Educational Institutions

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

  • Norristown, PA
  • www.LcnLit.org

Mission Statement

LCN empowers adults to improve literacy skills or learn the English language utilizing trained volunteers and teachers who provide tutoring or classroom instruction at little or no cost. We collaborate with multiple local organizations to deliver such services without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

While LCN serves Montgomery County, PA residents, most of our students come from Norristown and the surrounding communities.

Main Programs

  1. Program 1
  2. Adult Education
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

LCN serves adult residents of Montgomery County, PA. Most of our students reside in Norristown and the surrounding communities.

ruling year

1988

Executive Director

Self-reported

Ms. Theresa Oliver

Keywords

Self-reported

literacy, adult, (ESL), tutoring, reading,math, writing,speaking Englis

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Also Known As

Literacy Council of Norristown

EIN

23-2480501

 Number

5453929459

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Through improved literacy skills, LCN has helped adults improve their lives by reaching their many goals, including: obtaining employment, advancing to post-secondary education or training, becoming a citizen, improving communication with their children's teachers or emergency/medical personnel, opening a business, reducing dependency on welfare, etc., voting for the first time, becoming a first-time home-buyer, opening a bank account, passing the driver's test, acquiring a library card, etc.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

The Literacy Council of Norristown has a variety of programs that improve literacy, e.g. - one-on-one tutoring for Adult Basic Education and also English as a second language courses. We sponsor, at different sites, special classes for community groups, refugees, and immigrants. Five times each year, we hold fifteen-hour tutor training workshops for volunteers for the one-on-one program. We also sponsor English classes at the request of local employers.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Adult Education

LCN offers instruction to adults needing help with reading, writing, math, GED preparation or English as a Second Language (ESL). Instruction is delivered via one-on-one tutoring, small groups or classes. Tutor Training Workshops are offered to prepare volunteers for the tutoring opportunity.

While LCN serves Montgomery County adults age 18 and older, most of our students come from Norristown and the surrounding communities. Most students are low-income with low literacy or low English language skills.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Budget

$126,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our goal is to improve lives through literacy.
    We accomplish our goal through the following objectives:
    1. Provide One-on-One Tutoring in ABE, GED, and ESOL to improve communication, reading, writing, and math skills of those we serve.
    2. Provide four levels of ESOL Classes to meet the needs of non-English speaking students.
    3. Provide Community Programs that will improve the job performance and/or communication abilities of those serve.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Several times during the year, LCN conducts Tutor Training Workshops in order to train volunteers to become tutors for adults needing help with reading, writing, math, GED preparation or ESOL. After tutors are matched with a student, it is recommended that the pair meet twice weekly for 1.5 hours per session at a public meeting place convenient to the pair. Tutoring takes place year-round.

    ESOL classes are offered from September through June and during the summer if there is sufficient enrollment. Classes are held three days per week for 2.5 hours per session, while evening classes are held two nights per week for 2.5 hours per session. Classes are also offered twice weekly at an area elementary school for parents of ESOL students.

    Professional Development opportunities for staff members as well as support for students are available on an ongoing basis.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    LCN has been providing literacy assistance to members of the community for the past 32 years. We operate in an area where most of our students live or work. Our geographic location together with our flexible service schedules affords a greater opportunity for those in need to take advantage of our services.

    Before being matched with a student, each tutor receives 12 hours of comprehensive instruction on the particulars of the tutoring process. Support from LCN's Tutor/Student Coordinator is available as well as Professional Development opportunities provided by the PA Department of Education and other sources.

    All staff members and teachers have many years of experience as well as professional certifications which allow them to provide optimal services for our students.

    LCN communicates regularly and collaborates with other area social service agencies in order to provide better services and avoid duplication of such services.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    LCN utilizes the following assessment tools: Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS). Pretests are administered to all students upon registration. Results of these tests enable us to accurately evaluate the students and provide them with the appropriate level of instruction. Students will be monitored for progress during the program year and after 50 hours of instruction a posttest will be administered to determine educational gains. Results of these tests will also be used to improve or amend the current program and to document the improvement of our students over time. This documentation will allow us to demonstrate in a concrete way the number of students who improve their skills and how much instruction is needed to make these improvements.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since 1984, LCN has served thousands of students who came to us with the goal of improved literacy skills. Results of post-tests and student surveys reveal that overall students are very pleased with our program and the progress they have made. Students have accomplished many of the goals listed above and their lives have greatly improved as a result. LCN is proud of the quality training that we have provided for our tutors as well as the quality of services we have provided for our students. We continue to be a stable force in the community where the need for such services is great.

    In recent years, we have seen a decline in the number of tutors volunteering for our program. In part, this is due to the postponement of retirement on the part of older adults. With fewer tutors, the wait time for students becomes longer. When a tutor does become available, the students are not always available. We are currently seeking solutions to this tutor recruitment issue.

    Student retention is another issue where improvement is needed. Many students have goals that require more time than they are willing to devote and they leave the program before accomplishment of these goals.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

LCN serves adult residents of Montgomery County, PA. Most of our students reside in Norristown and the surrounding communities.

Funding Needs

LCN provides services via one-on-one tutoring (ABE-Adult Basic Education), small groups and classes (ESOL-English for Speakers of Other Languages). Funding is needed to provide instructional materials and resources for students in both programs. While LCN trains and utilizes the services of volunteer tutors in the ABE Program, paid instructors are utilized in the ESOL classes. The Executive Director is the only full-time position held at LCN. Other part-time paid positions include the following: Assistant Director/Grantwriter, Student/Tutor Coordinator, four ESOL teachers, IT specialist/web administrator. Currently, volunteer tutors and board members are needed to serve the needs of our organization. LCN has a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Literacy Council of Norristown
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Ms. Theresa Oliver

BIO

Theresa Oliver has been with LCN since 2002 as a volunteer tutor, LCN Board Member, ESL teacher, Assistant Director and present Executive Director. She holds a BA Degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University and a BS in Finance from Ashford University. She has been a resident of Norristown for the past 35 years and she is well-versed on the issues surrounding the community and its members.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"Since 1984 LCN has been addressing the low literacy issues of Montgomery County adults. Services at little or no cost are offered to students needing help with reading, writing, math, GED preparation and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Via one-on-one tutoring, small groups and classes, we help adults reach their many goals and improve their lives and the lives of their families. Improved literacy skills can create broad social and economic benefits.

Each year, LCN serves approximately 300 students. LCN trains volunteer tutors and utilizes the services of ESOL instructors in the classroom setting. While LCN receives partial support from a government grant, donations are sought from foundations, corporations and individuals. Volunteer tutors are needed for those students who are not available for classroom instruction."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Patricia Lees

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?