Literacy agency in search of new leader


As the mayor-elect of Seymour, Matt Nicholson is giving up his day job as executive director of Read Jackson County/Plaza Latina.

That means the local non-profit agency is looking for a new leader to help increase literacy in the community.

Nicholson, who has served in the position since May 2014, will officially step down Dec. 1. He plans to continue to volunteer with the organization when he can including with the agency’s upcoming New Year’s Run For Literacy 5K fundraiser.

He takes office as mayor the same day Jan. 1, 2020.

Read Jackson County’s board of directors is currently accepting applications for the part-time position.

The new director will be responsible for developing new programs and maintaining existing ones, recruiting volunteers, fundraising, payroll and record keeping, working with existing partners and developing new partnerships.

"The Read side of our agency helps people improve their reading skills and opens doors for the future," Nicholson said. "The Plaza side focuses on helping non-English speakers learn to communicate with the community around them and break down barriers along the way."

Board President Becky Bujwid said the job would be perfect for a retired educator or stay-at-home parent whose children are in school. Someone who is bilingual also would be helpful, but is not required, she added.

Other qualities the board is looking for is someone who is civic minded, self motivated, organized, has a passion for literacy, is able to think outside the box, is a good communicator and someone who is not afraid of public speaking and giving presentations.

Nicholson has done an outstanding job promoting literacy and working with people of all ages and backgrounds on improving their reading skills and he will be missed, Bujwid said.

But the board also is excited and supportive of Nicholson’s future as mayor, she added.

Nicholson said he will miss the volunteers and clients he has had the opportunity to work with in the last five years.

His biggest accomplishments as director have been participating in community events such as the Downtown Trick or Treat and Kidsfest, he said, where he has been able to put free books into the hands of kids.

He also established Little Free Libraries throughout the county, a program that gives everyone in the community access to free books.

But like many other local agencies, Read Jackson County/Plaza Latina faces challenges.

"Funding is always a challenge for non-profits," Nicholson said. The agency receives funding from Jackson County United Way along with donations, grants and the annual 5K.

"Building relationships with clients and volunteers is also a challenge at first," Nicholson said of the position. "I encourage everyone to watch and get involved when they can. Without great volunteers programming doesn’t happen."

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For more information about Read Jackson County/Plaza Latina or to get involved as a volunteer call 812-523-8688 or email [email protected].

To apply for the Read Jackson County/Plaza Latina executive director position, mail a resume and cover letter to c/o Amy Heideman at P.O. Box 368, Seymour, IN 47274.


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