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Otto Bremer Foundation Grant to Fund Software Technology Project

EAU CLAIRE – Wisconsin Literacy has recently received a $68,120 two-year grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to fund a technology project supporting Literacy Volunteers – Chippewa Valley (LVCV).  In addition to Literacy Volunteers – Chippewa Valley, participants in the project are Buffalo Pepin Literacy Alliance in Durand, Hope Academy in La Crosse, Indianhead Community Action Agency (ICAA) Crossroads Literacy, Sawyer and Washburn Counties in Minong, Northern Waters Literacy in St. Croix Falls, and the West CAP Literacy Program in Glenwood City.

The purpose of the grant is to create a broad, positive impact on communities in northwest Wisconsin. The project will build the capacity of the literacy agencies to use data in support of their literacy services. The literacy agencies will be part of a pilot project that will use LACES software to help them coordinate learner and tutor matches, maintain records of learner progress, and make programmatic decisions in order to better serve their local communities.

“This project will provide significant technology improvement for our organization,” said MaryJo VanGompel, executive director of Literacy Volunteers – Chippewa Valley. “It is a web-based, user friendly software that is much easier for reporting purposes,” she said.  “Marge Beebe will be the project coordinator for the project, and she will help get the six agencies that are using it up and running on LACES. It will allow us to set up metrics to measure outcomes for grant reporting,” VanGompel said. Beebe is the data technology specialist and family literacy instructor at Literacy Volunteers. The goal is to have the software in place by the start of the Fall 2014 school year.

About Literacy Volunteers — Chippewa Valley

Literacy Volunteers – Chippewa Valley (LVCV) is a community-based literacy program that trains and supports volunteers to educate adults and their families, helping them acquire the skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency and function effectively in their roles as citizens, workers, and family members. Founded in 1986, LVCV’s goal is to help one individual, one family, and one community at a time and is realized through  core programs: Pair or small group tutoring; Family Literacy; Workplace Education; Corrections; and Citizenship. All programs utilize tutoring provided by trained and supported volunteer tutors. With offices in Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire counties, LVCV is classified as a tax exempt, 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

For more information, please visit or contact Mary Jo VanGompel, Executive Director, Literacy Volunteers — Chippewa Valley by phone at 715-834-0222.

About the Otto Bremer Foundation

Created in 1944, the Otto Bremer Foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities. This mission is based on the intent of founder Otto Bremer. His vision and longstanding commitment to communities during and after the Great Depression are carried forward today through the Foundation’s work in the places that are homes and neighbors to Bremer banks. The Foundation strives to help build healthy, vibrant communities — communities where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized and opportunities for economic, civic and social participation are within everyone’s reach.

The Otto Bremer Foundation owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank and receives an equivalent share of the bank profits that are paid out as dividends. This means that a large portion of bank profit is invested back in local communities through grants and program-related investments. In 2013, the Foundation provided approximately $38 million in grants and program-related investments.