LVSA Annrual Report 2010_2011


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

LVSA Annrual Report 2010_2011

  1. 1. Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults 1983-2013 Opening Minds… Changing Lives 2012-2013 Annual Report
  2. 2. Our journey began 30 years ago when Dr. Page Bristow and Judith Marshall founded the Delaware chapter of Literacy Volunteers of America, with a vision that all adults in Northern New Castle County, Delaware, will have the skills necessary to participate more fully in the lives of their families and their communities. Thirty years later, our vision remains clear. More than 2,700 people have learned to read or have improved their English language skills thanks to many dedicated volunteers and donors. This great Delaware organization has since become Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults. This is the story of LVSA, told by the students and volunteers - the heart of LVSA. Building Stronger Communities through Literacy for 30 Years
  3. 3. From the Chairman of the Board Bob Hurka and Executive Director Cindy Shermeyer LVSA was established 30 years ago to serve the community of adult learners with literacy levels below that of a fifth grader. That objective remains intact, but over time it has been expanded in several important ways. Please consider the following:  Our Approach – LVSA has a history of providing life-changing guidance in basic reading. In addition, we have added writing, math, computer skills, and English to the curriculum. We began by training volunteer tutors to work one-on-one with adult learners. Where appropriate, we have incorporated group instruction. The use of volunteers is critical in helping us leverage our financial and professional resources to serve our learners effectively and efficiently.  Who we serve – We are in the business of helping people help themselves. These adults may have grown up here in the United States or they may have come to the United States later in life. They face considerable challenges finding the assistance they need and integrating English into their challenging lives. They often feel discouraged and disappointed. LVSA helps our highly - motivated learners overcome these obstacles.  Our Partnerships – We have developed a set of core strengths that help ensure that all contributions are used in the most effective manner. These include extensive professional experience in adult literacy, superior training and support of volunteer tutors, and proven systems for measuring and reporting learner progress. Developing partnerships with other organizations that support our mission has also become a key strategy. These collaborations permit us to leverage our core strengths to help us reach even more individuals and communities of learners and volunteers. Now is an appropriate time to consider the benefits that result from the program. Foremost, adult learners are better able to function more effectively in their daily lives, with their families, and at work and in their communities. Tutors and other volunteers, professional staff and generous donors achieve a profound sense of personal satisfaction, from the knowledge that they have fostered positive change in the lives of other people. 30 years is a beginning. Let’s all continue to work together to ensure that this important community-building effort continues! ~ Bob and Cindy
  4. 4. LVSA Continues to Grow & Serve Since its beginning, LVSA has developed a curriculum and programing reflective of the needs of Delaware’s residents. Fewer than 10 years since holding its first tutor training class, LVSA expanded its program to include English-as-a-second language. Three years later, a family literacy component, Families Learning Together, was added. In 2010, LVSA partnered with Wilmington Head Start implementing Parents Leaning English at School (PLEAS) at the West End Center. Our geographic reach continues to grow as well. Since our early days in the Wilmington Public Library, LVSA has incorporated program sites in West Wilmington at the Woodlawn Library, the Bear Library, and soon at the Dover Public Library. “I have only been in class for one month and I am beginning to feel like a new person. Before I started taking classes, I felt like I was in prison. I really didn’t think much of myself, but now my attitude has changed. I know that I have a long way to go, but with the help of my family and my tutor, I will succeed.” ~1998 Student
  5. 5. Meet Janet Former tutor, volunteer, donor, and advisory board member, Janet Neville Loper has been involved with LVSA since its beginning in 1983. Janet knew that she wanted to do something meaningful after retiring. Upon hearing about LVSA, she attended the very first tutor training class and has been involved ever since. Whether working as a tutor, volunteer or an advisory board member, Janet has made a huge difference. She and her late husband, renowned artist, Edward Loper Sr., provided these prints of his art work as LVSA posters. In addition, Mr. Loper signed prints to give as prizes for LVSA’s “Race for Literacy.” In recognition of the 30 years of support LVSA has received from the Lopers, the Janet and Edward L. Loper, Sr. Meritorious Service Award for Adult Literacy is given at the annual celebration dinner to an individual who represents the Lopers’ exceptional qualities. LVSA Timeline 1983 Founded by Dr. Page Bristow & Judith Marshall 1990 English as a Second Language tutoring added to program 1993 Added “Families Learning Together” to program offering 2003 Officially changes name to LVSA, Northern Delaware, Inc. 2006 Beings partnership with Woodlawn Library 2009 Partners with Bear Library offering tutor & student classes 2010 Added PLEAS program with Wilmington Head Start 2012 Began offering pre-GED reading & math classes as part of PLEAS 2014 Expands services to Dover at Dover Library
