Organization

The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas

Contact Information

1640B East 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78702

(512) 326-8655

Focus Areas

  • Community & Nonprofit Development
  • Education & Youth

The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas works to improve the quality and availability of literacy services in Central Texas.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000, a small group of literacy service providers and concerned community leaders coordinated a series of community forums and facilitated discussions centered on literacy needs in the community. Several themes emerged, including the needs for both a centralized point of coordination for the community’s literacy services, as well as increased public awareness and resources for these programs. In response the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas was founded in 2001, and became professionalized with its first paid staff member in 2003.

The Literacy Coalition supports basic reading and writing, family literacy, workforce literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), GED preparation, financial literacy, computer literacy, health literacy and more. By working with our network of partner programs, we have implementer services to under-served communities, expanded into new markets, increased the awareness of literacy needs in Central Texas, and effectively doubled the number of learners being served by literacy programs in the region.

We play a central role in coordinating and supporting high-quality literacy services throughout Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties to create a Central Texas community where businesses can hire, people can work, and families can thrive.
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  • About Us
    The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas exists to improve the quality and availability of literacy instruction services. We support and coordinate literacy programs outside the public K-12 educational system, including adult literacy, GED classes, English language instruction for adults, family and early childhood literacy programs, and workforce programs to help our clients get jobs and/or improve their employment status. The Coalition creates a more literate Central Texas by providing crucial resources, support, and visibility for this hidden, under-funded network of vital literacy programs.

    The Texas Family Literacy AmeriCorps program is a key piece of delivering on our mission. The Literacy Coalition and its partners directly benefit from the service of AmeriCorps members. 2016 will be the fifth year of our AmeriCorps program and our third year operating our program as a free-standing effort. Service with the Literacy Coalition's Texas Family Literacy Initiative will allow members to grow as nonprofit professionals, while also having a notable impact on our local community.

    Hear more about our program directly from one of our current members and project leaders, Keerthi:

    "I assist in adult ESL classes, run a weekly children’s tutoring program, and manage volunteers. I wake up most days excited to go to work because I have relationships with the people we serve and I see the impact of my work every day. That’s not to say that the work isn’t challenging. It’s difficult to witness learners who can no longer attend class because they have to work, or families in which the children must act as translators for their parents. It’s really painful to see students who come to class but aren’t improving due to learning disabilities or language barriers.

    However, every day is rewarding because I get to see adults and children who thirst for knowledge. They keep working hard to do simple things native speakers take for granted like forming one new sentence or learning one new phrase. They are so happy when they can finally pronounce the hard word, or when they finish a whole sentence by themselves. I see them and I think about how much I took for granted being able to go to school every day and learning in my native language - how privileged I am that English is used all over the world.

    Working with refugees means working with people who come from very different cultures with traditions that you must respect, even if you do not understand or agree with them. It also means working with some of the toughest people on the planet. They have survived persecution, harrowing journeys, trauma, and even torture. The job can be hectic and busy, but I always try to stop for a couple minutes to absorb the atmosphere and the comradery of sharing this experience with all these different people."
  • Our Impact
    In the 2014/2015 Service Year, 39 Family Literacy AmeriCorps members will complete more than 60,000 hours of service in Central Texas and Houston area literacy programs. Our annual performance targets are to engage, support, instruct and advance the following efforts:

    – 1724 economically disadvantaged adults will receive adult basic education and English language instruction
    – 230 pre-school age children will receive literacy instruction
    – 180 community volunteers

    The Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that this program initiative is successful for its partners and will be monitoring progress throughout the year to insure that all parties involved are successful in achieving these objectives. All learners will complete pre-tests for placement purposes and more than 66% will improve at least one level of literacy on an approved, standardized assessment test.

The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas Programs

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is the national service program designed specifically to lift people out of poverty. Founded in 1965, VISTA has been on the front lines fighting poverty in America for 50 years. The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas has been a proud intermediary organization of AmeriCorps VISTA in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service since 2012. Coordinating VISTA service at coalition partner agencies is one of the fundamental ways in which the Literacy Coalition achieves its mission. By leveraging federal resources, our existing partnerships with nonprofit agencies in Central Texas, and creating new partnerships across the state, the Literacy Coalition is changing the landscape of service provision and nonprofit sustainability. VISTA members are full-time volunteers at our partner agencies. They help to improve health services, create and evaluate programs, strengthen community groups, conduct outreach, and much, much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, VISTA members and their service sites create, implement, expand, and improve programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. A VISTA member's commitment to serve includes: 1-Year term of full-time (40 hours/week) volunteer service at nonprofit agency A monthly living allowance of ~$1000 a month (depending on county) Health and prescription drug benefits Eligibility for additional stipends and benefits to assist with relocation expenses and childcare End-of-Service Benefits - members elect to receive either a cash stipend or the Segal Education Award (applicable to student loans or future tuition) upon fulfillment of their service commitment We currently have 28 VISTAs serving throughout Texas in our partner agencies.

Featured Positions
VISTA Member