The Rogers County Literacy Council (RCLC) has welcomed M. Edel Godwin as its new executive director.
“Edel brings a combination of intense professionalism with an optimistic energized point of view for the future of the Council,” said Mike Gardner, board president. “RCLC has a committed board and volunteer membership; Edel is a great complement to that. We are delighted she has accepted this leadership role. She is already busy refocusing our mission and growing RCLC as it provides volunteer tutoring to adults in need throughout Rogers County.”
Godwin will be responsible for expanding the mission of improved adult literacy throughout Rogers County, according to Gardner.
Godwin returned to Claremore last summer after spending two years in Ontario, Canada.
“Claremore has flourished in that time, and I am delighted to be back in my adopted home,” she said. “The state and county both give every appearance of a thriving community. My role in that growth will be facilitating improved literacy skills, which in turn improves job skills, boosting continued economic growth. Rogers County has a lot to offer employers and those searching for employment.”
Godwin first came to Claremore in 2007, via Ireland, Germany and upstate New York, as well as time in Lawton and Norman.
“I hope the people who have lived here all their lives appreciate as much as us blow-ins how wonderful the location, the schools, and the community are here,” Godwin said.
Through her life experiences she has come to understand how literacy can impact every aspect of life.
“Living in Germany in the 90s, I struggled with the language initially. I will never forget doing things like buying conditioner instead of shampoo because I didn’t understand a label! We take so much for granted about living in our familiar world,” Godwin said. “Many people in the area are well-traveled and often tell me of their trips to Ireland and abroad. I bet each of them has a story about language or culture adjustments, even if just on vacation.”
For adults who can’t read, successful intervention, encouragement and identification of root causes can make a huge difference in a person’s joy in life or professional potential, according to Godwin.
“The reasons why a neighbor or family member may not read or write well are many and complex and you may never be aware that they struggle. The remarkable learned skills that hide a person’s abilities in these areas include exceptional memory and a way of participating that either hides or at least deflects the idea that there is a problem,” Godwin said. “I urge your readers to start the conversation at home and in the community. Tell whomever you meet — RCLC is here and we can help.”
Godwin is a graduate of The Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland. Her local work experience includes the Rogers County Historical Society, Belvidere Mansion, and Adpro of Ok, Inc. Prior to living full-time in the United States Godwin worked for American Express, International, Inc. and the Intercontinental Hotel Group.
The Rogers County Literacy Council is a private nonprofit formed in 1985 as a result of a series of stories published in the Claremore Daily Progress newspaper about illiteracy. The council is a member of the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition and ProLiteracy America. It is supported by the generosity of the Rogers County residents, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, and the Rogers County United Way.
On Feb. 11 the council will host its annual appreciation dinner for students and tutors at the Claremore Community Center. The event will bring students, teachers and supporters of the council together.
“I am looking forward to meeting more of the students and tutors. Already I have been inspired by those I have met,” Godwin said. “’Each One Teach One’ is a phrase that encapsulates our mission. Though many tutors teach more than one person — for example, ESL is taught in a classroom in some locations — we have so much to offer each other,” Godwin said.
Any person seeking help or wanting to volunteer should contact Godwin by email at email@example.com, or call (918) 227-4331. Office hours Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the literacy room at the Will Rogers Library.