Literacy Volunteer Program of South Georgia, Inc.
221 S. Ashley Street
Valdosta, GA 31601
The Literacy Volunteer Program of South Georgia, Inc. (LVP) is a one-to-one literacy tutoring program serving adults learners age 18 and older in six counties in South Central Georgia (Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Lanier, and Lowndes). LVP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. LVP is the primary provider of literacy tutoring to the region’s lowest level learners (0-8.9 grade level). The program is free of charge to learners and tutors.
The LVP assists adult learners to improve reading, math and ESOL skills or with practical goals such as studying for a citizenship examination, drivers license examination, or completing job applications. New learners are administered the TABE test. Non-English speaking learners are administered the BEST test. Adults testing below the 8th grade reading level are referred to the LVP for assistance. Referrals may come from Dollar General, Department of Labor, Department of Family and Children’s Services, Behavioral Health, Lowndes Service Center, Moody Air Force Base, Salvation Army, Telamon Corporation (a farm worker’s support organization), Business/Education Support Team (BEST), homeless and women’s shelters, private employers, and other community organizations. Tutors usually work with learners in a one-to-one arrangement or small groups, meeting at a least once a week at a neutral location. The tutor and learner set goals at the initial meeting in accordance with the learner’s needs. Volunteer tutors complete a minimum of five hours of training, interview, and evaluation by a coordinator prior to being matched with a learner. Tutors obtain books and materials to assist learners meet their goals from the LVP office, libraries, or other sources.
After thirty hours of tutoring, a learner is re-tested to evaluate progress. Testing may be done sooner if the tutor believes the learner is ready. Tutors submit evaluations of learner’s progress with monthly time sheets. Tutors and learners complete a semi-annual evaluation of the program.
Need Statement and Mission of the LVP
In the 2003 State of the Workforce Report, the South Georgia Regional Development Corporation (SGRDC) states: “In the region, more than a quarter of adults are faced with literacy level one competency problems…Many adults cannot perform common daily tasks because of trouble with reading.” One quarter of the adult population is approximately 28,324 people (2003 Census estimate). The report states that nearly 30% of adults in the region do not have a high school diploma (approximately 33,981 individuals) and the average dropout rate is above state and national averages at 7.3%. The SGRDC reports that illiteracy is a leading cause of poverty in the region and suggests that development of a comprehensive literacy initiative focused on combating illiteracy among youth is a priority for the region.
In 2004, Valdosta-Lowndes County achieved Metropolitan Statistical Status and a Metropolitan Planning organization was formed. An ad hoc Committee on Literacy consisting of business and education representatives formed and is conducting a regional evaluation of barriers to adult literacy. Also in 2004, Lowndes County became a Certified Literacy Community having reached its ten year goal of graduating 8,060 adult education students. The Certified Literacy Community Program, a collaborative of business, education, and social service organizations is leading a comprehensive literacy movement. LVP is an important part of the movement since potential learners number in the tens of thousands in our region.
LVP’s mission is to provide for the attainment of reading, writing, computational skills, and speaking skills to area citizens, with the ultimate goal of the elimination of illiteracy and setting a priority for all citizens to compete in the workplace. Therefore, measures of program success include improvement in learner skill levels measured by standardized tests, number of learners “graduated” into the GED program, as well achievement of practical goals such as attaining citizenship, driver’s license, or specific employment-related skills.
Other measures of program success include identifying barriers to adults seeking to improve their literacy skills, working with other community organizations to reduce those barriers, and increasing learner participation in LVP and other literacy programs. Current goals also include increasing learner participation through outreach in the large Hispanic communities in Echols and Brooks counties and providing short-term tutoring at homeless and women’s shelters. The ultimate measure of program success is the reduction of overall rates of illiteracy in the six-county area.
LVP was formerly an affiliate of Literacy Volunteers of America (1986-2000). The Lowndes-Valdosta Area Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA 2) was sponsored by the South Georgia Regional Library system. In 2000, the lack of staff (unpaid) prompted the closing of the chapter and Valdosta Technical College Foundation continued the service under the new name Literacy Volunteer Program. LVP received office space and equipment, part-time staff and some learner referrals until the summer of 2008 when LVP separated from ValTech and moved their office to the new space in the Georgia Department of Labor Building at 221 Ashley Street in Valdosta.
Who We Are
The Literacy Volunteer Program of South Georgia, Inc. (LVP) is an organization of volunteers and a program whose goal is to help improve the reading, writing, and basic arithmetic skills of the "functionally illiterate" adults in the greater Valdosta and Lowndes County area. Our volunteer tutors work with adults on a one-on-one basis, at no charge to the learner.
•a free service
•free pre-testing and post-testing
•recognition and support activities for tutors and learners
We are a non-profit organization and a Proliteracy Worldwide, Inc. affiliate. Our office is located at 221 S. Ashley Street in the Georgia Department of Labor building and you can call us at 229-333-7515.