Walworth County Literacy Council educates and partners with adult learners to reach their literacy goals, thereby empowering themselves, their families and communities.
Walworth County Literacy Council (WCLC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer-based organization governed by a board of directors and established in 2003 by Judy Stone, whose goal was to teach those in her community to read. Her inspiration and dedication to education caught on quickly; before she knew it, Judy had started a literacy council.
The Walworth County Job Center was instrumental in instituting this program into the community. WCLC is supported by grants, foundations and individual donations, and is a proud partner provider of United Way of Walworth County. WCLC operates under the guidelines of ProLiteracy America, the national organization of literacy councils and is a member of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. and Coalition on Basic Adult Education (COABE).
Trained volunteer tutors teach one-on-one and small group classes of adults at libraries or virtually throughout Walworth County. WCLC offers flexibility in services with time, location and tutoring tailored to student needs ranging from beginner to advanced ability. Classes are also offered at the Walworth County Jail.
Adult students who reside in Walworth County and are 18 years of age or older are eligible for services at no charge.
WCLC has a long and trusted relationship with the communities it serves. The council is able to provide educational services thanks to our many partners, including:
Lakeshores Library System - WCLC tutors and students meet weekly in the 10 libraries that comprise the system. The library system grants space for tutoring, promotes WCLC via brochures and newsletters, and regularly refers new tutors or students.
Walworth County Jail – The jail supports WCLC tutors who provide weekly Adult Basic Education assistance to incarcerated individuals. Communication between the jail and WCLC is ongoing to ensure program quality and efficiency.
Walworth County Job Center - WCLC is housed within the Job Center, which allows for daily contact with staff and participation in the center’s operations. WCLC and Job Center regularly collaborate on adult education needs and referrals.
Gateway Technical College (GTC) – WCLC is located in the Walworth County Job Center office space within the GTC campus. WCLC and GTC staff regularly communicate to best serve student educational needs.
Walworth County Volunteer Services – Ongoing referrals from Walworth County Volunteer Services help WCLC match with volunteers who support our mission.
Awards and Recognition
Outstanding Teacher of the Year 2020
WCLC Board member and tutor
Awarded by Coalition on Adult Basic Education
Outstanding Volunteer Service 2019
Walworth County Jail Literacy Program
Walworth County Board Supervisors
Guest Presenter 2019
Walworth County Jail Literacy Program
Wisconsin Technical College System Conference
Guest Presenter 2018
Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program
Literacy Advocate of the Year 2018
WCLC Founder and Board member
Awarded by Wisconsin Literacy
Eisenberg Award 2015
Walworth County Jail Literacy Program
Awarded by the State Public Defender Board
for outstanding efforts in empowering the disenfranchised through education
Walworth County is a rural, diverse community with primary employment in hospitality and manufacturing industries. WCLC educates many unskilled workers who face serious literacy challenges and a significant number of educated individuals in need of professional level English language skills.
The majority of students are at poverty level. As a result, lack of transportation is a considerable barrier for a large number of students.
The adult student population ranges in age, gender and nationality. Walworth County Literacy Council has served individuals who have lived their entire lives in the county, and many others who have come here from across the world.
Walworth County Literacy Council's goal is to be a one-stop service. Some students participate in more than one of our programs simultaneously:
Adult Basic Education (ABE) - Provide literacy support to individuals in reading, writing and math.
English as a Second Language (ESL) - Support adults in their effort to speak, read and write English.
U.S. Citizenship - Prepare individuals for the naturalization test and interview.
General Education Degree Support (GED) - Prepare students for the GED examination.
Walworth County Jail Literacy - Provide literacy opportunities in reading, writing and math.
Lilly volunteered as a tutor for WCLC and enjoyed it so much that she joined the council as a staff member. Lilly was born in Croatia and understands the challenges facing those learning a new language and those who need assistance in growing their literacy skills. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master’s in Industrial Relations from Loyola University, and is a Certified Career Development Facilitator. Lilly’s background is in community and nonprofit program development. During her career, she has worked in occupational health, as a substitute teacher and for various human service organizations.
