Literacy Assistance Center
The Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and expanding the adult education system, and to advancing adult literacy as a core value in our society and a foundation for equal opportunity and social justice. Since 1983, the LAC has been working to build the capacity and improve the quality of the basic education, high school equivalency, and ESOL programs that serve New York’s most educationally disadvantaged and economically marginalized adults and out-of-school youth. Our primary services include teacher training, instructional coaching, curriculum development support, data management and data analysis, and leadership support for adult education practitioners in community-based organizations (CBOs), libraries, community colleges, public school systems, and union-based training funds. The LAC also lends expertise and plays an active role in adult literacy advocacy efforts in NYC and NY State.
Nationally, there are more than 36 million adults who lack basic reading, writing and math skills. In New York City alone, there are more than 2.2 million adults who lack a high school diploma or its equivalent, English language proficiency, or both. At the LAC, we envision a future in which every immigrant, every parent, and every adult in this country has the full range of knowledge and skills they need to secure employment, achieve economic security, access quality health care, support their children in their schooling, and actively participate in the civic life of their communities.
At the LAC, we believe that adult literacy education is part of a broader movement for educational equity and social justice. We believe that "literacy" is not just the power to speak the language, read and write the words on a page, and do basic math, but the power to "read" and critically analyze the world. The programs we work with cultivate the skills and confidence students need to succeed in the workplace; pursue college and careers; engage in the political process; advocate for themselves and their families; and express their inner voice and creative spirit.
The LAC serves experienced and aspiring literacy practitioners by providing them with professional development that sustains their learning throughout their careers. The LAC provides adult literacy programs with critical technical assistance; convenes networks of stakeholders; and serves as an informational resource for policy makers, funders, and advocates. In addition, the LAC provides training and program development services to organizations that have an interest in adults' and out-of-school youths' reading, writing, oral communication, numeracy, and English language skills.
The LAC works with seasoned teachers, tutors, staff developers, and program managers as well as those new to literacy education – introducing strategies and practices that better enable them to help the students they work with to achieve their goals and pursue their dreams.