The Adrian Rea Literacy Center is the sixth member of the Dominican Rea Literacy Corporation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2007 in response to the recommendation of the Adrian Dominican Sisters' General Chapter held in 2004. This literacy ministry was affirmed with the following statement by the delegates who represented nearly 1,000 Adrian Dominican Sisters: "We affirm and support the continuation of literacy ministries and the strengthening of collaborative efforts to develop other funding sources, resources and expertise." Additionally this ministry of the Adrian Dominicans is supported by their Vision Statement which calls the members "to walk in solidarity with people who are poor and challenge structures that impoverish them."
As a result of their General Chapter pronouncement, the Adrian Dominican General Council asked Sister Marie Schoenlein in 2007 to initiate a literacy center on the campus of the Motherhouse. The Adrian Rea Literacy Center was named for and dedicated to the memory of Sister Mary Richard Rea, who was a member of the Congregation for sixty-four years and an educator for forty-seven of those years.
The Center is located at the Motherhouse near the residences of retired and semi-retired Sisters enabling these women to be tutors. Thirty of these Sisters, most of whom are professional educators, responded with interest to be the first tutors for adult learners.
Since its first tutor workshop on April 28, 2008, the Center has been serving English as a Second Language (ESL) learners as well as first language English-speakers. The (ESL) learners come to Adrian from many different countries such as Mexico, the Caribbean and Iraq. Active recruitment of new learners and tutors takes place through local church communities, adult educational programs, social service agencies, and the media.
A sequential curriculum, with supplementary materials, as well as computer programs are used to meet learners' needs. A major component of the Adrian Rea Literacy Center is computer instruction for the adult learners as well as the tutors who assist the learners. Computer competency is vital to advancing the technological education of the adult learners. This education is critical in the work place where the learners are required to use the computer in accomplishing their job-related responsibilities.
This focus on literacy is a contemporary expression of the Adrian Dominican Sisters' commitment to education.