Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota

We support the literacy goals of adults and families living in SW Minnesota through quality tutoring, community partnerships, and advocacy.

At Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota, we believe literacy changes lives.  We work with learners of all ages and life stages. We support the development of literacies that individuals need for academic success and lifelong learning.  When individuals reach their literacy goals, not only do they benefit but their families and communities are more likely to thrive. We work with these families to identify and develop the strengths and abilities they can offer to their children's schools and to the communities where they work and live.

One of our learners came to Minnesota as a refugee 3 years ago. She and her husband have worked hard to provide for their children. She has stayed home with their younger children during the day and attended English class at night. She has preschoolers, but her oldest is now in high school and doing well academically. When asked this year to explain her literacy goals, this adult learner shared that she wants to continue to improve her own English so that she can advocate for her children without relying on interpreters to help her speak with their teachers. She wants to take a leadership role in helping her children be successful members of their new community. Our literacy volunteers want to support her in reaching her goals for her family.

Volunteers are the “how” of our organization.  The time they give to work with learners, to train tutors, to develop curriculum, to create programs, to work with community partners, to advocate for literacy, and to keep our organization running is invaluable. In 2015-2016, we had 64 volunteers who provided more than 3,500 volunteer hours with our organization. Many of our tutors worked with multiple learners in a class or small group setting, so their tutoring hours yielded 4,495 learner contact hours.

Learners with their full range of literacy needs and goals are the “why” of our organization.  Their motivation to learn, their willingness to share their stories and teach their tutors, and their ability to provide ideas and direction for our programs have allowed us to grow quickly in our first four years. We provided literacy tutoring and learning experiences for 161 adults and 181 children and youth in 2015-16.

In service to people in southwest Minnesota, we offer at no cost:

  • Trained tutors to support adult learners in improving English language skills, achieving a GED, or gaining access to new workplace or educational opportunities.
  • Drop-in tutoring sites for adult learners.
  • In-school classroom support and after-school and summer programs for English language learners enrolled in Marshall Public Schools.
  • ECFE/Family Literacy programs for refugee and immigrant families in partnership with Marshall ECFE
  • Family programs focused on STEAM (science-tech-engineering-arts-math) literacy in public libraries, schools, and other locations
  • Introduction to tech skills and digital literacy classes for adults at area libraries and community sites.

We work closely with many community partners in Lincoln, Lyon, and Redwood Counties that are also committed to literacy for all.  These partners support our outreach to potential tutors and learners. We want to expand our services further in southwest Minnesota.

Gifts of financial and in-kind support from individuals, businesses, foundations, and organizations are essential to our existence.  We thank you all for your support.

© 2017 GiveMN | A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.