Who Are We?
The Indiana Literacy Association began as the initiative of a group of literacy program directors and advocates with a special interest in advancing the cause of adult literacy in Indiana. The first meeting of this group was held in March 2005. Recognizing that a statewide organization could provide networking, additional training and support, and greater visibility for volunteer programs and their tutors, the group decided to articulate a mission and move forward with plans to organize as the Indiana Literacy Association.
The Association was incorporated in September 2005 as a non-profit, membership organization to benefit adult literacy in Indiana. Status as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization was granted in December 2005.
An estimated 800,000 to 1,500,000 adults in Indiana have literacy skills that are below the level necessary for life in America today.
These adults cannot understand dosage instructions on their medicine. They cannot locate the intersection of two highways on a roadmap. They cannot read a bedtime story to their child. They cannot communicate via e-mail, format a spreadsheet, or check inventory supplies on a computer. They cannot file a tax return or research health information or treatment options on the Internet.
Volunteer adult literacy programs across the state are among the options these adults have to improve their literacy skills. Almost every county in the state has at least one adult literacy program in place. Most of these volunteer programs offer free, one-on-one tutoring in reading and writing. They may also provide tutoring in English as a Second Language and math skills. Many programs also offer basic computer literacy skills and family literacy programs.
These programs operate as non-profit, community-based corporations or within the purview of public libraries. They are responsible for finding their own funding, training their own tutors, and promoting their own programs and activities. While some operate with United Way support, most seek grants from community and private foundations. Some work in conjunction with their local ABE programs and receive in-kind support from their local school corporations. All programs also accept contributions from individuals and corporations. All programs would gladly increase the scope of their programming if they had the financial support to do so.
The Indiana Literacy Association was established to support these volunteer programs in their mission to improve the literacy levels of adults in Indiana. Our collaborating organization is IAACE.