Virginia Literacy Foundation
413 Stuart Circle, Unit 303
Richmond VA 23220
Mission Statement

The Virginia Literacy Foundation promotes literacy across the lifespan for all Virginians. The VLF's vision is a Virginia where everyone is literate: All Virginians have the literacy skills to be successful in school, to secure gainful employment, and to contribute to their communities.

CEO/Executive Director Dr. Mark E. Emblidge
Board Chair Mrs. Jeannie P. Baliles
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Contact Information
Address 413 Stuart Circle, Unit 303
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone 804 237-8909
Fax 804 237-8901
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1987
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $1,608,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,378,852.00

The Virginia Literacy Foundation promotes literacy across the lifespan for all Virginians. The VLF's vision is a Virginia where everyone is literate: All Virginians have the literacy skills to be successful in school, to secure gainful employment, and to contribute to their communities.


Accomplishments from past year

  • In 2016 and 2017 respectively, the VLF received $25,000 and $35,000 grants from the Paul M. Angell Foundation for the 2-year PluggedIn Virginia Pathway pilot project for adult learners in 5 south side Virginia community-based literacy organizations to learn workplace professional soft skills in a contextualized workforce curriculum that integrates teaching reading, writing, numeracy, listening, speaking, and digital literacy skills.

  • In collaboration with Communities in Schools-Richmond, VLF's ExCELL program received state funding to design and implement an innovative family engagement project at two high-need elementary schools located in Richmond City. This two-year project promotes family engagement during a 5-week summer transition to kindergarten program, Ocean Adventures, to help parents support their children's readiness for kindergarten. The project continues to operate throughout the school year with family literacy nights that are connected to ongoing assessments to provide parents with information and take home parent-child games to better support their child's progress.

  • With funding from United Way Central Virginia in 2015, VLF's ExCELL program began a multi-year regional project in Central Virginia starting with Amherst County Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) classrooms. ExCELL completed a two-year program in Amherst in May 2017 and implemented the first year of a two-year project with Bedford County VPI from September 2016-May 2017.

  • ExCELL's Ocean Adventures transition to kindergarten summer program expanded to include 15 Richmond classrooms, 6 Norfolk classrooms, and 2 Petersburg classrooms. This exciting transition program is filling a critical need for children and families as they prepare for kindergarten entry.

Goals for current year

  • In collaboration with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), Communities in Schools (CIS) and Virginia Adult Learning resource Center VALRC, ExCELL continues to move forward with planning/designing a 2-generation family literacy program with a goal of securing funding for a 2018-19 pilot.

  • VLF/ExCELL aims to further develop its partnerships with key state-level agencies to establish itself as a provider of state-wide professional training and technical assistance that contributes directly to public policy.

  • The Virginia Literacy Foundation will hold a joint conference with VAACE (Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education) on November 1 & 2, 2017. These conferences seek to create close regional collaborations between community-based literacy organizations and the staff and instructors of 22 regional public adult education and literacy providers, Workforce Investment Board (WIB) partners, community colleges, trade school and apprenticeship programs, businesses, national organizations, such as the National Center for Family Learning (NCFL), and community service providers.


Needs The most pressing needs the VLF currently faces as it strives to achieve its vision and mission involve the following:  (1) funding for program expansion and replication given the high demand and need for its programs and services, (2) need to increase capacity to provide training and related services to more programs/organizations across the state, (3) limited availability and cost of technology-related enhancements required to effectively implement distance learning/training programs, (4) limited number of local professionals with strong expertise in our field, and (5) funding that would allow us to hire full-time versus part-time staff.  

The mission of the Virginia Literacy Foundation (VLF) is to promote a lifespan of literacy services from pre-K through adulthood so that Virginians can acquire the literacy skills they need to succeed as learners, citizens, parents, and workers. When the Foundation was established in 1987 Jeannie P. Baliles, Virginia's First Lady, 34 adult literacy organizations across Virginia served approximately 1,400 adult literacy students, with a similar number of tutors. Between 1987 and 1995, the number of private volunteer literacy groups increased from 34 to 74, and the number of volunteer tutors rose from approximately 1,400 to 4,523. The number of adult students these programs served had increased by 290%. Today, more than 100 community-based and faith-based literacy organizations serve over 10,000 under-educated adults across the Commonwealth. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided many of these literacy organizations with grants totaling nearly $4.0 million.

