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Warm Wishes

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, The Literacy & Learning Center has much to be thankful for. We started the year with extensive damage to our Learning Center from a frozen and burst pipe. The Highlands United Methodist Church offered their space for us to hold our programs while our building was being repaired, for which we are most grateful.

Several young students from The Literacy & Learning Center's after-school program enjoying learning and a row of books

The building was fully repaired by April, and we are thankful for the local businesses such as Highlands Handyman, Highlands Decorating Center, Dave Miller Plumbing, ServePro, and our landlords, Margaret O’Donnell and Al Bolt, who volunteered their time, labor, and funding to help the center re-open.


Our after-school program has been restructured thanks to the vision of our newest Programs Manager, Carline Cox, and students are being supported more than ever. We are grateful to our community partner organizations: The Bascom, International Friendship Center, Highlands Biological Station, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, Hudson Library, the Counseling Center of Highlands, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, and Highlands Police Department, for providing programming for After-School Enrichment. We are also thankful for the Highlands School teachers and administrators who support our work with their students for a common goal.

We are grateful to Allisha Mason, who provided a second round of summer camps this year, allowing us to help prevent the summer slide for more local youth than before. We are grateful to our newest full-time staff member, Carolyn Middlebrooks, who will be leading us on the exciting venture of our new pre-K program that will begin in 2024.


We are grateful to our many donors and community granting organizations, including Dogwood Health Trust, Highlands Motoring Festival, Regions Bank, Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church of Highlands, Macon County Community Funding Pool, Rotary Club of Highlands, Rotary Club of Highlands – Mountaintop, WNC Bridge Foundation, Glass Foundation, Cullasaja Women’s Outreach, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, The Williams Family Foundation, and Mountain Findings, for providing funding to make all of our programs available for free to the community. We are grateful to our devoted volunteers who patiently give of their time to foster understanding for our students. We are grateful to our Board of Directors: Kirk Dornbush (Board Chair), Vickie Betts, Mark Chmar (Vice Chair), John Golwen, Bill Lathem, Bob Lennon, Lisa Richards (Treasurer), Susan Smith, and Dawn Van Fleet (Secretary) for their dedication in steering the ship of learning.

We warmly wish peace and gratitude to all, especially during this giving season.

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