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Good Counsel Learning Center settles into its new home

A student and sister work together during a tutoring session at Good Counsel Learning Center

When Good Counsel Learning Center in Mankato, Minnesota was faced with relocating, the organization toured options, including an old church, Catholic schools with available space and even several commercial properties. While weighing their decision, St. John’s Episcopal Church stepped forward with an offer of their own, inviting the Center, an affiliated ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND), to consider their empty Faith Formation classroom space. The church was looking to lease the space to a local nonprofit that would help serve the community. It seemed a perfect match, and soon both organizations were able to enter into an agreement. The agreement gave Good Counsel Learning Center and St. John’s Episcopal Church the ability to further their missions.

Moving from their previous location to the smaller location at St. John’s Episcopal Church meant lots of cleaning, sorting and prioritizing of the furniture and materials that would be most essential. After their June and July summer school sessions, the Center made their move in late August 2023. Volunteers and staff worked throughout September to organize and prepare the space. They officially welcomed students back on October 1.

“At first, the space seemed small and narrow because we were used to much wider and longer halls. Adjusting to it now though, it's perfect,” said Sister Dorothy Zeller, executive director of Good Counsel Learning Center. “The space had been empty about 10 years, and the church community worked so hard cleaning and painting for us. They have been so welcoming to us, and even sponsored our open house event with drinks and treats.”

Ribbon cutting at Good Counsel Learning Center

The new location is in downtown Mankato, providing easy access to a major street for drivers, as well as a nearby bus line for tutors and students as they travel back and forth.

Good Counsel Learning Center’s program provides one-on-one tutoring. Tutors instruct K-12 students in their core classes, as well as guiding adult learners who are working through their ESL (English as a Second Language) curriculum. A significant number of the current adult students are women who have recently moved to the US from Somalia.

“We feel we are carrying on the charism of Blessed Theresa by working with women and girls in particular, but with all children, to improve confidence and literacy,” said Sister Dorothy.

Visit the Good Counsel Learning Center website to learn more about the Center and how it supports literacy and education in the Mankato community.


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