The Junior League of Oklahoma City is saying goodbye to a 10-year literacy campaign, but its impact will be felt for years to come, agency leaders said.
The Changing Lives through Literacy campaign began in 2004 with the simple goal of boosting literacy throughout the Oklahoma City area. The campaign reached people in a variety of ways, from story times at the Oklahoma City Zoo to a program that allowed volunteers to visit hospitals to read to veterans.
“It was a planned 10-year campaign,” Junior League of Oklahoma City President Kristen Brown said. “When it started we wanted to see what we could do if we focused our efforts and partnered with some other organizations in the city like the library. It has been successful so it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye.”
In a decade, the program has given out 116,000 books, $134,000 worth of supplies and racked up about $400,000 worth of volunteer time. It has served an estimated 37,000 people over that time.
To mark the end of the campaign, the Junior League has put together a book titled “Goodnight OKC.” The book officially wraps up the campaign this month. It is illustrated by Margaret Reynolds Hoge.
“We tried to think of something that we could to do celebrate our accomplishments,” Brown said. “This is a nice legacy piece. It’s a reminder of the time we’ve spent and I think it’s something the city can have and enjoy.”
The book is available for purchase at www.jloc.org and at some metro area bookstores. For more information, call 843-5668.
As one campaign ends, another begins. The Junior League is planning on spending the next five years focusing on health, partnering with other agencies in the city.
“We’re a little sad to see it go but we’ll move on to focus on improving health among people in Oklahoma City,” Brown said. “But while the focus will change there will still be a literacy component to it.”