Help us impact the lives of those in our community

Become a Literacy Council Member

Help us impact the lives of those in our community image


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Become a Literacy Council Member

Dear friends,

I’m Jenny Walker, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Executive Director of the Literacy Council for Bowie and Miller Counties. When this position opened in February, the Council was struggling in many ways. Even though I was not looking for a new job at the time, I knew the vital role that the Literacy Council played in our community, and I could not let it fail without a good fight. I am a Texarkana native, and I grew up in generational poverty, but a strong educational foundation created a pathway that allowed me to break the cycle. I believe that everyone should be so fortunate, and I have spent the better part of the last 20 years working to provide academic support for students from low-socioeconomic families like mine. When the board offered me the position, I was absolutely thrilled to take on the challenge.

However, as I was going through the hiring process, I could not have imagined what was around the corner. When COVID-19 hit, it was financially devastating for a non-profit that was already fighting to keep the doors open. Our biggest fundraiser of the year is the annual Spelling Bee, which is traditionally held in April. When that had to be cancelled, we immediately took a big hit to our annual budget. In July, we found that our two biggest grant providers had to make across-the-board cuts because they too were feeling the effects of the pandemic.

At my first official day on the job, I immediately had to make some tough decisions in order for the Council to stay afloat, and the biggest was to move from our 4,000-square-foot campus into an 800-square-foot learning center, thus cutting our rent and utilities in half. Although we downsized our location, we did not downsize our goals and our commitment to serving our community.

Despite the challenges, we not only maintained and expanded strong academic program options for our adult learners, but we also added new classes for children and teenagers. Looking toward the future, we have big and exciting plans. We have the vision, leadership, and a strong board of directors to make all of our goals a reality. We just do not have the financial resources.

The work we do is powerful, and the Literacy Council needs a strong base of supporters to help us continue providing pathways out of poverty for people in Texarkana. As we kick off the 2021 annual membership drive, we hope we can count on your financial support.

I have always believed that changing the world begins with loving the people right here in our community. We are an independent non-profit organization with humble roots stemming from the Texarkana Public Library, and 100 percent of your donation stays right here to serve local people. Not only is this particular membership drive crucial to our ability to thrive in such a difficult time, but it also falls on our organization’s 35th anniversary.

I look forward to partnering with you to support the important work we do every day at the Literacy Council.

Jenny Walker,

Executive Director

Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties