ESCC and ESLC Deepen Partnership

08/20/2013

MELFA, VIRGINIA – On August 1, The Eastern Shore Literacy Council (ESLC) moved its operational offices to the Adult Education offices in what most people know as the “White Building” on Eastern Shore Community College’s (ESCC) Melfa campus.  This places the Literacy Council’s staff inthe same location with ESCC’s Regional Adult Education Program staff.  “Locating both programs in the same building is really designed to benefit alladult learners on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,” said Laura Chuquin-Naylor, ESLC’s Executive Director.  “We have always worked closely with ESCC’sAdult Education program, and we refer learners to one another based on their needs and skill levels.  Often, our clients are not certain which program is right for them until after their skills have been assessed and the staff can make professional recommendations.”

Amy Shockley, ESCC’s Regional Program Manager, added, “Sometimes, in the past, people would initially come to one program and ended up getting referred to the other program.  That would cause inconvenient travel time, additional appointments and frustration that might crush motivation.  Now, everyone will know to come to the ESCC campus, and no matter what their skill level, they will be in the right place!”

The idea for co-location came about as the Virginia Department of Education has been changing policies and funding formulas to encourage enhanced cooperation among all providers of adult education and literacy training.  In 2012, ESCC and ESLC joined with both Accomack and Northampton County School Districts to form the Eastern Shore Regional Adult Education Coordinating Committee.  These organizations have been working more closely together over the past two years to streamline programs and achieve greater efficiency.

“This new committee structure really gave all of our organizations more opportunities to think creatively and learn about each other’s missions,” said Eddie Swain, ESCC’s Dean of Workforce Development Services.  “ESLC’s mission and the mission of ESCC Adult Education program are so similar, we immediately decided last year to place some ESLC classes on the ESCC campus.  At that point, it was only natural to start trying to figure out ways that we could co-locate our staffs and further integrate each organizations unique strengths and resources.”

Shockley added, “We are really looking forward to working more closely with Laura Naylor and her staff.  It is great to be able to work side by side with them in the same office building.  Naylor remembered that the ESLC staff worked on the ESCC campus for the first seven years after the organization was established in 1986, saying, “So, this is sort of like coming home again, and that is really very nice, especially since we know that the partnership will benefit not only the College and the Literacy Council, but also the learners we both serve.”