Changes, Changes, Changes for MSC and ILA

Posted by on 30 October, 2017
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 By Tamara Jo Rhomberg, President

As you can tell from the heading the focus of this message is – Changes.  I thought this would be an appropriate topic since it is autumn when there are a lot of changes taking place. Leaves are turning colors, the air is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, the time is about to change, flip-flops and short sleeves are giving way to sweatshirts and jeans, and changes are coming to the Missouri State Council.  As you know, the International Literacy Association (ILA) has recently undergone some major changes of its own.  Most noticeable is the name change from “reading” to “literacy.” But other changes have also been taking place, such as their reincorporation in Delaware, restructuring of their office staff, revisions to the Mission Statement, By-Laws, and Policies and Procedures.  I mention these things because as a state affiliate of the ILA, MSC is directly affected by these changes.

For the past year, the MSC executive board has been working with the ILA development staff to understand the potential impact the new affiliation might have for MSC and its local councils and members.  We, as a board, have attended multiple training sessions, participated in question and answer webinars, engaged in online conference calls, and have been involved in email conversations with the professional development team at ILA – all focused on the changes in the organization. Let me assure all our MSC members, the focus of ILA to support literacy for all has not changed but as with all organizations facing a decline in leadership and membership changes sometimes are needed so that the goals can be attained.

By a unanimous decision, the executive board of MSC has voted to become a State Affiliate Group with ILA and to engage in the Chapter Development Program that ILA is offering.  This decision enables MSC to take full advantage of the resources made available from ILA, to use the ILA logo, to utilize the ILA website to promote our organization and to capitalize on the expertise of ILA personnel to rebrand MSC as a premier literacy organization in the state of Missouri.  This will be a deliberate process involving the development of a strategic action plan during which MSC will keep the local chapters informed and up to date as to future changes.  We all know that change is inevitable – some changes we like and some we don’t but if we are to grow and to prosper as an organization this change is a good thing.

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