Founded in 1974, the Literacy Network teaches reading, writing, communication and computer skills to approximately 1,000 low-income Dane County adults each year (90% are people of color; 67% are women). A staff of 28 and nearly 900 annual volunteers help participants achieve financial security, well-being and deeper engagement with their families and the community.
In fall 2016, after renting for more than 40 years, Literacy Network purchased and renovated the building at 701 Dane Street, with nearly four times more space than their previous location. Thanks in part to a Solar for Good grant and a loan from Legacy Solar Co-op, solar power was also in their future. The new solar array consists of multiple sub-arrays, allowing Literacy Network to generate electricity to power the facility for afternoons and early evenings when they have classes. Once the system is paid off, the array is expected reduce imported MGE electricity by about 25% and save over $3,000 per year. This equates to a full semester of one-on-one tutoring for a class!
The solar project not only saves the Literacy Network funds which they can use for programming instead, it is a natural topic of conversation since solar panels are visible from Park Street. In fact, the organization recently piloted a new unit on ‘Environmental English’, using the building’s new addition to teach renewable energy to the diverse community in South Madison.
Slice of Sun Solar Bonds
Legacy Solar Co-op sells Slice-of-Sun Solar Bonds to any member who would like to support a Solar Legacy project like this one, and earn up to 6% interest on their bonds purchased through the co-op. Ready to get involved?