Literacy Volunteers of Leon County, Inc.
Contact Information
Address 200 W PARK AVE
Telephone (850) 606-2644
Fax 850 606-2601
Web and Social Media
Donate Directly to this Organization
Donate to this Orgs Endowment Fund at Community Foundation
At A Glance
Organization DBA
Former Names
Literacy Volunteers of the Big Bend
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
EIN Number 59-2937641
Year of Incorporation 1984
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $53,500.00
Projected Expenses $53,500.00
Mission Statement
LVLC’s mission is to support trained volunteers who empower adults and families to improve literacy skills, achieve personal goals, and participate fully in the workforce and community.
Needs Statement
With our mission to provide individualized, free literacy services- which our agency has done for 30 years, we continue to need:
  • To find funding that will support ongoing programming and operating costs.
  • To increase contributions from individual donors; and to get more donors at levels above $500 and $1000
  • To improve and enhance our visibility in our community!
Impact Statement
Literacy Volunteers of Leon County provided literacy services to 475 clients last year in our Adult literacy, ESOL, and Family Literacy Center programs!
Our volunteers donated over 9100 hours helping their learners reach their literacy and work related goals. These goals included moving up a literacy level (62% of our clients accomplished this), completing a workbook series, passing one or more sections of the GED (5 learners succeeded in getting their GED!), finding or retaining employment or getting a raise or promotion (22 clients found jobs!), reading to their children or helping with their homework (56 of our families acheived this goal!), and 4 of them reported proudly on reading the bible verse at their church service!
LVLC also donated more than 1000 books to families through our Let's Read Together workshops, addressing parenting skills in early literacy development for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Our goals for this year?! We continue to work on:
  1. Increasing the number of adult clients served at our Family Literacy Center on the south side of Tallahassee.
  2. Training more math volunteers
  3. Increasing the number of outreach programs to work sites
  4. Improving our agency's visibility in the community by exploring and expanding social media opportunities
Background Statement

Our agency, Literacy Volunteers of Leon County, evolved out of a Leon County Public Library outreach program in the late 70’s, merged with another Literacy agency in the late 90’s and has been an affiliate of first, Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) and now, after LVA merged with Laubach International, ProLiteracy America. On average, our agency provides tutoring to more than 400 clients annually, and serves about 250 more clients by providing workshops, Family Literacy Events, and hosting literacy events which are open to the community (Veteran’s Day Reading Rally, World Book Night). In addition to services for persons with low literacy skills, LVLC also has programs to meet the needs of families and for English for speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Service Categories
Adult Education
Job Training
Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Leon county
Board Chair Statement
Over the last few years, the downturn of our national, state, and local economies placed increased demands on Literacy Volunteers of Leon County, and we were faced with challenges in meeting service needs. Despite these challenges, and thanks to the commitment of our truly excellent volunteers, a professional staff and remarkable executive director, and wonderful board members who are willing to get directly engaged in LVLC’s programs and services, we have been able to achieve many of our goals.
The LVLC Board of Directors is always on the recruiting trail, diligently enlisting new, dedicated members. We also made great strides towards
increasing our visibility in the community by garnering several
news features in print, television, and radio media.

I am often asked how I became involved with LVLC and, more
specifically, why I chose to devote my time to adult literacy. I believe that adults who are courageous enough to seek literacy assistance have made a conscious decision to change their own lives for the better; they recognize that education is essential for progress in the current environment. That is why the work of this organization is so important.
CEO Statement/Executive Director Statement

Most Program Directors probably use this space to highlight their agency’s accomplishments and the new and exciting things planned for the future. But I’d like to use this opportunity to focus on why our agency has had such a successful history for over 30 years, and why I am certain of its continued success. Why are we able to serve over 400 learners a year? Why are we able to train and provide volunteers to other agencies? Why are we continually noted as one of the top literacy providers in the state?

The “why” is you. You - our volunteers, our board members, our partners in the community – bring your unique talents, your commitment, and your time to ensure our learners get the support they need to become productive, self-sufficient, contributing members of our community. And they do – as evidenced by “Marta”, a learner from South America, who was able with the help of her tutor to get her green card, start a business, and now sends us a check every few months because, “without LVLC, I would not be able to make it. My tutor made all the difference for me.” Or, as in the case of “Mr. L”, whose tutor worked with him for 8 years, who became an ordained minister and now, reads from his bible (King James Version!) each week to his small congregation. Our agency isn’t about quick solutions or ‘fixes’ – it can take several years to learn to read well enough to pass a GED or acquire the 21st century work skills needed to work with the technological needs of our society. But our agency is one of the few whose services help ensure that our clients move to a place where they don’t require the services of most other agencies. And our ability to help them achieve that is because of you.