In 2002, the Virginia Literacy Foundation formed a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University, which responds to the dual needs to provide sound research and to affect public policy. To that end, The Literacy Institute includes representatives from VCU's School of Education, Center for Public Policy, and the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center.
2016 and 2017: The PluggedInVirginia (PIVA) Pathways pilot program, funded by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation in collaboration with the VLF and the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center, begins for adult learners in 5 small, rural, south side Virginia community-based literacy organizations to learn workplace professional soft skills in a contextualized workforce curriculum that integrates teaching reading, writing, numeracy, listening, speaking, and digital literacy skills. This project, with curriculum designed expressly for low level learners, will be completed December 31, 2017. The curriculum will be placed on the PluggedInVirginia webpage, The Virginia IET Blueprint, which describes the three tiers of workforce instruction for adult learners – Pathways, Workforce, and Careers.  


Areas of Service
Areas Served
Northern Virginia
Metro Richmond
Richmond, City
Hampton Roads
Southside Virginia
Petersburg, City

Petersburg, VA; Bedford County, VA; Amherst County, VA

Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Jeannie P. Baliles
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Feb 1987 to June 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mrs. Jeannie P. Baliles Community Volunteer
Mr. Steve Clementi Verizon, Retired
Dr. Cynthia L. Cooper Newport News City Schools
Ms. Patricia M. Donnelly Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Dr. Mark E. Emblidge Virginia Literacy Foundation
Dr. William A. Hazel Jr.Secretary of Health & Human Resources
Mr. Jeffrey Holland Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel Dist.
Dr. William A. Jiranek VCU Health System
Delegate Mark L. Keam Virginia House of Delegates
Mrs. Ruth Hazel Little Energing Scholars Program
Mrs. Troilen Gainey Seward Retired
Mrs. Marcy Sims Virginia Beach Public Library
Mrs. Jane Bassett Spilman Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 7
Board Term Lengths 0
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 77
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Dr. Mark E. Emblidge
Senior Staff
Mrs. Cynthia Hutchinson Program Coordinator
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 11
Volunteers 4
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
ExCELL works with its community partners, including Richmond Public Schools (RPS), the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program, Richmond Public Libraries, Friends Association for Children, Communities In Schools (CIS), Richmond's Promise Neighborhood, the Partnership for Families Northside (PFFN), United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, and the Literacy Institute at VCU, to help create a culture of literacy throughout communities in Richmond. ExCELL has been invited to become an active member of Richmond's Promise Neighborhood Initiative in the East End and will serve to extend the "pipeline" targeted by this important community effort to the preschool age level. Richmond Public Library staff (outreach coordinator, local children's librarians) participate actively in the planning and implementation of family literacy events, including hosting selected events at local library branches.   
Partnership for Families - Northside2000
Promise Neighborhoods2011
Smart Beginnings-Early Child Development Coalition2005
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg Partnership Agency2008
Description The ExCELL program brings together families, early childhood educators, community resources, and early literacy specialists with the goal of ensuring that children receive the learning opportunities (at home, at preschool, and in the community) necessary to develop critical early language and literacy skills known to predict later reading success. 
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success 1) Children will enter kindergarten possessing early literacy skills predictive of success in learning to read - 85+% children will meet Spring benchmarks on literacy assessments; 2) Preschool educators will provide research-based, high quality classroom environments and teaching practices that promote early literacy skills - 100% teachers will demonstrate significant gains on observation measures; 3) Parents/families will provide an improved home literacy environment that supports acquisition of early literacy skills - 75+% parents will demonstrate significantly improved literacy-related practice and attitudes. 
Long Term Success The ExCELL project will make an impact on the local community by bringing together families, preschool and child care programs and staff, and literacy specialists to ensure that all children in Richmond receive the support and opportunities (at preschool, at home, in the community) needed to successfully develop critical early reading and language skills. Through ExCELL, preschool programs will provide children with enhanced literacy environments and high quality language and literacy instruction, while parents will provide improved home and community support for their children's literacy development. As a result, significantly more Richmond children will enter kindergarten prepared for formal reading instruction and will experience success in reading, writing, and school.   
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $1,608,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,378,852.00
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$262,562$200,000$200,000
Individual Contributions$677,745$328,660$498,096
Investment Income, Net of Losses$933$1,145$1,087
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$833,176$698,854$766,640
Administration Expense$61,673$58,569$43,402
Fundraising Expense$16,299$23,118$48,236
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.040.860.82
Program Expense/Total Expenses91%90%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%3%7%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$606,794$585,332$690,093
Current Assets$606,212$584,605$690,093
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$78,059$89,273$89,067
Total Net Assets$528,735$496,059$601,626
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.776.557.75
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application 2/2017View
Organization Comments

When the Virginia Literacy Foundation was created, a major fundraising campaign was initiated with many funders pledging five-year contributions. Over the last 25 years, the practice of conducting a major fundraising campaign every five years continued until last year when a new strategic plan was developed. Through the strategic plan approved by the board, fundraising for the Foundation is now a continuous effort.