Educational Institutions

Literacy Council Gulf Coast, Inc.

  • Bonita Springs, FL
  • www.literacygulfcoast.org

Mission Statement

The mission of Literacy Council Gulf Coast Mission is to assist adults and children to acquire the literacy skills necessary to improve their quality of life.

Main Programs

  1. Program 1
  2. Moms and Tots Family Literacy Program
  3. Adult Literacy Programs
  4. The Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative
  5. Worksite Literacy
  6. COLLEGE COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

North Naples, Naples Park,

ruling year

1990

Principal Officer since 2007

Self-reported

Susan Acuna

Keywords

Self-reported

literacy, adult education, financial literacy, tutoring, ESOL, ESL, family literacy, child language development, child language acquisition, volunteers

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EIN

65-0153890

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

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

We served over 2500 students with 600 tutors. We moved into our new 10,400 square foot building in October 2009. We are focusing on growing and expanding programs to more locations, including our Moms and Tots Family Literacy Program

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 works with businesses to set up classes for employees needing instruction in English. The Council's other programs include Worksite Literacy Programs in which residents or members of local golf and gated communities become tutors and work with employees of the community. Individual and group tutoring takes place at a time and place convenient to the tutor and student. Another program is the Moms and Tots Family Literacy Program which take place at six nieghborhood locations. This program teaches pre-school children and their mothers English to prepare the children for Kindergarten, to improve the quality of life for the moms and to encourage a love of literacy in each family. The Council has a 14-station computer lab for students with 2000 hours of English instruction available for self-directed study. Tutor-training workshops take place at least 12 times a year.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Moms and Tots Family Literacy Program

Mothers and their pre-school children learn English to prepare the children to start school on an even level as their peers.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$75,000.00

Program 3

Adult Literacy Programs

Adults learn English through one-on-one or group classes.  Adults learn computer skills, GED Readiness, and Citizenship

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$325,000.00

Program 4

The Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative

The Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative is based on the successful Moms & Tots program and is collaboration with the Lee County School District. Kids+ is offered to parents of older children enrolled in Title One Schools. Parents attend classes to increase their skills and become more active in their child's education. Having a strong presence in their child's school life encourages their children to succeed. These students have better attendance, a higher graduation rate, and perform better on tests. Children in need of remedial education also receive supplemental tutoring during this time. Participating schools reported increased volunteerism and participation by the parents. Kids+ taught English to 935 students (671 adults, 264 children) in 17 area Title One Schools in 2013-2014.

Category

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 5

Worksite Literacy

Worksite Literacy is a resident-organized program offered at golf and gated community worksites as well as local business locations.

Category

Population(s) Served

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Adults

Budget

Program 6

COLLEGE COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

LCGC has partnered with Edison State College to provide a new service to enrolled college students, providing literacy and language services. These services are designed for students in need of remedial education. Classes are taught on-site at Edison College, using LCGC volunteers. Tutors focus on English reading and language comprehension, as well as college level writing. For ""non-traditional"" students enrolled in college, many challenges can present themselves. Whether there exists a language barrier in the classroom or poor basic literacy skills which inhibit the student's ability to study and engage in their work, LCGC is determined to help. According to a recent report from the State Impact study, nearly 40% of first year college students are in need of remedial education.

