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History

Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley was established in 1986. Census statistics showed that thousands of adults with low literacy skills lived and worked in St. Charles, but no program was providing one-to-one tutoring, a method that was achieving a lot of success.

Five tutors were trained to work with five adults. The rest is history.

1989: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley was asked to tutor incarcerated youth at the St. Charles Youth Center. The program was the forerunner of JumpStart, a literacy program for young inmates now administered by Literacy Volunteers Illinois.

1990: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley established a workplace literacy program at Pheasant Run Resort and Convention Center. Over the years, we have expanded on our basic workplace model and established programs at ARAMARK at Arthur Andersen, Houghton Mifflin Co., McDonald’s, St. Charles School District #303, Atlanta Bread Company, Burgess Norton Manufacturing Co., CartonCraft, Pyramid Manufacturing, Norton McMurray Manufacturing Co., R.R. Donnelley and Recora Inc.

1996: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley brought the National External Diploma Program to Illinois. A partnership was formed between Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley, St. Charles Public Library and St. Charles School District #303. Residents and workers earn regular high school diplomas by meeting External Diploma Program requirements.

1998: The Illinois Secretary of State Literacy Program asked Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley to study technology and literacy instruction. We focused on the Internet and its viability as a learning tool for people with limited English. That same year, the National Institute for Literacy mounted the study on the web for nationwide use.

2001: ProLiteracy, the largest nongovernmental organization of adult basic education and literacy programs in the world, accredited Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley.  This places us among an elite group of affiliates that are distinguished by superior professional leadership, effective programs, committed governing boards and outstanding volunteer support. Only 400 of the 1,200 ProLiteracy America affiliates have achieved this designation.  We were re-accredited in 2010 and 2014.

2004: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley set up on-site tutoring at Batavia Apartments, a low-income housing complex administered by the Franciscans. Volunteer tutors bring one-to-one learning to residents who are isolated because they lack transportation and English language skills.

2006: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley and three other west suburban Chicago affiliates formed the Literacy For Adults Partnership. By combining our 25+ years of experience, we are raising a greater awareness of the need for one-to-one tutoring and the mutually rewarding relationship that tutors can build with their adult students.

2008: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley gave its tutor training workshop a makeover. Custom designed e-learning modules complement a shorter, four-session workshop. Due to its popularity, we exceeded our tutor recruitment goal in Fiscal 2009 by almost 50%. Our website was improved to enhance program visibility.

2010: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley partnered with St. Charles School District #303 to bring small group learning to the parents of immigrant children at Richmond School. Thirty-one parents enrolled and work with tutors at the beginning of the school day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

2013: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley asked SCORE to do a business analysis to determine how we might position ourselves for greater growth. SCORE representatives reviewed historical income, expense, and service data to come to some interesting conclusions. Every adult student we serve requires 15 hours of staff time per year. Each adult student stays with the program for about two years. Each tutor teaches an average of 1.4 adult students per year. Our average cost per hour is $32. Growth is directly dependent on the amount of income we can generate for support.

2015: Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley compiled "Pathways to Success." The program offers help to adults with low-level language skills who want to improve their employment status. Tutors can customize the lessons to meet individual student needs. "Pathways to Success" has been loaded on our website for easy access.  

"We have a long history of meeting the English needs of our community.”

–Peg Coker, Executive Director

 

 Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley • One South Sixth Avenue • St. Charles, IL • 60174 • 630-584-2811