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posted: 2/20/2013 12:13 PM

Waukegan library Literacy Suite reopens after expansion project

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Waukegan Public Library submission

The Waukegan Public Library reopened the North Shore Gas Literacy Suite Jan. 22 after an expansion project that tripled the existing program and classroom space for family and adult education.

The construction was partially funded by end-of-year donations totaling $10,055 from the "Deck the Walls Campaign," and the remainder paid with allocated construction funds.

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The library's Literacy Suite originally opened in January 2010 offering no-cost educational opportunities for adults and families in reading, writing, math or speaking English. Within the short time since the room was open, the great demand for literacy programs at the library required additional space to accommodate large student waiting lists for classes such as Conversational ESL, Citizenship, and Leamos and space to hold new classes like Spanish pre-GED and Health Literacy Education.

Construction began in December to split the Literacy Suite into three classrooms. The new spaces can accommodate groups of up to 20 for computer classes, family and early learning, adult education and tutoring. There are also plans to purchase a second library SMART Board to help with family and adult literacy classes.

The Waukegan Public Library is offering opportunities for individuals and local companies to sponsor one of the new Literacy Suite's children or adult classrooms. Sponsors will have their name prominently displayed on the wall of the room they are sponsoring and will be included in all publicity for that room, including class and program schedules.

The current classrooms available for sponsorship include a tutor/study room for $5,000, a children's classroom for $15,000, an adult computer classroom for $20,000, and an adult classroom for $25,000.

For more information on how to sponsor a classroom, contact Elizabeth Stearns at elizabethstearns@waukeganpl.info or call (847) 623-2041, ext. 256. The library is still accepting donations to help offset the costs of construction. Patrons may contribute online at www.waukeganpl.org. All donations are tax deductible, accepted through the library's foundation, a nonprofit with a registered 501(c)(3).

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