Literacy Works started in 1995 when a few small literacy organizations on Chicago’s North Side expressed a need for their volunteer tutors to be trained in how to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults. We expanded when Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs wanted training for their tutors in teaching reading, writing and math. Over the years, we have grown to support 50 member organizations with tutor training and professional development for their staff. Dozens more partner organizations call on us to help them develop approaches and materials that will enhance their services for adults with low literacy.
Today, Literacy Works is recognized in Chicago and beyond as a leading expert in adult literacy. Through our network of members and partners, each year we help an estimated 20,000 people receive the resources they need to build their skills and reach their goals.
Literacy Works’ mission is to advance equity by promoting literacy education and the use of clear language.
To fulfill this mission, Literacy Works:
- Trains Chicago area’s volunteer adult literacy tutors
- Builds the capacity of Chicago’s adult literacy professionals through continued learning opportunities
- Improves access to critical information for people of all literacy levels by consulting with public and private organizations to implement clear language practice
Our vision is that one day, all people will realize their full potential through the ability to read, write, and interpret the world.
- Literacy is a necessary tool in the fight for justice, equity and equality
- Literacy heightens personal dignity and removes barriers to a high quality of life
- All people have the ability to improve their literacy with the proper resources
- All people deserve equitable access to literacy education
- Literacy education improves civic participation, empowering individuals and benefiting entire communities
- Clear language is essential for fair and equal access to opportunity
- Cultural and linguistic diversity should be respected and celebrated