Franciscan Earth Literacy Center to cease children’s educational programming
Tiffin, Ohio — The Franciscan Earth Literacy Center (FELC) announced on Tuesday that it will cease its children’s educational programming effective April 6, 2023.
FELC, a non-profit organization, has been providing educational programs to over 4,000 students annually for the past 25 years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of program registrations has dropped, leaving the organization struggling to operate.
FELC’s director, Mimi Johnston, and educator, Samantha Busack, will be laid off due to a shortage of funds. FELC will undergo a feasibility study to reassess priorities and create a workable strategic plan that will accommodate a smaller operation for the foreseeable future, according to a press release.
The organization relied heavily on fee-based income from field trips and summer camps, which were canceled due to the pandemic. FELC hoped to return to normal in 2022-23, but the overall drop in program registrations has put the organization in the red, despite its best efforts to fundraise and reduce costs.
FELC’s Seeds of Hope Farm program, which provides fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs to the community, will continue with the support of grants, donations, and fundraisers. The organization plans to hold its Annual Summer Harvest Gourmet Gala in August to support and rekindle program offerings.
The Sisters of St. Francis and the Board of Trustees have made the difficult decision to cease children’s educational programming while they restructure. They welcome suggestions from the community and plan to pursue partnerships with private and public entities to make it possible for their full educational programming to resume in the future, according to the release.
FELC thanked its supporters and acknowledged the impact of their programs on the community, including summer camps, science days, homeschool classes, and other educational programs. The organization hopes to continue serving the community in a sustainable way.
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