Resource & Referral Center
This Center serves as a clearinghouse for individuals interested in becoming volunteer tutors by connecting them with literacy programs in their communities. The Center also provides initial and in-service training to tutors and staff, an annual statewide staff development conference and the annual tutor and student On The Road To Literacy Spring conference.
LV-Illinois is a leader in the national service movement and since 1987 has placed over 600 VISTA and AmeriCorps members in 150 adult, family literacy and Head Start programs throughout the state. LV-Illinois' current national service program - VOCAL - Volunteer Outreach for Community Action in Literacy – has 36 AmeriCorps members working in adult volunteer literacy programs throughout the state. Click the link for further information on The VOCAL Program.
Being struck with the staggering low literacy rates among inmate populations, LV-Illinois began its work in correctional education by helping to develop volunteer programs in adult correctional centers. In 1995, LV-Illinois’ work expanded to the juvenile centers, where, in conjunction with School District #428 of the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Jump Start program was created. The Jump Start program, which operates in the Illinois Youth Centers, is an intergenerational tutoring and mentoring program that targets retirees and retired teachers, in particular, to serve as volunteers. Jump Start tutors focus not only on academics, but also serve as mentors for the youth in helping them make better life choices.
Advocacy and Special Events
To raise public awareness about adult literacy and generate new resources for literacy programs, LV-Illinois participates in a broad number of coalitions, commissions and advisory councils at the local, state and national level. LV-Illinois also sponsors events throughout the year.
As a learner-centered organization, LV-Illinois encourages students to be active participants in all phases of the learning process from choosing the materials they want to read to taking leadership roles within their programs. To bring this about, LV-Illinois provides consultation, training and administrative support to the statewide organization, New Readers for New Life, a network of past and current adult literacy students. Every summer the New Readers organization sponsors a statewide conference for students, tutors and staff of adult literacy programs.