“This may sound trite, but this program really makes a difference. You can see others succeed.”
Pat Maloney '68
The Brunner Literacy Center (BLC) was founded in 2011 by two Sisters of the Precious Blood, Sr. Maryann Bremke and Sr. Helen Weber.
Lifelong educators, both knew that they wanted to use their retirement to advance educational opportunities along the Salem Avenue corridor in northwest Dayton. Sr. Maryann and Sr. Helen sprang into action, working with ample community support to refurbish the former Rex appliance store in Salem Plaza.
Today, the BLC is proud to have served more than 2,000 adults, with more students joining every week. The BLC now operates out of two locations and empowers both tutors and students to meet remotely in public places such as libraries and coffee shops in order to increase community access to educational opportunities.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BLC immediately implemented a fourth avenue for individualized education: distance learning. Students and tutors now work together through video call or over the phone, using myriad academic resources. Distance learning will continue to be offered as an additional program, regardless of social distancing recommendations. As a school co-founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame deNamur, many of our CJ community members have found their way to the BLC.
For Chaminade graduate Pat Maloney ‘68, volunteering with the BLC continues a 40-year career in the field of education with an additional bonus. “This may sound trite, but this program really makes a difference. You can see others succeed.”
Pat talks about his involvement with the STOP program on Gettysburg Avenue where he serves as an intake coordinator for the BLC. “I’m helping to open doors for the low-level offenders who don’t see a future for themselves. For many of them, school was not a positive place and they lack that person in their lives that can ask them where they want to go in the future.”
Pat has watched individuals with a 6th grade education go on to complete a GED and become mechanics, cooks, and gain much confidence along the way. One 60-year old man stated his reason to be at Brunner, “I want to be able to read the Bible.”
Additional assistance from the CJ community:
Jim Brooks, CJ tennis coach and former English teacher
Kateri Dillon ‘12 site coordinator
Anna Meyer Fiorita ‘71
Pat Foley ‘50
Pat Maloney ‘68
Kathie (Kathleen) Drummer Menker ‘62, site coordinator
Betty Naughton ‘50
Sandy Ann Prikkel ‘82
-- Published on August 7, 2020