You who are bothering to read this are exactly the type of person who makes a difference in your community and who puts not only their money but also their time and energy into making that difference happen. You volunteer. You donate. You participate. And, you encourage and mentor others to do the same. You are the reason for our success. Thank You.

Literacy Volunteers of Leon County provides one-to-one tutoring to adults who seek to improve their reading, writing, or math skills. Our primary mission is to serve those adults reading at or below the 5th grade level, but we will provide tutors to anyone seeking assistance. All of our tutors are community volunteers who have participated in a 14-hour training and are offered the chance to participate in three in service workshops a year to ensure they have access to current research and materials. Tutoring takes place at libraries, work sites, and community centers. Tutoring is offered in basic reading and writing, basic math, GED preparation, work skills, and basic computer skills. Each learner is assessed and then provided with an individualized curriculum, based on their assessment results. We also provide appropriately leveled materials for health and financial literacy for volunteer tutors to use with their learners.
Budget $47,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success

In 2013, over 400 learners participated in our literacy programs. Among those participating for one year or longer, 85% improved their literacy skills by one or more educational level. In addition, 40% of those clients who had work related goals, including finding/keeping a job, getting a promotion, succeeded in achieving those goals. Finally, over 75 % of our clients reached a personal goal or demonstrated an increased ability to participate competently in their role as a worker, citizen, or parent.

Long term Success
At least one out of every ten adultsin Leon county would benefit from Literacy services. These residents struggle to find and keep jobs, lack the skills and abilities necessary to keep up with an increasingly technological world, and frequently have to rely on assistance from other human services agencies. In our community, the poverty rate among those with the lowest levels is 43%. Our volunteers' efforts to increase skills among those at the lowest levels of literacy have important long term economic,social, and community implications for Leon County. Over 90% of clients who remain with our program as active students for one year or longer will show improved skills, achieve literacy related goals, and have increased test scores.  Helping our learners improve their literacy and gain the knowledge,skills, and abilities to improve their financial situations saves the community approximately $800 a year in 'assistance' funding, and can result in value added (via taxes they pay) of over $8000 a year. Their long term success is our community's success as well.
Program Success Monitored By

Ours is a very ‘labor-intensive’ program but best practice and research shows that this kind of individualized and student centered curriculum is necessary to achieve strong outcomes. Our professional staff provide all students with an extensive intake interview and administer an initial diagnostic assessment to determine their reading level when they first request services. Once a learner has been matched with a volunteer, the tutor and staff track student success on monthly reports, documenting completion of curriculum materials, mastery of specific skills, and achievement of goals and literacy competencies. As progress is made, new goals are set, or old goals reevaluated or modified as students' needs and situations change. The monthly tutoring reports and logs of achievements are entered into a database by paid staff; data collected correlates to nationally recognized criteria and is submitted in an annual report to a national adult literacy organization, of which we are an affiliate. Volunteer tutors are trained and supported by paid staff, who offer ongoing consultations to discuss student needs and progress as well as to provide tutors with resources and materials which may help their learner. Our data is reviewed annually by our Board of Directors, as well as by the library, which funds the paid staff.

Examples of Program Success

Over 120 positive outcomes were recorded on our learner’s logs by their volunteer tutors. These include passing one or more sections of the GED or other educational exam or work related skills test; getting a job or being promoted as a direct result of newly acquired literacy skills; retaining a job because of improved ability to perform the required work (e.g., fill out reports or logs; read and review technical manuals), help a child with homework, finish a leveled reader or workbook in structured curriculum series; get a story published in the Florida Literacy Coalition’s Student Essays book ( Organization representing most literacy programs in the State).


Literacy Volunteers of Leon County (LVLC) provides English language literacy services (also known as English for Speakers of Other Languages [ESOL], English as a Second Language [ESL], or English Language Literacy [ELL]). Services are offered for English speaking/conversation, reading, writing, TOEFL and other Test Prep, and Citizenship, along with work skills, financial, and health literacy. Individualized tutoring is available; while learners wait for tutors, they can take advantage of open conversation groups, led by trained volunteers. The tutoring and groups take place in a variety of places throughout the county, primarily libraries, along with several work sites. This program is very popular, and increasingly more critical as more refugees and immigrants than ever before are being relocated to our county. Currently, over half of our total number of learners are identified as ESOL.

