June 16, 2017, Detroit, Michigan – Spring has ushered in new life to the Dominican Literacy Center as it welcomes a new director and begins a program to boost the English skills of a select group of students.
The new executive director is Kimberly Williams, who will be the third director since Dominican opened its doors in 1989. She follows in the footsteps of Sister Marie Damien Schoenlien, OP, and Sister Janice Brown, OP.
“We are delighted that Kimberly has a deep desire to continue the legacy of Dominican Literacy Center,” Sister Janice said. “She brings leadership and creativity and plans to continue to be involved in the collaborative efforts needed to address the employability skills our community members need in order to be part of Detroit’s great comeback.”
Ms. Williams is steeped in the mission and ministry of Dominican Literacy Center. She served as program coordinator and then certified reading instructor at Dominican over the past 11 years.
Her résumé includes 15 years teaching adults and youth literacy skills. As a strong advocate for literacy, she has created partnerships and developed programming that supports parenting skills, improves job readiness, and enhances community involvement. Ms. Williams has a master’s degree in reading, has taught at Henry Ford Community College, and is a certified ProLiteracy Trainer.
“I believe strongly that education is an equalizer and am thrilled to be part of the DLC’s good works,” Ms. Williams said. ”I look forward to taking my passion and advocacy for literacy to the next level.”
Select Dominican students have been participating in small group classes to boost their reading comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, critical thinking, and writing skills. Participating students are chosen by Dominican staff to attend the specialized classes, which use the Endeavor Reading and Writing for Adults series published by New Readers Press. Students reading at the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade levels are invited to join classes, which are designed to give students wanting to earn a GED an intense program to boost their reading level. To join Dominican’s GED preparation classes, they must be reading at a ninth-grade level. The Endeavor classes speed students toward that goal.
Among the strategies taught in these classes is critical thinking. Students learn to connect the dots on skills that they will need to reach their academic and professional goals.
By Sister Suzanne Schreiber, OP
November 17, 2016, Detroit – Sister Mary Lou Putrow, OP, was recognized as one who exemplifies the phrase, “Change the World with a Giving Heart,” the theme for the 25th Annual National Philanthropy Day dinner in Detroit.
She was one among many who were recognized as Distinguished Volunteers during the event, hosted by the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The dinner was November 12 at Cobo Hall in Detroit.
Sister Mary Lou was nominated by Sister Janice Brown, Director of the Dominican Literacy Center (DLC) in Detroit, for her kind and consistent service. “Balancing the checkbook, taking care of the front desk when needed, and tutoring – these are some of the ways Mary Lou brings life and support to the Center,” Sister Janice said. “She is amazing in the ways she gives so unassumingly and generously.”
Sister Mary Lou also initiated a project that enabled DLC students to tell their stories, many of which conveyed their life struggles. In several interviews with each one, Sister Mary Lou listened with reverence to details about what brought them to the DLC, where they are on the path of learning and growing. The stories were published in a booklet to share with family and friends and to inspire other students.
The DLC is one of seven literacy centers founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters under the umbrella of Dominican Rea Literacy Corporation. The first of the seven, the DLC, was founded in 1989.