Loudoun Literacy 1The Loudoun Literacy Council is a recipient of two recent grants from the Community Foundation - a 2014 Community Investment Grant in Education as well as a 2014 Loudoun Impact Fund Grant.

Loudoun Literacy Council (LLC) was formed in 1980 to teach English to recently arrived refugees.  Services for adults include small group classes and individual tutoring in the areas of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), basic literacy and GED preparation.  In 1998 our Family Literacy Program was added to serve disadvantaged children and their families.  This program began in collaboration with Loudoun County Head Start to provide literacy support to each child and family enrolled in the program and has since expanded to include the Sweet Dreams program, a weekly volunteer-led reading program for families in two homeless shelters, and Baby Book Bundles which supplies books and literacy tips to low income families with new babies.  LLC believes that literacy remains essential to achieving community-wide aspirations of developing young learners, strengthening families, enabling parents to participate in the education of their children, and ensuring access to opportunities for economic advancement.

Sadly, more than 15% of our nation’s children live in poverty.

On average, these kids have one or two age appropriate books in their homes, yet a full sixty-one percent of the children in low-income families have no books at all.  

Recent studies confirm that the availability of reading material is the strongest predictor of a child’s ability to read and later academic achievement, yet millions of at-risk elementary school-aged children are without this basic resource.  It has also been shown that children who begin school without basic literacy skills are 3-4 times more likely to drop out of school in later years.  And In Loudoun County, nearly 30% of families speak a language other than English in their home.  Our family literacy program addresses these challenges to help Loudoun County’s Head Start students and those living in the shelters gain the readiness skills necessary to succeed in school and help put an end to the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy.Loudoun Literacy 2

Support from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia's Community Investment Funds and others allows LLC to provide thousands of new and gently used books to all of the children and family members who participate in our program whether it be through Head Start monthly book packs or at Family Literacy Night events in which entire families join us for dinner, activities, and story time.  Our programs encourage families to include reading and literacy activities in their homes as fun, affordable ways to spend time together and 92% of our parents last year reported that they read more to their children at the end of the year due to their increased access to books.  In working to improve the overall literacy of the families we serve, LLC has focused on increasing adult literacy classes at the schools where our Head Start children attend so that last year more than 10% of our adult learners were family members of the children we serve. 

Our community partners help us each day to change lives through reading and learning helping to promote personal growth and empowerment here in Loudoun County.