margaret Egan Center. In 1994, Ms. O'Neill turned over the reins to Joy Stonier and Karen O'Neill, who were instrumental in forming the non-profit, community-based literacy agency known as The Literacy Center of Milford, Inc. Through corporate sponsorships, donations, and specialized staffing, the organization sprouted. In 1995, the Center was relocated to the Fannie Beach Center, its current headquarters.