  6. 6. LVSA Offers a Variety of Learning Opportunities Basic Reading and Writing LVSA offers basic reading and writing tutoring for any adult in northern Delaware and Dover who wants to learn. Students receive one-on-one tutoring or training in small group gatherings led by a trained volunteer tutor. The tutor and student(s) work together to determine a schedule for learning. English Language Learning LVSA offers small group classes to help people learn or improve their English language skills. Other Learning Opportunities English Language Classes Civics Classes Citizenship Classes Beginning Computer Classes
  7. 7. Meet Chelly Hi, my name is Chelly. I came to America not being able to speak, read or write English. I couldn’t even really understand it well. I was divorced with two young children. My brother helped me a lot but he wasn’t with me all of the time. When people said hello to me at work, I knew how to say hi, but if they asked me questions I didn’t understand what they were talking about or how to answer them. If something went wrong in my apartment, with my car or if I needed to make a doctor’s appointment for my kids, I had to look for help. I tried to learn English on my own and it helped a little. Then I came to LVSA and met an angel, my tutor, Mary. My life has completely changed. Now I can speak, write and read English. I’m also a member of the LVSA board now so I can help other people the way LVSA helped me. Literacy Facts One in every seven adults in Delaware reads at or below a 5th grade reading level. Low literacy costs the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in lost productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. Nearly 25% of adults 25 years of age and older living in poverty in New Castle County have less than a high school education. Children who grow up with parents of limited literacy skills are more likely to have limited literacy skills themselves. (Data from Proliteracy website) 5 and id+370
  8. 8. Meet Rosendo LVSA learner Rosendo is now very secure and confident in his ability to deal with people and situations. Rosendo says LVSA is the best program that he has participated in, and he tries to convince his friends to enroll. He even convinced his sister to enroll in the program! LVSA’s method of instruction using real life material and its flexible scheduling works the best for Rosendo. He says everyone he works with is friendly and helpful. Judy, Rosendo’s tutor, has helped him in many ways. She often brings extra materials to enrich her class. Judy helped Rosendo study for his GED. He achieved this milestone in December 2013. “Learning to read has been the most exciting experience of my life. My life is so much faster now. When you can’t read you’re in the dark. One-on-one tutoring opened up my world. It makes me feel like shouting in my very soul.” — Student
  9. 9. Former LVSA Executive Director/ Tutor Carmen Knox has many wonderful memories of her experiences at LVSA, but one student in particular sticks out in her mind. Early in the program, LVSA had a female learner who was diagnosed with learning disabilities, never learned to read, and was unemployed. Once the learner had a child of her own, she was determined to learn to read so that she could share books with him. She had a wonderful tutor and eventually learned to read and even obtained a job. Her success served as a strong model for her son as he grew and attended school. This learner could have not have accomplished her goal without LVSA’s help. Carmen recognizes the importance of literacy, and teaching people how to read and speak English so they can become more productive citizens and improve their lives. Volunteer Gloria started as a tutor with LVSA in 1997. She decided to become a tutor because she had teaching experience, and lived abroad and knew how frustrating it is not to be able to understand a foreign language. It was important to Gloria to give back to the community, and LVSA was a perfect match for her. Gloria continues to be an LVSA volunteer, and now serves as an evaluator for the program. Our Mission Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults offers targeted instruction to adults with limited literacy and English language skills. LVSA assists adult learners to realize their potential as confident, self-sufficient, and productive employees, family members and contributors to their communities. Our Vision That all adults in Northern New Castle County, Delaware, will have the skills necessary to more fully participate in the lives of their families and their communities.
  10. 10. Meet Sue In 1985, Sue took a brave step and joined LVSA, then called Literacy Volunteers of America Wilmington Library Affiliate. Before she enrolled in the program, the gaps in her literacy skills made her feel hesitant and unsure of herself. She relied on her spouse. Sue stated “My husband was my rock. I was the water.” Sue spent three years in the program diligently working with her tutor. She says the program was “unbelievable,” and greatly changed her life. Sue highly recommends the program to anyone in need of literacy support. With the help of LVSA staff and tutors Sue reached her goals! LVSA Values The core values of LVSA drive all we say and do. Literacy is the pathway to improving relationships and becoming self-sufficient and productive. Literacy makes our communities more functional and vibrant. Our work is an investment in our learners who are assets to their communities. Volunteers make a difference and they deserve a rewarding experience. Learners share responsibility with tutors for the success of the learning experience. We strive to use our resources wisely and to continuously improve our services. We are responsive to changing literacy needs. We treat all individuals with respect and dignity. Cultural diversity can enhance learning and promote understanding and tolerance. Collaboration with others who share our mission builds a more literate Delaware.
