Thu 4 May 2006
The Carlisle OIC has many important programs that serve local Carlisle residents. These programs all fall under the two basic themes of adult and general education. Through computer training, Wilson reading programs, survival skills programs, English as a second language classes as well as other support services for the homeless. Adult education classes are designed to help people improve their math, writing and reading skills. General Education Development classes are responsible for helping individuals who never completed high school for any reason to gain a GED diploma. These classes focus on preparing an individual to take the national high school equivalent tests in Writing, Social Studies, Science, Literature, Arts and Math. Computer training at the Carlisle OIC helps prepare individuals to need to use computers in the workplace. This training includes basic computer literacy as well as compute software training. The Wilson reading program offered at the OIC is designed to strengthen both adults and youth often with reading challenges to overcome their complications. The English for foreign speakers is one of the largest program at the Carlisle OIC. This program called ESOL has three levels of classes to ready individuals for the workplace. Through tutoring, class instruction and workplace help, non English speakers overcome this hurdle. The Survival Skills classes is a practical application class that helps individuals get control of their lives and their futures. Skills in this class include, improving family relationships, money management, communication, self advocacy, planning and goals and decision making just to name a few.
Without the proper funding the Carlisle OIC would be unable to continue the programs that it offers to individuals in the Carlisle community. Brian and I played an important role in not only keeping these programs themselves running but also keeping the Carlisle OIC in operation. Although the Carlisle OIC receives both state and government grants, it would be impossible for the organization to continue without funding from outside sources. Although these foundations make up a small percentage of the overall fiscal funding of the Carlisle OIC, they are absolutely imperative. Although we did not personally work in close contact with any staff or participants of the programs that the OIC offers, without us the programs and organization would not exist. Brian and I worked hard and in the end found three organizations that will most likely fund the Carlisle OIC in the coming years. In order for us to locate potential foundations to target for future grants we had to understand the inner workings of the organizations and truly understand the mission and vision of the Carlisle OIC. So although personally we didn’t work hand in hand with any staff or clients of the organization we understand the beliefs and mission of the organization and completed an important task for the organization that if not completed would have been very detrimental.
Due to the specific and distinct project that the Carlisle OIC Executive Director, Dale Cross presented us with, our project only connects with a few areas of Non Profit that we learned in class. Although we did inadvertently see many aspects of non profit class that we discussed in class such as strategy and leadership. The area in which the most obvious connection between class and the service learning project is in financial management. Understanding where the money comes from that help fund the non profit and for which programs they fund was an important aspect of my work with the Carlisle OIC. The foundations that donate money to the Carlisle OIC only make up a small part of the overall funding of the agency. But this small portion of funding is absolutely necessary for the survival of the agency. We were successful in locating several serious prospective foundations whose mission matched with that of the Carlisle OIC. Hopefully in the future these organizations will donate money to the agency in order to help create new programs and expand existing ones in order to help maximize its wonderful services to help more individuals in the Carlisle community.