THE MIDLANDS LITERACY INITIATIVE AND ITS PARTNERS
Other partners support the MLI by serving on the MLI Board, donating classroom space and materials, providing instruction, and much more. These include:
School districts: Local school districts supply instructors, classroom space, and materials to many MLI programs, in addition to advising the MLI board on adult education issues in the community.
The Midlands One-Stop Center: The One-Stop refers clients to appropriate adult education services, donates classroom space, provides employment services, and hosts a variety of computer, pre-employment, and basic skills courses.
Community-based organizations: Community-based organizations provide adult education services and classroom space, and they recruit learners in collaboration with the MLI. Examples include the Oliver Gospel Mission, Progressive Church, Eau Claire Community Council, and New Horizon Family Care Center.
State agencies: State government offices, such as the state Division of Adult Education, the Literacy Resource Center at the South Carolina Department of Education, and the Department of Labor, help the MLI formulate policy, obtain funds and resources, provide professional development, and disseminate information on the MLI throughout the Midlands area and the rest of the state.
Philanthropic organizations and donors: Like the Knight Foundation that provided the initial grant to the United Way for the MLI, other charitable organizations, such as the UPS Foundation, and individual donors contribute funds and in-kind support. The Sisters of Charity, for example, helped New Horizon equip its classrooms, and an individual donor contributed to the building of the Tender Years Child Development Center.
There were several reasons why MLI was successful in getting grants for their initiative and for their partners. United Way paid a full-time staff member, Kathy Olson, to coordinate and lead the MLI. This gave her the time and organizational resources to develop grant proposals. It also helped that United Way is a private nonprofit that regularly forms partnerships with government agencies, making them eligible for a wide range of private and public grants—local, state, and national. Access to United Way funds also helps when grants require matching funds. Finally, their nonprofit status enables them to receive in-kind donations from businesses.