  11. 11. Since its inception, LVSA has been fortunate to have financial support from individuals, foundations and the business community. This support enables us to provide supplies for tutor training and instruction. Our contributors are a very important part of our story. Why do donors give to LVSA? “I give because  I love to read and cannot imagine what it must be like to not be able to read.”  I want to make an impact on my community.”  I want to give back.”  I can help make a person’s life better.”  I remember how my parents struggled learning English.”  I can help parents who can then help their children.”  It is worthwhile.”  It is important and affects people’s lives.”  I believe in the power of education to change people’s lives.” Spellebration Since 2006 Spellebration, a unique twist on the traditional game of Scrabble® has provided a fun-filled day of food, drinks and games to benefit LVSA. The annual event and the premiere fundraising event for LVSA is a memorable day that helps finance training and teaching materials.
  12. 12. LVSA FACTS We currently serve 130 adults students; 70% are English language learners The majority of students (64%) are working adults, ages 25 to 44 We average 50 people on our waiting list Volunteer tutors give nearly 70,000 hours of service, equal to approximately $150,000 We follow state standards, curriculum guidelines, and are responsible for state targets Currently funded through federal grant money, United Way designations, grants and individual contributions Meet Tommie Tommie tutored with LVSA from 2006-2012 and describes her experience working with the organization as “powerful.” She became aware of the need for English tutors and because she had experience teaching ESL, LVSA was a great match for her. Tommie remembers a special bond she formed with one of her students, Irina, from the Ukraine. Irina became a member of Tommie’s extended family, joining in holiday dinners and numerous family functions. Tommie feels she has learned more from the students then they have from her. “Determined” and “courageous” are two words she uses to describe LVSA students.
  13. 13. Literacy Facts The McGraw Hill Research Foundation, in a May 2011 study, identified Returns on Investment from Adult Education and Training in all these areas: Increased tax revenues, greater business productivity, increased consumption, increased workforce flexibility, decreased reliance on government financial support Higher salaries and benefits, enhanced employment opportunities and stability, higher savings levels, improved working conditions, personal and professional mobility Reduced crime rate, increased charitable giving and community service, increased quality of civic life, social cohesion/appreciation of diversity, improved ability to adapt to and use technology Improved health and life expectancy, improved quality of life for children and dependents, better and more informed consumer decision making, higher personal status, more time for hobbies and leisure activities Meet Bill Since 2006, tutor and former board chair Bill Ritchie has been an active member of LVSA. To Bill, the idea of helping an adult learn to read is appealing and satisfying. A memorable moment Bill recalls from tutoring is helping Amer. Bill remembers explaining “air brakes” while helping Amer study for his commercial driver’s license. Under his leadership, LVSA’s strategic planning, financial management, use of technology, and program accountability improved significantly.
  14. 14. Contributions includes gifts from individuals, the United Way Contributor Choice program, grants from corporations and foundations, and special fundraising events. Financial data taken from LVSA’s 2012-2013 independent audit. Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults/Northern Delaware, Inc., is a tax exempt, 501[c][3] organization. 8% 44% 48% LVSA Revenue Fiscal Year 2013 Other Contributions Government Grants $101,660 $16,826 81% 9% 10% LVSA Expenses Fiscal Year 2013 Program Services Management & General Fundraising $17,694 $21,231 $92,295 $164,067
  15. 15. Many thanks to all the wonderful helpers and contributors to this booklet. Special thanks to Donna Marie King (Development/Marketing Chair), Bill Ritchie (photographs), Alexandra Clap (interviews/writing), Kelli Shermeyer (formatting) Karen Bohn (proofing) and staff (Alyssa Almond and Cathy Opdenaker). LVSA Cindy Shermeyer, Executive Director P.O. Box 2083 Alyssa Almond, Program Coordinator Wilmington, Delaware 19899-2083 Cathy Opdenaker, Administrative Assistant 302-658-5624