Budget $47,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults, Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Short Term Success

Learners in the ESOL programs are also interviewed and given initial assessment tests by professional staff, who then use results to discuss appropriate tutoring materials and books with their tutor. For the past 6 years, our data shows that over 75% of the learners make gains of one or more language levels annually. Each year, more than 80% will demonstrate increased conversational skills and improved skills or mastery of skills resulting in increased competencies as workers, parents, or local citizens.

Long term Success

Improving English language literacy and communicative abilities for our learners helps them integrate more comfortably, and more successfully, into their new ‘world’, in all areas: social, economic, and cultural. This success translates, for many of them, into becoming self-sufficient, productive, and economically contributing members of our community. With improved language success, they can gain the skills and confidence necessary to successfully pass their Citizenship test and interview. This allows them to participate fully in their new society, be it by voting, finding better paying jobs, or helping to support their children with their homework. In turn, research shows that children of nonnative speakers of English are more successful in school when their parents are able to participate and support them in school. Greater English literacy results in improved school outcomes, which, in turn, results in better economic futures.

Program Success Monitored By  Our professional staff uses a variety of assessment tools but is careful to document growth by comparing ‘apples to apples’. As well, tutors administer informal assessments, and report gains and objectives realized on their monthly tutor logs. Tutors and staff also track learner participation in community and literacy related events on an ongoing basis. Official reassessments are given at least twice a year, based on learner attendance and progress. Those learners using standardized curriculum materials are also tracked to make sure they are making appropriate progress though the series; students who appear to be struggling are reassessed and interviewed to determine what issues may be resulting in slower than expected progress.
Examples of Program Success

The learners in our ESOL program display an extremely high level of commitment and dedication to the program and their tutors. Currently about 70% not only have a tutor, but also take advantage of our free conversation groups. They are encouraged to attend as many of the groups as possible, to maximize their opportunities to hear and practice English. Our ESOL program has a long standing history of success and our ESOL program Coordinator is frequently asked about providing tutors for other agencies, locations, and sites. Each year, we see an increase in the number of our ESOL learners who obtain and retain employment or enter post-secondary education training or schools. We are proud of our many learners who are becoming more productive and engaged citizens, parents, and workers.


Literacy Volunteers of Leon County has supported a Family Literacy Program since the late 90’s. Our comprehensive family literacy services provided include:

Adult literacy programming including tutoring in basic reading, writing, and math; computer basics; work skills, and GED test preparation;

After school tutoring and age appropriate educational programming for children in grades K – 12th. We also offer summer academic enrichment ‘brain camps’ to support and encourage learning over the summer months. All volunteers who work with children are background checked;

Parent and Child Time (PACT) programming including Family Fun fairs and informative and educational events throughout the year, including a Health Literacy Fun fair and Children’s Dental Health Awareness fair; and,

“Let’s Read Together” workshops for parents and caregivers. During these workshops, child care with appropriate and fun literacy activities are provided for the children while their parent or caregiver learns about the importance of support early literacy skills in young children and gets useful tips and strategies for how to provide that support at home. Participants are given age appropriate books for their children as well as a packet of informative materials. A logical outgrowth of our library’s highly successful Born to Read program of the early ‘noughts’, our Let’s Read Together workshop program was a Library Services and Technology Act project awarded a one year grant in 2005-2006 by the State Library of Florida. It proved to be so successful that we have been able to get funding via other grants and donations that have enabled us to continue running this program every year since then. Each year we reach over 250 families and distribute over 500 books to families who participate.

Budget $47,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

Among the over 100 families who regularly participate in our programs (not including our workshops), we have documented an 80% success rate as measured by assessments, reports and logs of accomplishments, testing scores, and outside achievement markers (move up a grade in school after being labelled as ‘at risk’; improved school report cards; passing one or more section of the GED; finding or retaining work/job). There is always a waiting list for our family literacy program.

