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She founded the Oklahoma City Metro Literacy Coalition, which helps adults and children alike improve their reading skills.

Its participants vary wildly in age. “I had a 69-year-old grandma call me last week, looking for help on statistics,” Surbeck said.

She said the coalition’s purpose is getting people aid they need through their database of organizations and connections within the community.

“Our goal is to be that intersection where people can come together to encourage literacy,” said Surbeck, who is program director for the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Dana Morrow, director of outreach services for the Metropolitan Library System, said the coalition reached out to MLS to become part of the mission to bolster literacy.

“If you’re with a library,” Morrow said, “your goal is to spread information that will create a better community.”

She added that a library is the perfect community outlet for this sort of project.

“We’re the most accessible entity in the community,” Morrow said. “From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., anyone can walk in.”

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Alyssa Grimley

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