Category

Population(s) Served

Adults

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Budget

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?
    We strive to create a strong sense of family and hold strongly to the following:We believe in the power of literacy to improve the lives of our students, their families, communities and society.We believe in providing our students with the highest quality of literacy education and related services where respect, integrity, inquiry, creativity and diversity contribute to individual achievement and the transformation of lives and communities.We believe in the power of tutors and our partners to make a difference in the lives of our students, helping them to reach their full potential.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Literacy Council Gulf Coast (LCGC) has provided literacy services for students across Lee County and North Naples for over 25 years. Every student is unique, with different goals and needs. We strive to create a welcoming environment that encourages learning, while working with each individual to help them reach their objectives through our numerous programs.LCGC offers four primary programs: Adult Literacy, Worksite Literacy, Family Literacy, and the College Community Collaboration Project. Each of these successful programs is designed to help students improve the quality of their lives through literacy and language skills. These programs encompass multiple classes, and include both group and individual tutoring opportunities.Family LiteracyFamily Literacy encompasses both the Carol De Joy Moms & Tots® Program and the Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative. The Moms & Tots® Program is dedicated to empowering at-risk mothers through increased literacy and language skills, while also preparing their pre-school aged children to enter school. This unique program teaches mothers and other caregivers in small groups, helping prepare them improve their English language skills and increasing their communication skills. Meanwhile, their children are given basic instruction to ensure that they have the foundation to begin a successful academic career. Mothers and children are then brought together and continue their education through art, educational toys, and reading. Based on surveys and our research, 100% of child graduates reach the program goal and enter school at, or above, level with their peers.The Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative also serves to educate both parent and child. In this class, the parents of older children enrolled in Title One Schools come to the school and receive tutoring. This program enables parents to take a more active role in their child's education. Students whose parents have an increased presence in their education have better attendance, are more likely to graduate, and perform better on tests. This program currently operates in fifteen area schools. Last year, 602 adults and 247 children participated in the program.Adult LiteracyAdult Literacy offers classes in English language and conversation, preparation for the GED and US Citizenship test, computer literacy, and other focused subject areas. Adult Literacy classes incorporate several types of curriculum for English Language Learners such as Side by Side and English in Action, as well as the Barton Reading and Spelling System, which aids students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia. During the 2012-2013 year, LCGC assisted 1,891 adult students.Worksite LiteracyThe Worksite Literacy Program is an innovative method that encourages gated communities to invest in their employees, and enables the employees to create better opportunities for themselves. Residents volunteer through LCGC and dedicate time to teach English to the community's employees. Having classes available at the workplace removes barriers that might otherwise prevent the employees from pursuing their education (for example: transportation, time, etc.). Employees who participate in the Worksite Literacy Program become qualified to move into management positions with their current employers. Employees become more marketable individuals, capable of communicating with customers, vendors, and the public.College Community CollaborationLCGC's final primary program is the newly implemented College Community Collaboration (3C) with Edison State College. Through our partnership with the college, and with support from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, we are able to help students enrolled at Edison who are in need of remedial education. To ensure that students are given the tools for success, LCGC provides tutors to operate at the Fort Myers Edison location, offering services in English reading and language comprehension, as well as college level writing.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Literacy Council Gulf Coast has served Southwest Florida for over 25 years and is the largest nonprofit literacy agency in the United States according to ProLiteracy.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    When students come to the Literacy Council requesting instruction, they are assessed to determine their level of English language proficiency. Additionally, they list their goals. Students are then assigned to a class based on their assessment score. When students achieve mastery of that level, they then move up to another level.When teaching adults we must be cognizant of their individual goals. Tutoring sessions are designed to address these goals - no matter the reading level or level of English language proficiency of the learner. The Literacy Council Gulf Coast prides itself on being learner-centered, so by focusing attention on the student's goals, and then by shaping practice around these objectives, we truly put the student's needs first.Examples of students' goals include:To have better communication with their child's school or with medical professionalsTo improve their ability to help their child with schoolworkTo be able to secure a jobTo be promoted or secure a better jobTo obtain higher educationTo pass the U.S. Citizenship testTo communicate with their neighbors within their communityEach year we survey a sample of our adult students to assess their satisfaction with the program and whether they achieved their individual goals while enrolled. And each year, over 95% of students surveyed say they achieved their literacy goals and were satisfied with the instruction.Prior to graduation in the summer, a rubric is administered to all children who will be attending the public school system in the fall. The following spring, teachers and principals at the schools participate in a questionnaire designed to let us know if our graduates began school ready to learn. Each year, we find that 100% of our graduates started school average or above average as compared to their peers.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Excerpt from the 2013-2014 Annual Report: 39 tots graduated from Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Carol DeJoy Moms & Tots® Family Literacy Program. Kids+ Lifelong Learning program for parents began at LaBelle Elementary School in Hendry County. At the end of the first year, we had 59 students enrolled in the class. Literacy Council awarded $30,000 from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation for its inaugural College Community Collaboration (3C), a partnership with Edison State College. IMA-Literacy Council Gulf Coast Classic 5K Run/Walk held at Gulf Coast Town Center. (raised $5,987.00) 2nd Annual Legacy Appreciation Bistro event held at the Council. 3C Program begins at Edison State College in January 2014. Fort Myers residents Sasha Williams and Michelle Hudson join the Literacy Council Board of Directors. Annual winter in-service tutor training held at Council offices. Norris Fine Furniture, in conjunction with Barnes and Noble Booksellers, held its second ""The Writer's Domain"" event in the Fort Myers showroom to benefit the Literacy Council. Proceeds for the Council included $2,251. Inaugural Passion for Fashion Luncheon held at Colonial Country Club. The Fashion Show featured new Spring fashions from Jennifer's of Fort Myers. Raised over $6,500 and gained new contacts in the Fort Myers area. 11th Annual Literacy Legacy Breakfast fundraiser held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort on March 12, 2014. Over $181,000 in donations received. Annual Tutor/Volunteer recognition luncheon held at the Council to honor volunteers' service to the organization and its students. United Way increased our annual allocation from $158,000 to $168,000 for Lee County programs for 2015. Hendry County allocations meetings are scheduled for late Summer 2014. GED preparation classes offered with childcare provided. In partnership with the Lee County School District, our Kids+ Lifelong Learning program taught English to 935 students at 17 area Title I schools. The schools continue to report increased volunteerism by the parents. 17 schools (listed below) offered classes. 671 adults and 264 children studied during the 2013-2014 school year.o Bonita Middle Schoolo Edgewood Academyo Harns Marsh Elementaryo Headstart Parent Universityo Island Coast High Schoolo J. Colin English Elementaryo LaBelle Elementaryo Lehigh Acres Elementaryo Mirror Lakes Elementaryo North Fort Myers Arts Academyo Oak Hammock Middle Schoolo Orange River Elementaryo Orangewood Elementaryo Sunshine Elementaryo Tice Elementaryo Tortuga Preserve Elementaryo Villas Elementary
Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

