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Literacy Volunteers of Illinois

Contact Information

100 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60661

(312) 857-1582

Focus Areas

  • Community & Nonprofit Development
  • Economic Security
  • Education & Youth

Literacy Volunteers of Illinois is a statewide organization committed to developing and supporting volunteer literacy programs that help families, adults and out-of-school teens increase their literary skills.

  • About Us
    The Literacy Volunteers of Illinois (LVI) was incorporated in 1979 as an independent, self-supporting tax-exempt corporation. LVI was founded by the national Literacy Volunteers of America to serve as a mid-level support system for LVA-affiliated programs. Over the years, LVI evolved into a resource and training center for all literacy programs by providing a range of services to staff, tutors, and learners in five areas - Resource and Referral, Correctional Education, Public Information and Advocacy, New Reader Leadership, and National Service.

    Resource and Referral Center
    This Center serves as a clearinghouse for individuals interested in becoming or accessing the services of a volunteer tutor by connecting them with literacy programs in their communities. An up-to-date Volunteer Directory of adult literacy programs and their needs, services and location is maintained by LVI and can be accessed by clicking here. LVI also conducts through the Center two annual conferences for tutors, students and staff - a spring On The Road To Literacy Conference and Awards Presentation that is co-sponsored with the UIC Center for Literacy and a fall-student led conference, on behalf of the New Readers for New Life.

    National Service
    LVI is a leading organization within the national service movement and has through five different federal and state AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) programs engaged over 900 national service members in some 150 adult literacy, family literacy, and Head Start programs throughout the state. National service programs conducted by LVI include the VISTA Literacy Corps, Project UPLIFT (Urging Partnerships in Literacy Initiatives for Families and Teens), Project I-CARE (Involving Communities in America Reads Endeavors), and Project HEART (Hines Employees As Reading Tutors). LVI's current national service program, VOCAL*AmeriCorps (Volunteer Outreach for Community Action in Literacy) has 30 full, part, and minimum-time AmeriCorps members serving as Literacy Specialists in volunteer literacy programs throughout the state.

    Correctional Education
    Being struck by the staggering low literacy rates among inmate populations, LVI began its work in correctional education by helping to develop volunteer programs in adult correctional centers. From these efforts sprung the Jump Start program, an intergenerational tutoring and mentoring effort that targets retirees, especially retired teachers, to serve as volunteer tutors to incarcerated youth. The Jump Start program currently serves youth residing in the Illinois Youth Centers located in Harrisburg, Kewanee, St. Charles and Warrenville. Volunteers of all ages are needed !

    Advocacy and Special Events
    To raise public awareness about adult literacy and generate new resources for literacy programs, LVI participates in numerous coalitions, commissions, and advisory councils at the local, state and national level. LVI also sponsors events throughout the year.

    New Readers for New Life
    As a learner-centered organization, LVI encourages students to be active participants in all phases of the learning process from choosing the materials they want to read to taking leadership roles within their programs. To bring this about, LVI provides consultation, training and administrative support to the statewide organization, New Readers for New Life, a network of past and current adult literacy students.
  • Our Impact
    As Literacy Specialists, AmeriCorps members serve as one-to-one and small group tutors, are involved with volunteer recruitment and retention activities and help to secure other resources for their host site, including books, program materials, and "give -away" items for tutor and student celebrations. Members are also involved in special events to generate awareness of and support for the literacy activities of the agency.

Positions at Literacy Volunteers of Illinois

Literacy Volunteers of Illinois Programs

Centro Romero

Centro Romero, located on the northeast side of Chicago in the Edgewater neighborhood, is a non-profit organization providing options and opportunities for low-income Latino immigrants. Services offered include ESL and Spanish Literacy, Immigration Services, and various programs for youth and women. Through education, Centro Romero emphasizes the development of the whole family unit, the creation of community leadership and self-reliance.

Literacy Volunteers of Illinois (LVI)

LVI is a statewide organization that is committed to developing and supporting volunteer literacy programs that help families, adults and out-of-school teens increase their literacy skills. Programs include VOCAL AmeriCorps, of which the agencies described herewith are a part, as well as the Jump Start Program described below. LVI also offers training to staff, tutors, and adult learners through annual conferences and conducts special events and advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the problems of and solutions to low literacy in adults.