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Lack of Funding Shuts Down Nonprofit’s Cville Location - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Lack of Funding Shuts Down Nonprofit’s Cville Location

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A Charlottesville nonprofit that taught learning-impaired and blind students for decades closed its doors Friday.

Learning Ally has centers across the country. The Charlottesville location is one of eight that shut down.

Learning Ally taught students by using audio books. Volunteers would come in and record themselves reading books. Some volunteers were part of the program for decades but now, a lack of federal funding is bringing that to an end.

Students had access to textbooks, classic novels and brand new books. Audiobooks were recorded for students starting in kindergarten all the way through graduate school students, all by volunteers from the Charlottesville community.

The audio books will still be available because other centers across the country will remain open, but volunteers in Charlottesville will no longer have a place to record.

"There's a tremendous base of talent and sentiment here that's all around Learning Ally's mission, that's been tremendous, so there is some sadness but we also want to celebrate their history with us," said Doug Sprei, public relations director at Learning Ally.

The director says he hopes there will be a chance for virtual volunteering, even though the group is losing their building. This means volunteers could still record audio books from home with their own equipment.

Eleven Learning Ally centers will remain open throughout the country.

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