Get Involved-Spotlight: Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
The Literacy Coalition strengthens Central Texas literacy education providers in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell Counties through advocacy, research, training, and resource development.
Why We Exist
In the late 1990’s, a series of community forums and facilitated discussions centered on literacy needs began in the community. Several themes emerged, including the need for a centralized point of coordination for the community’s literacy services, as well as the need for increased public awareness and resources for programs. In response to these needs, a small group of literacy service providers and concerned community leaders founded the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas in 2001.
The rates of low literacy in among Central Texas residents, generally considered a highly-educated population, are staggering: fewer than 1 in 5 adults can read and write well enough to fill out a job application. The Coalition is dedicated to supporting and expanding literacy services so that businesses can hire, people can work, and families can thrive.
Programs & Initiatives
- The Literacy Advancement Initiative recruits, trains, and provides supportive services for literacy instructors to improve the availability and quality of literacy services in the area. Each year, Coalition staff trains nearly 200 new volunteer instructors.
- The Central Texas Health Literacy Initiative provides adult literacy instructors with instructional modules and lesson plans to help learners manage their own health and better understand and navigate the healthcare system. It also trains healthcare professionals how to identify and effectively communicate with low-literate patient populations. To date, Coalition staff have trained over 500 healthcare professionals.
- The Coalition partners with the Texas Christian Life Commission to host Literacy Day at the Capitol each year, a day-long celebration of support for literacy programs that raises awareness of literacy needs at the legislative level. During session, LCCT encourages learners’ civic engagement by coordinating legislative visits for over 350 adult literacy students and advocates from around the state. Through this effort, legislators see the impact that literacy programs have on the Texas economy, families, and our quality of life.
- Learner Web is innovative, online software developed by Portland State University that offers self-paced lesson plans for adult learning. Working with a trained Computer Literacy & Internet Coach (CLIC), learners connect with both online and offline resources in their local communities, build their computer literacy and internet skills, and acquire workforce skills that help them move ahead in their chosen pathway.
- Through our toll-free Literacy Hotline (1-866-518-READ), the Coalition provides Outreach & Service Coordination to individuals and families in need of literacy services. The Coalition also maintains an interactive, searchable database on our website for referrals to area providers.
The Coalition supports a network of 40+ partner agencies offering over 70 literacy programs, including adult, family, and children’s literacy, workplace literacy, health literacy, English as a Second Language, and GED preparation. A full list of programs and providers can be found on our website, www.willread.org.
How You can Help
Donations are always welcome! We’ve made donating easy through our online donation page. You can also attend a training to become an English as a Second Language or Adult Basic Education instructor. If you own a business or offer professional services, we’d love to talk to you about opportunities for underwriting programmatic expenses and sponsoring events! Contact us at (512) 320-4505 or email Maegan Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audio and video produced by KUT’s Mike Lee