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Deck the Walls Campaign


The Waukegan Public Library has partnered with the College of Lake County and Literacy Volunteers of Lake County for over 28 years to provide adult and family literacy at no cost to the students. Although our efforts are well established, the need for literacy programs continues to grow. Current statistics show us that:

  • 189,000 adults in Lake County need a GED, Census 2010
  • 96% of Lake County adults in need of English as a Second Language instruction are not being served*
  • 90% of Lake County adults in need of Adult Basic Education and GED preparation are not being served*

* Illinois Community College Board, Area Planning Council on Adult Education

YOU have the power to help the Library change Waukegan and powerfully and positively impact the community it serves. Today, more people than ever are seeking the services of the Waukegan Public Library and we are bursting at the seams! Students are being tutored in hallways, programs have to be held after hours and literacy programs have waiting lists. There are new programs we would like to add, but we lack the space to hold them.

We need more space! And we urgently need your help. By supporting the Waukegan Public Library’s Operation Deck the Walls: Literacy Suite Expansion Project, you will help us in our mission to provide top-quality educational resources for all who seek them.

Beginning in mid-December and continuing through late January we will be renovating and subdividing our North Shore Gas Literacy Suite to create capacity for our programs. This renovation will allow us to increase our classrooms from three to five rooms for programming and study space in an effort to meet the ever-increasing
need for relevant educational programming for adults.

The Library is offering opportunities for you, or your company, to sponsor a classroom. The current classrooms that are available for sponsorship include:

  • Tutor/study room, capacity 8-10 students $5,000
  • Children’s Classroom, capacity 10 children $15,000
  • Adult Computer Classroom, capacity 20 students $20,000
  • Adult Classroom, capacity 49 students $25,000

Sponsors will have their name prominently displayed on the wall of the room they are sponsoring, and will be included in all publicity for that room which includes advertising of the room for programs on an ongoing basis. For example:
Family Literacy will be held in the Smith/Jones Classroom on the lower level of the library beginning Friday, January 22, 2013.

Please contact Elizabeth Stearns, Assistant Director of Community Services at estearns [at] waukeganpl [dot] info or 847-623-2041 ext. 256 for further information about classroom sponsorship.

If you are unable to sponsor a classroom, please consider a tax-deductible donation to Operation Deck the Walls!

Through grit, determination and commitment, success stories are being written right here in our Library. Your gift will change lives for people like:

Rosa Aguayo formerly struggled with her English and  twice-failed her verbal Citizenship Exam. After eight weeks of classes at the Library, she passed her exam and is now a U.S. Naturalized Citizen. The Library’s program changed her life and gave her the confidence to register to vote and become a proud and engaged member of our community.

Gabriela Luna, a young mother of two, successfully completed a conversational ESL program at the Library, equipping her with the tools and confidence to enroll in College of Lake County’s GED program.  Upon completion of her course of study, Gabriela will be better prepared to enter into the workforce. The Library has changed Gabriela’s life and now she is moving forward with her education!

In addition, Andrea, Gabriela’s 12-year-old daughter is now on the school honor roll thanks to the Library’s Homework Help Program.