Learn about our mission, meet our board members, and read our history.
The Tuscarawas County Literacy Coalition is a non-profit organization comprised of groups and individuals dedicated to enhancing traditional literacy as well as cultural, financial, medical and technological literacy for all Tuscarawas County residents. We promote public awareness and work collaboratively with local educators, literacy service providers, business, community and ministerial organizations to support and initiate programs that work toward the goal of enhanced literacy.
Denise Cooley has worked as an educator in Tuscarawas and Stark Counties for over 16 years. As an educator, administrator, and leader, she is dedicated to strengthening literacy skills in all populations, including those most vulnerable. She is active in her church, local 4-H programs, Dover Youth sports, and her neighborhood book club. Denise is committed to collaborating with local agencies to address the literacy needs in the community through TCLC. She resides in Dover with her husband Scott, and children Max and Scarlett.
Lori is the Community Services Coordinator at OhioMeansJobs Tuscarawas County. The job search process is quite different today than in years past. Technology, communication skills, and other barriers cause many to struggle and possibly miss opportunities. Becoming a TCLC board member provided the opportunity to collaborate with other members in an effort to share resources and improve literacy in the community. Lori believes in the mission of TCLC and looks forward to contributing to this worthy cause.
Chris is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator for Ohio State University Extension in Tuscarawas County. Chris’s primary areas of emphasis include nutrition, food safety, health, and wellness. She also provides leadership to county parenting initiatives, financial literacy efforts, and FCS-related 4-H programming. Her passion is to impact lives through the work she does in the community. Chris enjoys spending time with her family, husband Todd and daughters Adeline and Allison.
Jim is the director at the Dover Public Library. He is very passionate about our county’s annual One Book, One Community project – a grass roots reading initiative that celebrates reading, creates conversation, and brings people together. One Book could not happen without the support of TCLC. Jim loves working with the educators, librarians, tutors, and others who make up TCLC projects in the county. Creating a culture of reading in the Tuscarawas Valley is very important to him.
Kelsey is the Director of Marketing for DoverPhila Federal Credit Union. She is passionate about serving her community and connecting people with opportunities that empower them to reach their full potential. Kelsey believes in the Tuscarawas County Literacy Coalition’s mission and looks forward to building and strengthening collaborations to improve literacy within the Tuscarawas County community.
Tamara Benson is an adjunct English professor at Kent State University at Tuscarawas where she teaches College Writing courses. She is also Assistant Curator at Reeves Museum in Dover. There, she works in the archives, assists with events, runs the Victorian book club, and writes their Murder Mysteries and children's books featuring their mascot, Jeeves. She has been a voracious reader since childhood and has seen first-hand the healing power of books. She believes literacy and fostering an early love for reading are key to building a caring and cohesive community.
Shannon has joined the Tuscarawas County Literacy Coalition to help bring awareness to literacy and encourage reading within our community. Shannon resides in New Philadelphia with her husband, Scott, and children, Samantha and Seth, as well as their two dogs, Sporty and Obi.
The Tuscarawas County Literacy Coalition was established in April 2008. The official beginning was the culmination of cooperative work by many community members. Initially, the TCPL Literacy Coordinator, the director of our local ABLE program, and the director of our local Even Start Program met to discuss current literacy statistics in our county and ways to work collaboratively to improve those statistics. The structure and function of literacy coalitions nationwide were studied, and many hours of discussion took place with the then executive chair of the mayor’s Literacy Commission of Stark County. It was decided that a local literacy coalition would be of great value.
Still, the challenge remained of rallying community members around this idea and inspiring the support that would be needed for such a coalition to be effectively successful. This was the challenge that the Leadership Tuscarawas Class of 2008 embraced, and their commitment to the project, and their professional, cooperative and organizational skills led to a community information breakfast that was held on April 18, 2008. Over 75 community members attended this breakfast, indicative of strong community interest and recognition of need. Many agencies were represented, including educational, government, religious, social service, law enforcement and judicial, and individual community members who have a desire to be involved in Coalition projects. Many of the pledge cards we distributed were returned to us at the breakfast itself, and thus the Tuscarawas County Literacy Coalition was officially established.