December 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Sierra Leone: Literacy: Durham Herald Sun: Sierra Leone RPCV Reginald Hodges will head Durham Literacy Center

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Sierra Leone: Peace Corps Sierra Leone : The Peace Corps in Sierra Leone: December 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Sierra Leone: Literacy: Durham Herald Sun: Sierra Leone RPCV Reginald Hodges will head Durham Literacy Center

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Sierra Leone RPCV Reginald Hodges will head Durham Literacy Center

Sierra Leone RPCV Reginald Hodges will head Durham Literacy Center

Sierra Leone RPCV Reginald Hodges will head Durham Literacy Center

New Literacy Center leader's goals: Partnerships, fund raising

By Ginny Skalski and Tammy Grubb : The Herald-Sun
Dec 30, 2004 : 10:55 pm ET

DURHAM -- A North Carolina native with an artistic bent and a penchant for helping others said he hopes to continue the work started by the Durham Literacy Center's former executive director.

Reginald Hodges will replace Lucy Haagen, who recently retired, beginning Monday morning, Durham Literacy Center officials said Thursday.

The Greensboro native, who has spent the last two or three days going over Haagen's contacts and donors, said he believes she has done a "fantastic job" in her 10 years with the Durham Literacy Center.

"I plan on continuing most of what she has done," he said in a phone interview Thursday.

Among his goals for the literacy center, Hodges said, is forming partnerships with other area education programs in order to expand the number of Durham residents in literacy training.

"In addition to being a trainer," Hodges said, "we would also become a trainer for trainers by working with other groups that already exist in the city to teach them how to improve their literacy delivery skills."

He also hopes to expand the center's fund-raising efforts by tapping into grants from larger organizations such as the Pew Charitable Trusts and the WK Kellogg Foundation.

"This is all a dream, but I would like to see us possibly getting money from some of the larger foundations," he said, "and I think we can based on the reputation and credentials that the Durham Literacy Center has."

Hodges has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, formerly serving as vice president of Opportunities Industrialization Centers International and the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help.

In both roles, he managed and implemented community-based, nonprofit programs aimed at providing basic education to needy people, and also raised millions to fund those programs. In the black "homelands" of South Africa, as well as in Zimbabwe, Liberia and Ethiopia, he helped to build more than 100 primary schools. Much of that work, he said, involved working with local people and listening to their ideas and proposals.

His work, Hodges said, was aimed at "empower[ing] people to get what they deserve from [the] government after paying their taxes."

In Durham, Hodges also worked for a time as a student teacher at the former J.A. Whitted Junior High School, which closed in 1976.

In 1968, he joined the Peace Corps, leaving for Sierra Leone 10 days after graduating from N.C. Central University.

Much of that work, he said, involved raising money to pay for the group's literacy efforts, as well as for programs related to issues of health and the democratic process.

He later joined the Peace Corps staff, spending the longest time in Ghana, where he was the country's deputy Peace Corps director. Hodges left the Peace Corps in 1976.

In 2000, he returned to North Carolina to be with his father, who had grown ill, he said. Hodges' father died in September.

Hodges, also an artist and art collector, has displayed his artwork in eight exhibits since 2002. His work centers on his experiences in Africa, and while he works in all mediums, he said his favorite is painting with acrylics.

Hodges said he continues to work from a sketchbook that he toted while traveling in Africa. He has visited 35 of the continent's 54 countries, he said.

In 2002, he joined the staff at Alamance Community College, teaching continuing education art courses and adult basic skills courses. But Hodges said the executive director position at the Durham Literacy Center attracted him, because he's worked all his life to make a difference in people's lives.

"This was a good opportunity to get back involved, to make a difference in people's lives," he said.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.

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Story Source: Durham Herald Sun

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Sierra Leone; Literacy



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