The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County


The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County

OVERVIEW: The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County relies on volunteers both to help English speaking adults with fundamental reading, comprehension, writing, and basic math skills. The Literacy Council also helps non-English proficient, often foreign born students, to master English as a second language. The Council is governed by a Board of Directors made up of eight uncompensated, volunteer citizens.

President – Bernadette Lewis

Vice President – Linda Perrygo

Secretary – Jo Stuble

Treasurer – George Hurlburt

Members: Frenetta Carson, Dr. Robert Goldsmith, Amy Ford

This Board maintains one paid part-time administrator who recruits, trains and supports up to 75 volunteer tutors and screens and qualifies new students into the literacy program.

APPROACH: The Council builds productive citizens who contribute to the economy and well-being of St. Mary’s County. The Council does this by providing illiterate, semi-literate, or non-English proficient adults the ability to read and write in English along with basic life skills training. Using one-on-one tutoring delivered by well trained and coached volunteers, the Council confers the ability to comprehend, and express written ideas, one student at a time.

GOALS: The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County is in its 37th year of operation. As is the case with most Literacy Councils nationally, the Literacy Council of St. Mary’s has long embraced a business model whereby trained volunteers work one-on-one with assigned students who have been screened for eligibility.

OBJECTIVES: The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s is firmly committed to achieving its overarching goal based upon a unique society-building business plan that has no known local competition. The Board of Directors of Literacy Council of St. Mary’s has elevated the Council to Gold Status on the website of the non-profit grant clearinghouse, GuideStar, to increase its attractiveness to potential grantors. The Council is fully supporting a Leadership Southern Maryland initiative seeking to identify the total population in need of Literacy Council services and the of this population. These data will affect tutor recruitment and service delivery beyond the relatively stable rate enjoyed over the past decade. In short, a demand study of illiteracy is important to a strong economic development stance. The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County also partners with the St. Mary’s County Public School’s Judy Center to help qualify parents to become para-educators. The Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County is a proud member of ProLiteracyPERFORMANCE MEASURES: Literacy is a personal thing. Because of this, quantification of literacy tutoring results often runs headlong into privacy concerns. Thus, the most effective way to report literacy results is, unfortunately, through anecdotal observation. Nonetheless, there are numerous success stories that demonstrate the significant economic contributions achieved through the success of former Literacy Council of St. Mary’s students.

Sister Sara Ann Abell of the Sisters of Charity of Nazereth Was our founder in 1985. Read about the rich heritage she pioneered for the Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County.  We honor Sister Sara Ann’s wisdom to this day.