The Woodward News

October 13, 2013

Literacy council hosting new event

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — What does a glass of wine, a blank canvas and a skillful art instructor have in common?

Nothing unless you are planning to attend the first ever Art and Hors d'oeuvers event, Oct. 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., presented by the Northwest Oklahoma Literacy Council.

The event will be held at the Pioneer Room in Woodward.

Since 1992, the Northwest Oklahoma Literacy Council, a volunteer based non-profit, has provided numerous free reading instruction programs to adults here.

Through the years, the organization has operated and offered all its free programs on a shoestring budget, said event organizer, Robin Gunter.

This inaugural event is one of its first attempts to offer a large scale, interactive fund raising activity on the part of the NWOLC, she said.

The mostly volunteer organization hopes to reach out to the community to expand support for the organization and the work it does here, Gunter said

According to Gunter, Arts and Hors d'oeuvres will offer people a chance to do something different at a fund raiser - something less stressful.

The  idea is to wear what you are most comfortable wearing, perch yourself and a glass of wine if you desire next to your plate of goodies and begin painting.

With a well known Oklahoma City artist and instructor Jennifer Robbins at your side, you might just paint that fall masterpiece you have always yearned to create, Gunter said.

The cost of the event, $40, includes food, paint brushes and canvas, Gunter said.

There will be a cash wine bar available as well as other beverages such as water and pop, Gunter said.

The idea for the event is also a chance to celebrate a recent small grant from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. The grant, $9,500, is ear marked for the significant efforts the local organization has made toward adult literacy.

The grant was recently presented to the organization by State Sen. Bryce Marlatt as well as State Rep. Mike Sanders.

"They are very deserving they do a great job for the community the work they do changes individuals lives," Marlatt said.

The  event is geared toward informing the public of the work the literacy council has been doing in the Woodward Community since its inception in 1988, Gunter said.

According to Northwest Oklahoma Literacy Council Program Coordinator, Jan Case-Wills, in the last 12 months, the Northwest Oklahoma Literacy Council has more than doubled in size.

"We have increased our tutor volunteer base by 270 percent and we have increased the number of literacy students we serve by 139 percent," Case-Wills said.

What does this mean for the community?

According to Case-Wills, while there are help wanted signs in the windows and doors at some local businesses, someone is unable to apply because they have a secret they have been keeping, they can't read or write well enough.

"While there are many worthwhile organizations to support in our community, we believe that literacy is fundamental to all of our causes," Case-Wills said. "At no charge, the Northwest Oklahoma Literacy Council provides reading, writing and speaking skills to teachable adults in the tri-county area."

For more information on this upcoming event or the literacy council call 580-254-8582.