In any thriving community, there are some organizations which create lasting positive change. Our neighbors at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning do that for Lexington.
Just a block from Lowell's in Gratz Park, The Carnegie Center weaves together a unique set of programs to make Lexington a better, more educated, more literate place.
For example, the Carnegie Center is working to establish Lexington as a nationally- and regionally-recognized center for literature.
As part of that effort, the Center offers writing and publishing workshops and conferences for budding authors - helping new writers learn the process of starting, completing, and publishing their works.
And these workshops are not just theoretical exercises: they include insights directly from literary agents and excellent local and regional writers, including Barbara Kingsolver, Nikky Finney, and Bobbie Ann Mason. New writers get to learn from experienced ones.
Beyond writing, the Carnegie Center also offers adult workshops in such diverse topics as GRE preparation, yoga, computer use, bookbinding, entrepreneurship, Spanish, French, English as a second language, and blogging.
Most of these courses are very reasonably priced, and many are offered for free.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Carnegie Center is what they do for children. This includes reading groups and book clubs for kids as young as 2 years old, and progresses into reading, writing, math, and Spanish classes for elementary school students. For middle school students, the Carnegie Center also offers classes in writing, computer-based art, and poetry.
Not only does the Carnegie Center help adult writers - they are also nurturing Lexington's next generation of writers and readers.
At Lowell's, we are especially big fans of Carnegie's award-winning K-12 tutoring programs. These include one-on-one tutoring for over 180 students each week during the school year. Volunteers work with each student to help develop their reading, writing, and math proficiency. The program is so popular that all 180 spots were filled only minutes after the Center began accepting reservations.
Because the one-on-one tutoring program fills so soon, the Center also offers the Carnegie Club - after-school tutoring in small groups - and an additional summer tutoring program.
Even better? Most of the Carnegie Center's classes for kids are free, and the tutoring programs are $50 or less.
With these (and many other) programs, the Carnegie Center is creating a new "Cycle of Literacy" - smarter kids, smarter adults, smarter writers - which creates new opportunities for individuals and substantial benefits for our entire community. We are fortunate to have them here.
Lowell's is proud to support the Carnegie Center and its one-on-one tutoring program. We believe that smarter kids make a better Lexington.
And we love a better Lexington.