Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, formerly the Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. In 2002, Literacy Volunteers became one of the first affiliates in the nation to achieve full ProLiteracy accreditation, a tribute to the organization’s outstanding delivery of literacy services to the community.

9:00 - 4:00 P.M.

Our volunteers are recognized wide and far.

Since April 1984, Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College has served over 3,000 adults in our community who have literacy deficiencies by offering tutoring and instruction free of charge. The affiliate was started by Mrs. Ella Edwards, assistant librarian at Centenary College, when she discovered that one of the Library employees could not read, and had hidden this fact from other staff for years. A number of Centenary faculty and staff, including David Throgmorton, Ph.D., professor of sociology, joined Mrs. Edwards in the effort to raise awareness of the low literacy rates in the region and to develop a program to help those adults who wanted to learn to read.

An estimated 71,500 adults in Northwest Louisiana cannot read a newspaper, a contract or written instructions provided by an employer, nor can they write a check, read and understand medical prescriptions, fill out a job application or help their children with school homework. At least 28% of our adult population in Louisiana is functionally illiterate, one of the highest rates in the nation. For the individual, this represents a life of missed opportunities, dependence on others, and vulnerability to exploitation. For the community, it represents an enormous waste of human capital in the workforce, high crime rates, increased public health problems, and lower student achievement for children of illiterate parents. Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College is dedicated to improving this situation through its mission to increase literacy in Northwest Louisiana.

Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College accomplishes its mission through a dedicated volunteer force of tutors, tutor trainers, board members, administrative support, and mentors. Individuals, corporations, and foundations provide the means to execute programs and planning. Centenary College provides our office and classroom facilities.


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