Tarrant Literacy Coalition
The Tarrant Literacy Coalition was established in late 2009, to improve the quality and increase the quantity of literacy in our community. The Coalition was created after a community needs assessment conducted by the United Way in the mid-2000's indicated that significant levels of low literacy among adults in and around Tarrant County were a major contributing factor to poverty and other health and social related issues in the community. After several years of study and collaboration with leaders from education, healthcare, law enforcement, the faith community, social services, and business, local community leaders came together to raise funds to start the Coalition. We opened our doors in the summer of 2009, and hosted our first literacy training event with about 20 literacy volunteers that fall. By collaborating with community and faith based literacy organizations to work together toward reducing low adult literacy, the Tarrant Literacy Coalition has now been able to help organizations reach thousands of students and their families, and we have recruited and trained hundreds of additional volunteers who are providing literacy instruction to thousands of students in our community. Since those early days, the Coalition has worked with almost 600 different adult literacy instructors from more than 170 different literacy providers. In each case, our focus has been on training and equipping those literacy instructors so that they can go back out to their corner of the world, and help adults improve their ability to read, write and speak English, as well as to use a computer, solve math problems and complete other requirements that are necessary to get and keep a good job. All of this work focuses on helping people in our community lift themselves out of poverty, and build a better life for themselves and their children.