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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Literacy Advance of Houston

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Economic Development, Education

Mission: Transforming lives and communities through the doorway of literacy.

Results: Adult students who have completed Literacy Advance classes have gone on to further study, better jobs, U.S. citizenship, and much more! A large number of the adults who come to us for classes are looking to improve their job readiness and find new or better jobs. Some of our greatest celebrations are when students succeed at fulfilling their job-related goals, but we are overjoyed to celebrate all learning and life successes, big or small.

Target demographics: Adults new to the USA who want to improve their conversational English, and those born in the USA who want to improve their reading and writing.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,400 adults and families.

Geographic areas served: The greater Houston area, with our main site in west Houston, satellite sites in Bay Area (Clear Lake) and Waller County, and classes at partner sites across the city.

Programs: One-on-one reading and writing classes for adults who want to improve their basic literacy; small-group English classes for adults learning English; family literacy activities; work readiness; computer literacy, and more. Our classes are student centered and we work with the adult students to achieve their personal goals, often related to family stability and job preparedness.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance of Houston is a fabulous nonprofit! The entire focus of the organization is on the students and what can be done to improve service to them - a great dynamic. Volunteers are trained and deeply appreciated. It is a lean organization so donations go to great use. Tutoring at Literacy Advance is extremely rewarding! I've had many heartwarming moments as a tutor when students told me they got a driver's license or could speak to teachers, doctors or maintenance technicians because of their time in my class. The atmosphere at Literacy Advance is joyful and fun! Everyone is treated with respect and it brings out the best in all of us. Donate! Volunteer! Help change people's lives and reap personal reward beyond measure.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired a few years ago from Morgan Stanley after 25 years of service. I found myself to be very bored and unfulfilled, my wife still works long and hard days. So I was alone. I thought maybe I could be useful, helpful as a volunteer. I decided to try it and have been very blessed by the warm reception of the students and the happy faces.
I can actually see a difference in my students and their confidence level. I know I have made a difference in their lives, There is no $paycheck, but the value of the rewards I feel inside my heart is tremendous. Thanks Literacy Advance! Jim McCubbin

1 Maxine4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered here as a way to give back. Even though the clients and staff abundantly praise and thank me, turns out, I have gained so much more than I feel I contribute. I walk away from every interaction feeling energized, hopeful, and connected. Literacy Advance has enriched my life beyond measure.

3 Roslyn M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For anyone searching for a way to make a positive contribution to the lives of Houstonians, Literacy Advance of Houston is a wonderful place to explore. If you prefer to tutor one on one, you can chose to help a native English speaker improve his or her reading skills. If you like small groups, you can tutor 4 to 8 students from all over the world and help them learn English and make sense of our community. Either way, you will be rewarded with interesting activities, new friends, and fascinating new information about language and the world. The value of your contribution of time and effort will expand with each student life you touch.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Literacy Advance of Houston for 12 years. It gets better every year! With enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers, hundreds of people are learning to speak, read and write in English - both native speakers and people from about 80 other countries! I encourage anyone with an interest in helping newcomers to the Houston community improve their abilities to become involved.

1 Michael139

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance of Houston is staffed by a knowledgeable and dedicated group of employees and volunteers. The classroom facilities are outstanding and there is a well-stocked resource room with teaching materials. Learners are universally pleased with their experiences at Literacy Advance.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All efforts, eyes and hearts are focused on the learners and that makes tutoring at Literacy Advance such a rewarding experience. It's like being on an awesome team of winners who love helping! The staff is top-notch, enthusiastic and so supportive. I've been a tutor since '05 and although much has changed, the most important things haven't: the programs are relevant to the learners and the classroom experience is exciting. I love tutoring at Literacy Advance and I'm so grateful for all the volunteers, the staff and those who so generously give their resources to the learners.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance of Houston is a great place to volunteer. They are highly organized and appreciative. It really feels good to be part of this organization - working (and having fun) with the staff, students and other volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for almost 4 years. I have enjoyed every minute of it. From the thorough orientation I attended, I knew that I would be prepared to help a fellow Houstonian learn to read and write. Seeing the light go "on" is an amazing moment - when the student gets a certain concept, learns a new word, writes his first paragraph, spells every word correctly, speaks in front of a crowd - I get goosebumps thinking about the many things that these students learn - and we take for granted. I have seen first-hand the transformation that happens when a student learns to read. Everyone who comes here is motivated and happy. This is the happiest place to be!

