Learn About Us
Literacy Connections of Wayne County, Inc. was organized exclusively to provide and promote literacy services to the community in order for all adults in Wayne County, North Carolina to have the literacy skills to succeed at home and in the community. Our programs focus on a one-on-one partnership between an adult literacy student and a committed, consistent, responsible tutor. We value the opportunity for all students to improve their employment situation, be better parents, and become contributing citizens of Wayne County through education.
Organizational Past and Present
In 2008 the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee identified adult literacy as a critical need for the advancement of local workforce development in Wayne County.
In Wayne County, 21% of adults qualify as non- or very low-level readers, reading below a third grade level, unable to complete a simple form or respond to brief written questions.
Under the financial umbrella of the Wayne Charitable Partnership. Volunteer tutors were recruited and matched with adult literacy students similar to the way the program still operates today.
To address this literacy need, initial grant funding was provided by United Way. From there, a part-time Executive Director was hired in 2010 and the first agency operations started in a one-room space at the Goldsboro Public Library.
In 2012, after outgrowing the small office at the library, Literacy Connections moved further up Ash Street and settled into the old Nash Printing building. A full-time Executive Director was hired along with additional staff.
Shortly after, a signature fundraiser, Reading Between the Wines, was created and is still a popular event to date. NC authors are invited each year along with community members for a evening of literary engagement.
In 2014, through an initiative started by United Way, a new financial literacy program, Bank on Wayne, was added.
The literacy program established agency bylaws in 2014 and a year later, in 2015, Articles of Incorporation were filed. Finally, in 2017, Literacy Connections was established as its own non-profit agency out from under the Wayne Charitable Partnership.
As COVID-19 spread, we quickly discovered many of our students DO NOT HAVE the technology, tools, digital skills or even access to WIFI to learn from home. Currently, we are doing everything possible to provide online services to our community. Learn more about our students HERE and consider making a contribution today.
Your contribution may be tax deductible and is an integral part in assisting individuals experience a life laced with hope and opportunity. TAX ID #: 47-4594755
OUR JOURNEY (SUPPLEMENTAL)
In 2008, a Community Development Committee established as part of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee conducted a study and identified adult literacy as a critical need for the advancement of local workforce development in Wayne County. More specifically, there was a lack of services for adults who did not possess the most fundamental literacy skills and who required exceptional academic and life resources in order to acquire those basic literacy skills.
An initial inquiry addressed by the literacy project group was whether to establish the new organization as a 501.c.3 and the decision was made to first build capacity and then to seek 501.c.3 status at a later date.
The committee recommended to house the initial literacy program in the Employment Security Commission Office in Goldsboro and to adopt the curriculum published by Reading Connections as a ‘starter curriculum’. Vested community sectors were identified for representation on the initial Board of Directors. Initial grant funding was received from United Way, and a half-time Executive Director was hired in March 2010. Office space was provided at the Wayne County Public Library and the first agency operations started there under the program title Literacy Connections of Wayne County. Prospective adults were tested and registered at both the Wayne County Public Library and the Employment Security Commission office. The Board of Directors of Literacy Connections of Wayne County participated in various trainings with Reading Connections of Greensboro, Partnership for Children of Wayne County, and Wayne Community College.
A capacity building grant was acquired for the purchase of computer technology to establish an office for the literacy program. Recruitment of volunteer tutors was ongoing, and tutors were matched with available adult literacy students. Literacy Connections outgrew the limited space at the library and was moved to a Wayne County building located at 2001-D East Ash Street in April 2012.
As of April 2017, Literacy Connections of Wayne County has served over 1,400 students. Those students were provided with over 33,148 hours of instruction from 443 local volunteers, a value of $764,724 based on the national 2016 volunteer rate of $23.07 per hour.
Literacy Connections of Wayne County, Inc.
is a nonprofit organization recognized as a
501(c)(3) organization by the IRS
EIN Number: 47-4594755
Charlie Ivey, Vice Chair
Penny Ritt, Secretary
Speech Pathologist (retired)
Mary Bartlett, FHFMA
Wayne UNC Health Care (retired)
IT Director (retired)