Long term Success

Family Literacy programs have solid research backing the long term positive benefits for families who participate and for their communities. Such programs help ensure children have a better chance of starting school with the pre-literacy skills they need to be successful over the long term in their educational progress. There are many studies showing a positive correlation between a family’s participation in literacy programs and their likelihood their children finish high school and go on to post-secondary education. Without a high school diploma, young adults will be qualified for few of the kinds of complex and technologically sophisticated jobs of the future. And the future is coming soon. By 2020, more than 70% of the jobs will require more than just a high school diploma. Ensuring the long term academic success of our children ensures the long term success, economically, socially, culturally, of our local communities, our states, and our nation.

Program Success Monitored By

Program success for us, while varying to some degree among the programs, is documented using comprehensive, standardized diagnostic and assessment tools, which include ongoing evaluations, anecdotal and informal reports, and self-monitoring by learners, who demonstrate mastery of skill sets in a myriad of ways (posttests, written work, passing a grade at school, passing tests, completing curriculum series at mastery levels, etc.).

Examples of Program Success

Our family literacy program can be proud of the many families who credit the services they received with their own personal successes: new jobs, better grades in school for their children, parents who passed a GED and now are transitioning to community college or Lively Vocational School. Each year, more parents show up wanting tutors for their children, or to attend our parent night workshops so they can better understand and help their children with schoolwork. We have proudly partnered with, among others, Kids’ Inc., WFSU’s Educational programs, Adult and Community Education (ACE), Refuge House, Goodwill, as well as with Brehon Family Services, and PHI Center’s family mentoring workshops. Every year, we are asked by more agencies if we have suggestions or advice for their programming. We are happy to share our ‘lessons learned’, and to offer support and advice on working with low literacy families.

Program Comments
CEO Statement/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our biggest challenge continues to be increasing the support we receive from individuals. The many dedicated volunteers we have are our most important asset but they need the support of our staff, the best curricula and materials available, and ongoing professional training. We so appreciate gifts from individuals. Your gift is the most effective means of ensuring the quality of our programs and services over time. Our next challenge is technology adaptation flexibility. Simply speaking, technology is changing so rapidly that many of our software or on line programs need to be more frequently updated or reevaluated in light of newer, more efficacious programs. We anticipate the need for a comprehensive change to our current (decades old) resources on computer and are looking to fund new resources and to get training for staff and volunteers on how to most appropriately use them. Finally, as workforce needs change, we face the challenge of helping our learners transition successfully into new skills based training, or into higher educational programs, such as a community college or a technical school. This will require a different type of volunteer, one more conversant with the technology demands and skill set needed in the 21st Century. Identifying and recruiting those new volunteers is an important goal for us.

Board Chair
Board Chair Kendra Mitchell
Company Affiliation FSU Dept. of English
Term Dec 2014 to Dec 2015
Board Members
Ms. Tobi Goodman MSW, MScommunity volunteer
Ginny Jones State Historical Preservation
Mary Margargee Youth Leadership Tallahassee
Dr. Wachell McKendrick MSW, CAPFAMU, School of Social Work
Kendra Mitchell FSU
Larry Wayne Strickland Capital City Builders
Krystal Tornes TCC Adult Education and Work Force Dev.
Gale A. Workman Ph.D, C-TEFLTighter Brighter Communication
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 7
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 90%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Rhonda Cooper
Term Start Jan 2006
Former CEOs
Sandra Althorn Jan 1995 - Mar 1997
Ellen Lauricella Mar 1997 - Oct 2005
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 274
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Mar 2013
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01 2014
Fiscal Year End Sept 30 2015
Projected Revenue $53,500.00
Projected Expenses $53,500.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 4%
Form 990s
Form 9902014
Audit or In-House Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Dtermination
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$22,164$289,901$291,483
Administration Expense$4,758$0$0
Fundraising Expense$0$3,684$5,402
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.391.021.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%99%98%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%1%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$62,047$51,666$53,601
Current Assets$57,047$46,666$48,601
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$74$7,523
Total Net Assets$62,047$51,592$46,078
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities--630.626.46
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Additional Documents
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Nonprofit Literacy Volunteers of Leon County, Inc.
Address 200 W PARK AVE
TALLAHASSEE , FL 323017716
Primary Phone 850 606-2644
Donate to Endowment Fund at Community Foundation
CEO/Executive Director Rhonda Cooper
Board Chair Kendra Mitchell
Board Chair Company Affiliation FSU Dept. of English
Year of Incorporation 1984
Former Names
Literacy Volunteers of the Big Bend