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, 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.