1 Steve54

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working as a a volunteer at Literacy Advance has truly been a rewarding and productive experience. The wonderfully supportive staff make the environment pleasant and enjoyable. The staff also make both tutors and students feel welcome and appreciated. This is a remarkable place.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance is a unique and critical volunteer opportunity. Literacy Advance trains volunteers to transfer knowledge they already have by tutoring individuals in the basics of reading and writing English. These basic life skills assist adults in bettering their lives, and the lives of their families. While volunteering, one is rewarded with friends and a multi-cultural experience.

1 Katya M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance is a great organization for someone interested in volunteering through tutoring / or for getting free ESL, ABE and other "literacy" classes. The organization is very well run, and it has great teaching resources to make tutoring interesting and truly beneficial for both volunteers and students. As an ESL tutor I enjoy having access to many teaching books, instructions, CDs, manipulatives, DVDs, etc! So far, the students I have met at Literacy Advance are motivated and serious about learning and assimilating in the U.S., so I feel like my volunteering really makes a difference. The classes take place in a nice, clean environment; the central office is fantastic, it looks professional. Tutoring is well structured; there is a strict attendance policy for students, clear schedules and simple reports policy which helps the tutor to keep continuance of educational process. So far I am very happy to volunteer for Literacy Advance!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering as an ESL tutor with Literacy Advance is extremely rewarding because it offers the chance to directly improve lives. My students have benefitted from my instruction, and I have benefitted from their stories and experiences. The training and support are exemplary, and working with these adult students has been FUN!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance enables volunteers and participants a chance to impact each others lives in a positive manner.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You know how, when you start to volunteer somewhere the organization can tend to overwhelm you ith requests for more and more of your time, adding responsibilities, and eventually burning you out? NOT SO with Literacy Advance! This is such an organized and professional group, and they are incredibly appreciative of even the slightest contribution. I'm continually amazed at the flexibility and support volunteers are afforded, but most of all, the enthusiasm and heart-felt thanks volunteers receive from the staff and students is very energizing. You don't need experience, you will learn what you need to know to get started during a fun and interactive new tutor workshop. And you won't be bogged down by artificial cirriculum, erroneous testing, or unmanageable classes. Classes are small, grouped by learner level, they occur when it's convenient for you, and are completely driven by the students' goals. I will continue volunteering here for as long as there are people who want to learn to become literate!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with several non-profits over the last 10 years and have never encountered such a positive, effective and well organized group as Literacy Advance. As a volunteer tutor for 2 years, I have found this group to be so supportive and considerate of both the students and tutors, making each one of us feel incredibly special. And the programs are so effective! I always wanted to feel like I made a difference in someone's life. This volunteer position provides just that. Watching the students grow in confidence as their English improves is the best reward. And I'm not even a teacher by training. Literacy Advance helped me understand what to do and gave me the materials to do it. This is an extraordinary organization with a grand vision of adult literacy and the remarkable capacity to achieve it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of volunteering at Literacy Advance for almost 3 years. Helping with events has been such a positive experience and working with such a dedicated and energetic staff is inspiring. No matter what your skills and interests are, there is a place in this organization where you can truly make a difference. I see the success of the commitment of staff and volunteers evey day. There is no greater joy than seeing a life transformed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering here for a few years and I can say without reservation that this place is great. Everyone is friendly and helpful, and the services it provides (all for free of course) are valuable. At the end of a volunteering session, not only do I feel I have contributed something positive, but more often than not, the tasks I perform are intrinsically rewarding.

1 Shirley10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Literacy Advance for over two years assisting with administrative duties. It is a wonderful organization that provides a service needed in our community. It is organized, efficient, and amazing and has the friendliest and nicest staff and volunteers. Besides teaching English as a second language and adult basic education they have family literacy nights at elementary schools to involve parents and the children in the joy of reading. It's a good feeling knowing I can contribute to a worthwhile cause and have such a great time doing it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance of Houston is one of the gems of the city. They work collaboratively with outreach locations as well as in-house to suppost students where they are, whenever they can meet. They offer different classes and opportunities to help us volunteers work with people who would like help to increase knowledge and communication. The program is a wonderful addition to the community and I feel privileged to work with this staff and students.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Advance is so many things: it allows me to share my beliefs that diversity improves our city, it allows me to help someone improve their job potential, it allows me to assure people who need help with literacy to know that we are a safe environment and will work with adults at any level and treat them with dignity, it allows me to be a part of a group that extends a helping hand to others who need to learn to speak English.