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Shelby Literacy Center at risk of closing due to lack of funding

The decades-old resource in Collierville could be days away from closing its doors due to a lack of funding.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — For 35 years, families could count on the Shelby Literacy Center for help with reading or learning English. Now, the decades-old resource could be days away from closing its doors, due to lack of funding.

Regina Gonzalez comes to the center twice a week.  

"I had been coming here for almost a year,” said Gonzalez. "Spanish is my native language."

Gonzalez is from Mexico. She's one of several adults learning English at the Shelby Literacy Center in Collierville.

"Coming here is good for my language, is good for the culture. And it's also good to socialize and meet people here," said Gonzalez.

This same center is also helping the Smith family.

"My son is diagnosed with ADHD,” said mom Melissa Smith. “It's hard for him to sit still he has, like when he's in class."

For a while, her 13-year-old son Andrew, struggled with reading.

"Finding this place was just a complete blessing,” said Smith. “By the end of the year, he almost had a 4.0. I just want every child to have the opportunity that Andrew did."

Now, the non-profit, helping hundreds of families each year, needs help keeping their doors open.

“It’s just been tough coming out of COVID," said Executive Director Penny Aronson. “We really weren't seeing the donation pools starting to come in."

According to Aronson, this year, they were short about $68,000 dollars and at risk of closing for the Fall semester.

But this team isn't giving up hope. Volunteers, the board of directors, and staff are raising the money on their own.

“We really need to raise that $68,000. We're halfway there,” said Aronson. “That'll give us enough to get through six months. If we do get this funding right now, to be able to continue to get more staff back in here to run these programs."

To learn more about the Shelby Literacy Center and how to donate, click here.

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