Imagine a world where you cannot read a bus schedule or do simple calculations required in grocery shopping. In the workplace, most jobs that you know you can do are closed to you because you did not graduate high school. It is a pretty bleak scenario. Adults without a high school diploma are unemployed at twice the rate of adults with a high school degree. A single woman without at high school diploma in Hampshire County can only expect to earn on average about $11,000 per year, not enough to move out of a shelter.

The Literacy Project has made strides to address these issues, and since 1984 has provided adults access to
education and opportunities for a better future. The project supports students to attain their High School
Equivalency Diploma and take the next steps in their life, whether it be college, job training or employment.

The Literacy Project offers free adult literacy and high school equivalency classes in five locations in western Massachusetts: Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Orange and Ware, now teaching both in-person and online classes. They serve more than 200 adult students each year, helping them to build reading, writing, math and computer skills in an environment that encourages and nurtures critical thinking, dialogue and confidence.  Students learn at their own pace in small, comfortable classes taught by professional instructors and supported by dedicated community volunteers.  The Literacy Project will use the funds received from UUSA to purchase much-needed books and laptops for student use. For more information, go to

This year, each month will  be devoted to a new Dedicated Offering (DO) recipient whose representative will speak on the first Sunday. We will no longer hold a separate offering for the DO recipient but will split Sunday’s offering plate 50/50 with the recipient organization. This move symbolizes the solidarity we feel with the organizations we choose to support, and it gives us all more opportunities to contribute. As always, please specify whether the funds you send to the office or by PayPal are for the Plate, your pledge, or some other purpose.

Donations can be made to the UUSA and sent by check to P.O. Box 502, Amherst, MA 01004-0502 or on our website: