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Expanding Literacy Services in Houston

Julia and Buddy

Investors like Houston Endowment support students seeking a better life for their families. Julia is pictured here with Literacy Advance / Career and Recovery Resources Employment Specialist Buddy Oviol.

HOUSTON July 19, 2012 -- Accredited literacy provider Literacy Advance is pleased to announce a $325,000 grant award from the Houston Endowment, to support the growth of Literacy Advance’s free, community-based literacy services, improving the literacy landscape in Greater Houston.

At Literacy Advance, the staff is in tune with the challenges of every adult who walks through the door looking for help. The agency emphasizes customized services through small group and one-on-one tutoring, and this successful model is in high demand. With over 600,000 adult Houstonians functioning at the lowest literacy level, and an ongoing waitlist of students, Literacy Advance is pleased to announce the Houston Endowment’s $325,000 investment in the continued development and expansion of its free literacy services for Harris County and beyond.

“Houston Endowment’s support serves as a great lead gift towards our efforts for the future. Cost can be a key obstacle for adult learners. In fact, 43% of the organization’s 1,000+ learners are at or below 100% of the poverty level. We have offered literacy services at no cost to clients for 48 years. We need diversified philanthropic investments in order to provide the best possible no-cost literacy solutions. It is critical to our community,” says Melanie Fisk, Executive Director of Literacy Advance.

With the support from Houston Endowment, Literacy Advance will continue to lead the way in community-based literacy services, transforming the literacy landscape in Houston through the following strategies:

  • The development of a sustainable business model based on donor    diversification and individual giving that can be replicated by other community based organizations;
  • The continued cultivation of partnerships to meet the growing need for literacy services and a qualified workforce in Houston;
  • The continued roll-out of new and improved programming based on best practices;
  • The development and implementation of an agency communications plan that provides the community with a clear picture of how literacy impacts individuals and their families through new database tools and program outcomes management.

As a result of the Endowment’s support, Literacy Advance proudly introduces its newest staff member, Leah Baker, Annual Fund Manager. Ms. Baker brings with her experiences in communications, marketing and sales, and donor management from both the corporate and non-profit industries. Ms. Baker will help achieve the long-term goals set out by Literacy Advance, creating a brighter future for Houston families through a more literate community.

About Literacy Advance of Houston

Since 1964, Literacy Advance, whose mission is to transform lives and communities through the doorway of literacy, has provided free adult literacy classes in the Greater Houston area using volunteer tutors. Be a part of the solution by becoming a volunteer or donor.

Download a PDF version of this press release.

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