Instructional Support Specialist
Diane has over 40 years of experience in both classroom and as building and district level administrator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Eastern Michigan University, Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in reading at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Master’s of Science in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch College. English as a Second Language (ESL) was one of many curriculum programs that she managed during her tenure. Diane held the position of Director of Instruction for the East Troy School District for 12 years.
Our Board of Directors
Board President, Immigration Attorney, Soberalski Immigration Law, West Allis
Brigette has been actively involved with the Walworth County Literacy Council since 2004. She has served as a tutor and Program Coordinator, and has been a Board Member since 2010. Additionally, Brigette taught adult English as a Second Language for five years, and was nationally recognized as the 2020 "Adult Educator of the Year" by Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE). Literacy is a strong passion for her, and she applauds the tireless efforts of WCLC staff, volunteers and students in the community and jail.
Driver’s Education Instructor, Racine County Literacy
Richard is a founding director of the Walworth County Literacy Council. He also volunteers as a Tax-Aide, providing low- and moderate- income taxpayers with assistance in filing their personal income taxes. He is a retired school superintendent, a 30-year member of the Lakeshores Library System Board, a 32-year member of the Town of Dover Planning Committee, a 4-H adult leader for 55 years and an Army veteran.
Instructor, Adult Basic Education/English Language Learner at Gateway Technical College in Elkhorn
Debi has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in teaching ESL and Bilingual Education. She has 29 years of experience teaching second language learners, including K-12 and adults. In the technical college system, she has taught ELL classes, TOEFL test prep, workplace ELL, and ELL support classes.
Owner, Greenscapes Landscaping, Walworth, WI
In 2012, knowing a little bit of English, Josefina started as a student with WCLC. With her improved English and encouragement by her tutor, Josefina has been tutoring WCLC beginner English students since 2015. She also transitioned from the classroom to the WCLC boardroom. Along with hard work and determination, Josefina and her husband attribute the success of their family business to better communication with customers, as well as learning about business practices which have grown their customer base. Josefina acknowledges that as a result of adult literacy, she has been able to help her three children with their schoolwork and communicate better with her children’s teachers. She serves as Chief of the Election Committee in Walworth.
Carole grew up in Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, with teaching certifications in Special Education and Elementary Education and a Master’s in Education with a Reading Specialist license from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Carole has worked as an educator for over 30 years in Wisconsin, during which time she also obtained a Curriculum and Instruction Administration license from Alverno College in Milwaukee. During her career she has provided professional development, worked as a literacy coach to secondary teachers and led many curriculum development projects in the Delavan-Darien School District.
Training Specialist at Walworth County Job Center
Terry was raised on a dairy farm in Walworth County. She received her Bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She works as the Bilingual Employment and Training Specialist for Job Service, a bureau of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Terry worked for FEMA, the Los Angeles Bar Association, Fair Housing and the Los Angeles School District. She lived in Mexico and traveled throughout Spain. She volunteers at Open Arms Free Clinic and is a member of the Environmental Justice Task Force for SEWRPC (Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission). Terry has been an asset to the Walworth County Literacy Council since its inception. Her Spanish skills, connection with community organizations and dedication to literacy education are invaluable.
Terry M. Simmons
Dean, School of Protective and Human Services
Dean, Campus Affairs, Elkhorn Campus and Burlington Center
Gateway Technical College
Terry has over twenty years of post-secondary education. He has served as Special Assistant to the President, Vice President of Student Success; Dean of Student Support; Associate Dean of General Education and Academic Development; Minority Recruitment and Retention Specialist; Director of a Correctional Education College Program; Career Counselor; and as an instructor. Terry has amassed years of experience in managing and supervising educational staff and faculty at all levels. Terry holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Northern Michigan University, M.A. in Counselor Education from Northeastern Illinois University, Ed. S in Counselor Education from Northern Illinois University. Terry has been with Gateway Technical College for twenty - one years. Terry has served on several boards and currently serves on the Westosha Central High District School Board.
From Judy’s desire to teach one person to read and write, Walworth County Literacy Council (WCLC) has grown into an organization that has educated over 2,000 people since 2003. It is through Judy’s passion and efforts that Walworth County adults have access to free literacy resources. A dedicated teacher, she devoted her retirement years to directing the Walworth County Literacy Council.
With much gratitude to Tara Lovdahl for website design and Aaron Hurwitz (email@example.com) for website development.