Literacy Council Of Western Arkansas Nonprofit Organization In Need Of Funding

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A local nonprofit group that teaches adults basic reading skills is in need of help after falling victim to budget cuts.

The Literacy Council of Western Arkansas typically receives state and federal grants, but around $45,000 has been cut from its budget this year.

That's not the only one. Nonprofits across the Natural State offering similar services have had their funding cut.

"For state funding, we went from $32,000 to $20,000 so that's the kind of major cuts that we've had," said Leah Lane, executive director of the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas.

Research shows that about 13 out of every 100 people struggle with fundamental literacy, which makes it difficult for them to make a living.

The Literacy Council's mission is to help students improve their basic reading, writing, and math skills. The group relies on volunteer tutors to work with adults in a variety of different subjects. However, the lack of funding has forced them to make some pay cuts, including losing employees and not being able to afford textbooks.

"I've taken a pay cut and we've had to lay off a long term employee that we've had for 17 years and it broke my heart," Lane said.

Martha Brown is a student at the Literacy Council. Brown said her future depends on this organization.

"You would have been laughing at me back then because I couldn't speak as I am now," she said.

The Literacy Council get some funding from United Way. However, it's still not enough to operate its building and reading programs fully. The nonprofit is now asking individuals and corporate businesses to help.

If you're interested in helping the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas, you can donate to their GoFundMe account.

If you would rather give back by volunteering, contact the nonprofit at (479) 783-2665.