NORTH FORSYTH — A local nonprofit that promotes adult education in Forsyth County celebrated its recent expansion and move to a new, centralized location.
Literacy Forsyth, an adult literacy and education services program, opened its doors at 5140 Chattahoochee Industrial Park in north Forsyth to be closer to many of the organization’s in-need students.
“Since I got here in 2011, we’ve been in a small room at the Family Center, but they’re only open Monday through Friday 8-to-5, and that’s hard for any of our adult students who work,” said Annaliza Thomas, executive director.
Literacy Forsyth opened in 1993. English and GED classes have been administered in partnership with Lanier Technical College for some time, but Thomas said adding a centralized location on the county’s north end allows them to provide services to many people who would otherwise not find access.
“A lot of people in north Forsyth qualify for our services, but they can’t get down to Lanier Tech,” Thomas said.
The space will be used as an independent learning center during the day and for classrooms at night.
Classes can run four to five times a week, as opposed to just twice in the borrowed space at Lanier Tech. Those classes, however, will continue.
Ann Decherd, chairwoman of the Literacy Forsyth board, said classes are taught after hours at Kelly Mill Elementary, but “that gets harder when there’s no air conditioning during the summer with school out.”
The new location will offer “a confirmed and solid presence” in the community, she said.
Increasing the educational base of any community is beneficial to all residents, said Denise Leeson, the board’s vice chair.
She noted every high school graduate gives back at least $8,000 in taxes to the community and that having a high school diploma “opens doors to jobs and the opportunity to go to college. The more educated parents are, the better prepared they are to help the education of their kids. It’s a self-perpetuating circle.”
The new location also serves volunteers well to have a home base to leave supplies, she said.
“It just feels more like it’s a home,” Leeson said. “That makes it more welcoming for students. It’s hard to admit you need help, so anything to make it easier for them is great.”