Lynne Wheeler Receives Award for Outstanding Literacy Program Director
Words can change worlds. Perhaps not on a global scale, but definitely on a personal level.
Lynne Wheeler, the Program Manager for Campbell County Public Library System’s Literacy Program, has witnessed this on more than one occasion.
Lynne, who has been the Literacy Program Manager since 2010, was recently recognized by the Virginia Literacy Foundation for her efforts as a leader among literacy program directors in the Commonwealth.
On July 12, at the Blue Ridge Conference Center in Roanoke, she was commended as the 2019 award recipient of the Nancy Jiranek Outstanding Director of a Nonprofit Literacy Program in Virginia.
“I started as a volunteer,” said Lynne. “After completing the tutor training, I was matched with a student with low-level reading skills. It was an eye opening experience to realize the sorts of difficulties she faced.”
Prior to her employment with the Library, Lynne had worked in varying industries, including retail and education. She knew first-hand, exactly how difficult life could be without the basic literacy skills necessary, which is what led her to become a literacy advocate and ultimately, funnel her energies into creating a top volunteer program in our locality.
“I also volunteered to help a couple from Mexico improve their English skills,” Lynne shares. ”He had been experiencing communication problems at work, so we worked on work-related terminology as well as other “survival” English. It is incredibly rewarding working with adults. For them, it’s not, ’I want to make an A on this test.’ It’s more likely to be, ‘If I don’t learn this, I’ll never get/keep a job.’”
The award, named after benefactress, Nancy Jiranek, is dedicated to her memory and her lifelong passion for helping those without basic literacy skills succeed.
Award recipients are chosen by Mrs. Jiranek’s family and members of the Virginia Literacy Foundation Board of Directors and staff. Lynne’s family, coworker, Lisa and, Library Director, Jordan, came to celebrate her acceptance of the award.
“I cannot think of a more deserving individual,” notes Jordan Welborn, Library Director. “Lynne embodies the very spirit of our library’s mission: to meet – and exceed – the educational, informational, and cultural needs of our many publics. Our county literacy program is thriving, due to her shining example.”
Congratulations, Lynne, and thank you for all you do!