tuscarawas county literacy coalition logo

About Us

Learn about our mission, meet our board members, and read our history.

Our Mission

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.

Our Board

Denise Cooley Headshot

Denise Cooley; Board President

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.

Head shot of Lori Douglass

Lori Douglass; Vice President

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.

Christine Kendle

Christine Kendle; Secretary

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.

Image of Jim Gill, Tuscarawas Literacy Coalition Treasurer

Jim Gill; Treasurer

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.

Image of Kelsey McConaha; Marketing & Public Relations Chair

Kelsey McConaha; Marketing & Public Relations Chair

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.

Courtney Wallace

Courtney Wallace; Member at Large

Courtney is the Bolivar Branch Supervisor for the Tuscarawas County Public Library System. Her passion in life is helping people and serving the community. As a student, she struggled with reading and writing, which is why she believes in the literacy coalition’s mission statement. She understands how the right book and person can make all the difference in the world. She received the Trojan Pride Award from the Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools for outstanding service and dedication to the TV community in February 2023.

Rachael Bowers

Rachael Bowers; Member at Large

Rachael Bowers is an English Language Arts and yearbook teacher at Newcomerstown High School. She also serves on the One Book One Community committee through the Tuscarawas County Literacy Coalition. She constantly strives to pass down the love of learning and desire to continue learning to her students. Rachael prays that each student entering her classroom recognizes their right and capacity to learn and grow as human beings. She believes in the value of learning about our careers, our interests, our families, our world. Rachael lives in Bolivar, Ohio, with her husband Rob and her son Bobby.

Our History

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.