LitNet Announces Two New Board Members

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LEE, Mass. — Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) is pleased to announce the election of Terry Cooper and Leslie A. Shatz to the organization's Board of Directors. 
"We are so pleased to welcome Terry and Leslie at this important stage of our growth as the Board and Staff face the challenge of responding to the Pandemic. Since September, LitNet's one-to-one, in-person tutoring has taken off by offering our ESOL, high school equivalency, and U.S. Citizenship test preparation online,"  Merle Duskin Kailas, president of the LitNet Board said.  
Terry Cooper is a graduate of Bank Street College. She taught third grade in New York City and, after several years, went into educational publishing. She worked for several publishers before becoming the Editor-in-chief and then Publisher of Professional Books at Scholastic, Inc. After 20 years at Scholastic, she retired and got certified to teach English as a second language. She has taught English classes in the Queens library system.  
Cooper said she "joined the LitNet board with the goal of helping teach English to non-native speakers so that they have this essential tool for success."
Leslie Shatz has a BA from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA from Western New England College. After a brief stint as a high school history teacher, she worked for two Springfield advertising/marketing agencies before becoming the Director of Development and Marketing at the Community Music School of Springfield, a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. After relocating to the Berkshires with her husband in 2000, Shatz worked as a marketing and public relations consultant for two Berkshire-based art galleries. In 2005 she joined the development staff of the Norman Rockwell Museum. Since her retirement, she has been a volunteer in the Berkshire community and has served on the board of several area organizations.
"It has been my pleasure to tutor, and to get to know, a very committed LitNet learner from Ecuador since 2019," Shatz said. "As a LitNet board member, I look forward to learning more about the organization and to apply my experience and skills to fostering its important mission: To transform the lives of adult learners, both immigrant and U.S.-born, through the power of literacy, education, and advocacy." 
After completing a nine-week Distance Learning Initiative, LitNet is in the process of training all of its tutors in best practices for virtual learning. The organization anticipates a complete or near-complete return to pre-pandemic levels of tutoring and advocacy, with tutor-learner pairs meeting once a week for individualized education and support.

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Literacy Network Adds Two New Staff Members

LEE, Mass. — Amanda Giracca and Miguel Silva have joined Literacy Network of South Berkshire as Development & Communications Associate and Learner Liaison, respectively.  
"Amanda and Miguel bring the necessary professional and personal skills to their respective roles," Executive Director Leigh Doherty said."It takes a team, and I am really excited by this one." 
Giracca, a Berkshire County native, is a writer and former writing professor who most recently taught at the University at Albany. She has been a volunteer tutor for LitNet, and served as an intern for the organization's annual appeal starting last fall.  
Silva, who came to the Berkshires at age 10 from Bogotá, Colombia, currently teaches Spanish at Berkshire Country Day School. The newly created role of Learner Liaison is tasked with improving outreach between the organization's staff and largely Latinx immigrant learners.  
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