North Naples, Naples Park,

Funding Needs

We are expanding our very successful programs and need funding to help us to keep up with the demand for English language assistance for families throughout Southwest Florida. It costs us just $200 per student per year to teach English due to our excellent fiscal responsibility.

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 GULF COAST INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Literacy Council Gulf Coast, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Susan Acuna

BIO

Susan has over 20 years experience in non-profit management, fundraising and community relations. She has a Master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Planning and Management from Indiana University. Susan has served as Executive Director of the Literacy Council since June 2006 and has overseen tremendous growth of numbers of students served, from 1,549 students to over 4,000 students throughout Lee County. The Carol DeJoy Moms and Tots Family Literacy Program has grown from two locations to 11 locations throughout the county serving over 1,400 moms and pre-school children. Susan spearheaded the construction of the 10,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Bonita, which opened in November 2009. In 2011, she presided over the merger of Literacy Volunteers of Lee County with the Literacy Council of Bonita Springs, bringing together two long-time literacy organizations focused on adult and family literacy. She was named President and CEO of the Literacy Council Gulf Coast in January 2012. Under her leadership, the Literacy Council Gulf Coast has been recognized as the 2nd largest non-profit and non-governmental literacy organization in the US.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"This organization has truly changed lives by assisting students to improve their literacy skills. Our students are getting better jobs, securing promotions, starting their own businesses and beginning school fully prepared to learn as a result of the programs offered at the Literacy Council. We utilize the talents of mostly volunteers and as a result, it costs us under $200 per year per student to teach English."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Jim Kahl

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?