Skyline Literacy Gears up for the 2022 Great Community Give


Skyline Literacy

ESL classes help adult students learn English as a second language. Course goals vary from developing reading skills, going to the doctor without an interpreter, or even attending a parent teacher conference.

Nathan Good, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Local nonprofit Skyline Literacy is preparing for this April’s Great Community Give in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County by setting a goal to increase their number of donors. 

Skyline Literacy is a nonprofit adult education program in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County with an objective to increase literacy and provide opportunities for individuals in the community. The organization offers a citizenship education program, English classes and individual tutoring. 

The Great Community Give is a local initiative taking place on Apr. 20 that promotes the act of charitable giving to nonprofit organizations in the area. As part of The Great Community Give in 2021, Skyline literacy was able to secure $20,000 worth of donations. Preparing for this year’s give, the organization has set a goal to have $25,000 in donations – an increase from the previous amount. 

Donors are important to Skyline Literacy, because they help provide funding for the nonprofit, which allows them to continue offering services to more than 300 students per year. 

“Funds come from different sources,” said Executive Director of Skyline Literacy Nelly Moreno Shenk. “The state grants are decreasing; we are in more need of community help. We are thankful for the community for keeping us afloat when we don’t have grants.”

Not only are donors a significant part of the organization, but Skyline Literacy views their volunteers as the backbone of the nonprofit. Each year, the organization trains 70 to 90 tutors in order to offer a large amount of classes. 

In a relational world where communication is key, it’s important to make sure everyone has the ability and the resources to be able to communicate clearly with their family, friends and community,” said Spanish minor and junior Leisha Nissley. “Skyline Literacy is a great organization that supports English language learners and partners with the surrounding community to instruct and empower independent adult literacy.”

Many volunteers find that working with Skyline Literacy is an enriching and personal experience.

“I love to see my students grow and feel like they can achieve their goals with the right help,” said Moreno Shenk. “It is a community effort. I came to this country in my forties, and I did not speak the language. I am in the same boat as my students.”