Educational Institutions

Highlands Educational Literacy Prog Inc

  • Abingdon, VA
  • www.helpliteracyofwc.org

Mission Statement

HELP’s mission is to provide basic educational opportunities for adults to enable them to function more productively in today’s workforce and economic environment.

Main Programs

  1. Paving the Path to Financial Independence: Job Seeking Skills for High School Drop-outs
  2. Paving the Path to Independence: Basic Reading and Writing
  3. Paving the Path to Financial Independence: Basic Computer Literacy
  4. Paving the Path to Independence: English Skills for the Non-native Speaker
  5. Paving the Path to Financial Independence: First Contact for Families

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Virginia

Washington County, VA

ruling year

1999

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mary Andrea Ragland

Keywords

Self-reported

Literacy, English, job search, reading, citizenship

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EIN

31-1641743

 Number

8377012151

Physical Address

13168 Meadowview Square

Meadowview, VA 24361

Also Known As

H.E.L.P.

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

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?

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

Paving the Path to Financial Independence: Job Seeking Skills for High School Drop-outs

Our target population for the Paving the Path to Financial Independence: Job Seeking Skills for High School Drop-outs Program is both unemployed and underemployed high school drop-outs in Washington County. Last year we offered a pilot project assisting our reading students with job search skills and this grant is intended to be used to continue and expand this program to all categories of our student basis as well as others in the community without a high school diploma or GED .

Once a client enrolls in the program, he/she will be evaluated and matched with a tutor from H.E.L.he/she will be referred to Mount Rogers Adult Basic Education Program to pursue a GED. Participants will also be integrated into a group setting for the job search skills component. The group setting will also function as a practical application of their improving literacy skills and the group environment will allow an element of mutual support from others in similar situations.

Group classes will meet for a total of ten hours for a job skills class, which will include development of a resume, interview skills practice, job search skills, and an introduction to online job applications. These group classes will continue and, as needed, a job coach will meet individually with the students to help them in any areas of difficulty. Students will meet for approximately five hours of individualized job skills training with a job coach, working in those sessions with writing a resume, application completion, and practice interviews. Length of service for each client will vary based on their literacy needs and level from six months to a year. Intensity of the program can be assessed by the meetings which will occur once or twice weekly, for one and a half to two hours with additional work assigned for completion during the week.

Category

Employment

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$20,000.00

Program 2

Paving the Path to Independence: Basic Reading and Writing

Our target population for the program Paving the Path to Independence: Basic Reading and Writing for Adults are those individuals who have reading and/or writing levels below an eighth grade level. The key program activity is one-on-one tutoring, using volunteer tutors. Tutoring will revolve around the individual needs of the student. The Executive Director will perform periodic student evaluations and will be available to tutors for consultation if and when any learning challenges are encountered.

The primary text resource will be Laubach’s Way to Reading series, supplemented by other resources and textbooks. Having been used for over sixty years, the Laubach method of teaching (following the phonetic approach) has a proven track record. A study by Bowren & Dwyer (1988) indicated on average, an improvement of .64 of one grade level in 38 hours of tutoring.

Students will be tutored once or twice a week for one to two hours per session. The length of the program is dependent on the student’s level and goals, with an average of about a year. Tutors will incorporate the specific goals of the student into their instruction. For example, a tutor may incorporate reading the Driver’s License manual into the class material if that is one of the student’s goal. Additionally, computer aided instruction will be used when appropriate as a supplement for some students, using programs such as Ultimate Phonics and Phonics Alive.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$14,000.00

Program 3

Paving the Path to Financial Independence: Basic Computer Literacy

Our target population for the Paving the Path to Financial Independence: Computer Literacy program include adults over the age of 18 who have little or no experience with computers. Students will meet once or twice a week for 1.5 to 2 hours to learn a range of basic computer topics, using the Teknimedia approach. Topics include Using a Mouse, Keyboard Skills, Computer Basics, the Internet, and Basic and Intermediate Word Processing. A very basic overview of spreadsheets will also be covered upon request. The duration will depend on the student's rate of learning for this self-paced program. Average duration is expected to be about six weeks.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$20,600.00

Program 4

Paving the Path to Independence: English Skills for the Non-native Speaker

Our target population for the program Paving the Path to Independence: English for Non-native Speakers are those individuals who are not native English speakers who want to improve their oral and written English skills. Historically, one of the main reasons students in this category seek our help with this issue is to improve their financial circumstances by obtaining better employment. Often, the students are parents who are concerned about being unable to help their children with schoolwork in English.

The key program activity is one-on-one tutoring, using volunteer tutors. Tutoring revolves around the individual needs of the student. With some students, this includes assistance with study for the citizenship test or a driver’s license, using the study for these goals as another way of learning the language. The primary texts used are the Side by Side series, which comes in four levels. Assessment is done during intake of a new student to determine which level is appropriate.

Students meet once or twice a week for one to two hours sessions. Average time in the program for these students is about six months. Because of long work hours and family responsibilities, scheduling classes is challenging with this population. Because of this the one-on-one approach, with its greater flexibility, works best. Additionally, this approach allows the tutor to teach the student at his or her current level, rather than providing a more generic curriculum in a class setting. We provide a unique one-on-one assistance to this population in an environment that is less threatening than a group situation.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Hispanics

Budget

$7,000.00

Program 5

Paving the Path to Financial Independence: First Contact for Families

Our target population for this program encompasses children age six and under and their parents, ages 18 to 40 and wiil be aimed at encouraging reading in children. We will make contact with this group through our programs in schools, day care facilities, and pre-schools. We will also use these venues to identify parents who may have literacy needs whom we will refer our other programs. Our Paving the Path to Independence: First Contact for Families program will provide a resource to parents and day care providers on the importance of encouraging literacy by fostering pre-literacy activities in their students.

We will create a presence in the local day care facilities, elementary schools, and pre-schools by distributing books, providing volunteers to read to the children, and initiating other creative programs to get children excited about reading. We will also distribute information aimed at parents and day care providers, educating them on how to encourage and prepare their children to become active readers. Through these programs we will have a presence in local households, with information distributed about the availability of one-on-one tutoring for adults. As a result of these efforts, we aim to increase our client base among younger adults for our other programs. A child’s well-being is a powerful motivator for a literacy student and this method would help to engage this motivator.

There will be a minimum of 10 events sponsored through this program over the year with contact made with a minimum of 200 families. Parents will be given a response form through our contact with the children to enable them to enroll in our other programs. This will give us an opportunity to provide them with additional information about providing a stimulating environment to promote literacy for their children, and to improve their own skills.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Adults

Budget

$20,240.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Virginia

Washington County, VA

Funding Needs

As local governmental funding is declining and the emphasis has changed from adult education to early childhood programs, we are in great need of funding the basic adult literacy, ESL, and basic computer literacy programs. We especially need assistance with funding our operating costs and salaries. We would like to add a part time Volunteer Coordinator position to allow the ED to increase fundraising efforts, but currently lack the funds for this position.

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Operations

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

Highlands Educational Literacy Prog Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mary Andrea Ragland

BIO

Mary Ragland has over 17 years of management experience in higher education. She has tutored college students and managed budgets in this capacity. Her educational background includes a B. A. in sociology and an M. B. A. with a specialization in management.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Linda Sproles

Big John's

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

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CEO OVERSIGHT

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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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BOARD COMPOSITION

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BOARD PERFORMANCE

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