Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle (LVCA) provides one-on-one, confidential tutoring in basic literacy and English as a second language to adults living or working in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. This service is provided by our talented volunteer tutors. In 2013 we will celebrate our 30th anniversary of service to our community!
In the past seven years, Virginia’s foreign-born population has jumped by nearly half, bringing with it linguistic challenges. Listen to Deanne Foerster, Program Director of LVCA talk about our work with ESL students.
We believe the ability to read, write, and communicate is critical to adults to fully realize their potential as individuals, parents, and citizens.
Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle (LVCA) is a non-profit agency that offers free basic literacy and English as a Second Language tutoring to adults through recruitment and training of volunteer tutors who work one-on-one with learners, helping them become more productive workers, parents, citizens, neighbors, and consumers.
LVCA is a Virginia non-stock corporation with IRS 501(c)(3) status, and is assisted and governed by a Board of Directors.
- To enable adults in need of basic literacy and/or English as a second language skills to achieve their potential through literacy instruction
- To train, supervise, and support tutors who provide instruction to learners
- To work collaboratively with other community service agencies in providing our services
- To evaluate our program and make improvements in order to strengthen our capacity to provide quality services to the community
Who We Serve
Quick Facts About Our Region
- 9,000+ functionally illiterate adults
- 14,000 adults without a high school diploma
- 5,000 foreign nationals (and growing)
Almost 20% of Virginians over 25 have seriously limited literacy skills. In our immediate region there are over 6,000 functionally illiterate adults. 14,000 have no high school diploma and the population of foreign speaking individuals, especially Spanish-speaking, has sky-rocketed in recent years.
We provide tutoring for adults 18 years of age or older, living or working in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Most of our students are between the ages of 25 and 59. Many are employed, but because jobs for people with poor literacy skills pay very little, they support families on relatively small incomes; many work multiple jobs. They face poverty-related problems such as frequent job changes, under-employment, inadequate housing and health care, and require more than one job just to meet basic needs.
Many are ashamed of their inability to read and enrolling in a literacy program takes courage. Those who do enroll are hard-working, ambitious men and women who want to change their circumstances, and they voluntarily choose to spend time each week doing something they find difficult. Through our volunteers, we provide these adults a second chance to learn.
Many of these students have limited resources and we offer not only free instruction, but also flexibility of instruction hours to meet the needs of people who may be working odd hours or two jobs to support their families needs.
How the Program Works
- Intake interview and confidential assessment of each learner
- Identfication of the learner’s personal goals
- Learner is “matched” with an appropriate tutor
- Learner is provided one-on-one tutoring and independent computer-based learning
- Learner is retested and assessed for progress on a regular basis
Adults who request our services are matched with volunteers we have been trained to act as tutors. Each learner/tutor pair meet twice a week for an hour of one-on-one personalized, confidential tutoring; these sessions usually occur at the LVCA office at a time that accommodates the student’s and tutor’s schedules. The office is available day or evening with abundant resources to support the tutor’s instructional plan.
As the student/tutor pair work together, the LVCA staff provides instructional support and guidance. LVCA also collaborates with organizations that provide related services. By information-sharing and cross-referrals, we work in tandem with many community agencies, including adult education and training programs, the Jefferson Madison Regional Library, and local social services departments.
What are the Funding Sources?
- Individual Donors
- Fundraising Events
- Grants: Virginia Department of Education, City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County
- Area Organizations: United Way- Thomas Jefferson Area, BAMA Works Foundation, Charlottesville/Albemarle Community Foundation, Virginia Literacy Foundation, churches, clubs and other private foundations
How Your Donations Help
- $ 150 = One Student Tutored for One Month
- $ 250 = Instructional Materials/Workbooks for 10 students
- $ 500 = Training for 10 Tutors
- $ 1,000 = Publication Joy of Writing, featuring students’ works
- $ 5,000 = 7 new computer learning stations
- $10,000 = Lifetime Endowment Member