Support HPB’s Local Literacy Partners During National Literacy Month- Central Region

September is National Literacy Month! Half Price Books has been thrilled to partner with literacy nonprofits throughout the United States for years, and we particularly wanted to highlight these great partners throughout this special month. Be sure to check our social each Tuesday this month for a new post about literacy partners from our different regions. We’ll describe their missions, how COVID-19 has impacted their work and what you can do to help support them. As always, most of our stores will have coin boxes available at the registers for donations, which go directly to our local partners. If you’d prefer to donate straight to the agencies listed below, please just click on the DONATE NOW buttons below and you’ll be directed to their donation pages!

This week, we’re focusing on literacy partners from HPB’s Central Region.

Des Moines Area Community College


To provide quality, affordable, student-centered education and training designed to empower all students in their pursuit of life’s opportunities and career goals.

COVID-19 IMPACT: COVID-19 has hindered our resources and ability to provide in-person support to our community.

Kirkwood High School Completion Program


Kirkwood Community College identifies community needs; provides accessible, quality education and training; and promotes opportunities for lifelong learning.


Our community has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, but our students and instructors within our adult literacy programs have done an amazing job of transitioning to an online format while staff worked from home instead of at the college. The team has transitioned testing to both an online and in-person format to better meet student needs. Most students are still taking courses online but some classes do offer a face-to-face option now, with additional safety measures in place. The team has initiated a technology lending library, where we loan out devices to students who would like to participate online, but do not have a laptop or iPad to do so.  Many of our students have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. Childcare centers and schools closed, leaving many without care for their children, and with the additional burden of assisting with K-12 instruction at home. Some lost jobs while others were asked to work more hours, making it difficult to attend training. So many of our participants are essential workers and critical to our local infrastructure and economy. Many work at grocery stores, gas stations, meat packing plants and within healthcare. Our students did a great job of hanging in there while we transitioned to an all-online format, and many were excited to learn how to use the online learning platform! Our instructors did a great job of transitioning with technology and curriculum to an all-online model, and now for some, to a hybrid online/in-person model.

Heartland Family Service- “Ready in 5”


The mission of Heartland Family Service is to strengthen individuals and families in our community through education, counseling, and support services. Founded in Omaha in 1875, Heartland Family Service connects with more than 54,000 individuals of all ages each year from more than 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Our programs provide critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community in the following focus areas: Child & Family Well-Being, Counseling & Prevention, and Housing, Safety, & Financial Stability.

COVID-19 IMPACT: COVID-19 has hindered our resources and ability to provide in-person support to our community.

Literacy KC


Our mission is to advance literacy within the Kansas City metropolitan area through direct services, advocacy, and collaboration.


The pandemic is disproportionately affecting many of Literacy KC’s current and future students who may reside in areas hit hardest by COVID-19 and its economic repercussions. As history has taught us, in times of economic uncertainty and high unemployment, enrollment in adult education surges as people look for opportunities to further their education, gain new vocational skills, and improve their competitiveness in the job market. Through innovation and hard work, and the community’s support, we can ensure we are well positioned to meet the demand while maintaining an unwavering focus on safety for our staff, volunteers, instructors, and most importantly, our students.  

Wichita Public Library Foundation


The mission of the Wichita Public Library Foundation is to fund Library operational needs directly benefiting the public and not covered in the tax-supported budget. The mission directs the activities of the foundation through private fundraising, foundation, individual and corporate grants and annual endowment distributions to the library.


Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Wichita Public Library has continued to adjust to emerging community needs. During closures, we remained accessible through e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines, with expanded access to educational materials, job searching tools, and much more.  Now, in a phased opening, customers can access a full range of computing serves and access to our collections, and we are beginning programming on a limited basis. It is estimated that only 20% of public libraries are open during the pandemic. The Wichita Public Library is leading the way in creating public accessibility to our collection and computing services while at the same time keeping staff and customers safe.

Literacy Minnesota 


To share the power of learning through education, community building and advocacy.


At its core, literacy is about receiving and communicating the information we need to navigate life’s ups and downs. Literacy skills connect us with others and enable us to support each other when times are tough. This matters now more than ever. At Literacy Minnesota, we remain committed to sharing the power of learning by offering:

  • Virtual English-language and GED classes and other distance learning opportunities.
  • Free digital literacy instruction.
  • High-quality trainings and webinars for educators and tutors.

We hope you learned more about the local literacy efforts of the HPB partners in your region and, in doing so, are moved to help in any way you can given the effects of COVID-19 on their operations. As always, our coinbox donations for the month of September will go directly to these organizations so be on the lookout for them at the registers of your local Half Price Books store. Click here for a complete list of HPB literacy partners across all regions.

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