Community Success is Our Purpose
The Corpus Christi Literacy Council (CCLC) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) agency composed of paid staff, part-time instructors, and lay and professional volunteers actively working together to combat illiteracy in the Corpus Christi area. Poor reading skills create a huge and growing problem for our community. Over one-fifth of the adults in our community lack basic literacy skills and many of them speak little or no English.
The purpose of the Corpus Christi Literacy Council is to identify, develop, and coordinate effective programs to combat illiteracy in Corpus Christi and the surrounding area. The Literacy Council provides literacy information, tutor training, literacy instruction, and conversational English to any adult, seventeen years and older, seeking assistance.
Commission is Formed
The Corpus Christi City Council appointed a commission to address literacy problems brought to light by citizen planning groups. The Literacy Commission was incorporated in June 1986 to address the need for the speaking, reading, and writing of the English language and a year later became the Corpus Christi Literacy Council. The council is affiliated with ProLiteracy America.
The governing body of the Corpus Christi Literacy Council is composed of volunteer board members. New members are selected from names submitted to the Board by the Nomination Committee. Consideration is given to the Corpus Christi Literacy Council’s needs and the interest and active participation of potential candidates.
The core program provided by the Corpus Christi Literacy Council has been One-on-One Tutoring. Volunteers from the community are recruited, trained, certified, and matched with adults who are reading below a fifth grade competency level. Adult learners served by these literacy volunteers are seventeen years of age and older and are not enrolled in public school.
The Corpus Christi Literacy Council employs two full-time staff and several part-time (from 2 to 12 hours per week) instructors. Teachers hired for classroom instruction have teaching certificates from the public school system and are certified as adult literacy trainers through tutor training workshops. Some classes are taught by volunteers. Classes are offered in conversational English, basic literacy, citizenship, phonics, computer use, and workplace literacy. To supplement classroom instruction, CCLC has a computer lab with curriculum ranging from English as a Second Language, literacy, Pre-GED and GED practice. Adult learners access these programs independently and with the help of a lab assistant to increase their literacy and language skills.
Many adults progress from the CCLC program to regular employment and further schooling. Adults reaching a fifth grade competency level have gone on to enter programs such as GED classes or job training courses. It takes approximately fifty (50) hours of one-on-one tutoring to bring an adult learner one grade level forward. The average length of time a client stays with the program is two and one-half years. Adults come to the Corpus Christi Literacy Council mainly by word-of-mouth. In 2010, the council began the process of leading a literacy coalition which will broaden the scope of its efforts and enable community-wide collaboration.