The READ Center
4915 Radford Avenue, Suite 204
Richmond VA 23230
Mission Statement

To help adults with low-level reading skills develop basic reading skills through class instruction and one-to-one tutoring.

Web and Social Media
Everyone needs and deserves a literate life.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Karen S. La Forge
Board Chair Mr. Sam Baronian
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cherry, Seymour & Baronian, P.C.
Contact Information
Address 4915 Radford Avenue, Suite 204
Richmond, VA 23230
Telephone 804 288-9930
Fax 804 N/A
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1986
Former Names
Literacy Council of Metropolitan Richmond, Inc.1995
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $326,432.00
Projected Expenses $355,374.00

To help adults with low-level reading skills develop basic reading skills through class instruction and one-to-one tutoring.



  • Piloting summer math and computer classes for low level literacy adults.
  • Trained more than 70 tutors to support classes and one-to-one tutor pairs.
  • Developed partnerships with other nonprofits like, HomeAgain and The Daily Planet, to support their mission and READ's. 
  • Open READ classrooms in the east end (East End Library) and south side (Workforce Resource Center) for the new semester beginning in September 2016.
  • Increase the number of working one-to-one tutors to at least 60 next year. READ's long-term goal is to have at least 200 working pairs in the next four years.
  • Start a Tutor Council that will help support the expansion of one-to-one tutors through creating professional development opportunities, increased communications and feedback on training needs.  
  1. Support of READ Center educational programs and initiatives. The READ Center provides classes at no cost to our students. The full cost to provide one class of students is about $27,336.
  2. As an educational program, our tools are great teachers and tutors. The cost of a part-time teacher is $6,120 per year. The cost to train a tutor is about $300.
  3. The READ Center Transportation and Field Trip Fund was started this year to help support the cost of providing field trip experiences to READ students. This year students visited PBS for a poetry reading, attended the Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Science Museum. Donations of any size are welcome to the fund so we can continue provide students with new opportunities to learn and use their literacy skills.
  4. Volunteer Tutors - The READ Center tutors provide a wonderful and much needed donation of time and skills. Tutors work with students throughout the Richmond metro area and Petersburg to help support their learning and skills. Volunteer applications can be submitted through our website at any time. Tutor training will be held in July and September 2016.

READ was founded as the Literacy Council of Metropolitan Richmond in 1982 by Altrusa International Richmond, Inc., a professional women’s business service club and became a 501(c)(3) organization in 1984. For over 30 years, READ has trained and provided resources to volunteer tutors who work on a weekly basis with adult learners with low-level literacy. Today, services also include twice weekly classroom instruction. These services address the need for greater frequency and intensity of instruction in weekly tutoring, and support student progress. 

CEO Statement

It is a great honor and responsibility to be a part of the important and rewarding work of helping adults with low literacy skills achieve valuable, and often life-changing, reading goals. I am privileged to work with a very dedicated Board of Directors, an amazing group of educational professionals, a cadre of trained and committed volunteer tutors, and so many determined adult-learners who amaze and inspire us each and every day. 

The READ Center has been committed to working with adults with low-level literacy for over 32 years. There is no charge for our services. Originally developed as a one-to-one tutoring program, READ has continued to grow and change its methods over time to keep pace with field of Adult Literacy. Classroom instruction was added and frequency of student participation was increased.
There are many stories of trials and triumphs from our students, we also hear moving and instructive stories from tutors of unexpected rewards and incredible personal benefits derived from helping an adult learner become a more active participant in the reading-writing world.
Your support of our mission is vital, whether it’s through volunteering to tutor students, making a financial contribution to help provide training and instructional materials, or by referring students who may benefit from READ Center services. There’s a place for everyone at The READ Center as we continue eradicating illiteracy and helping to write new and compelling stories.  

                                                               Karen La Forge, Executive Director

Board Chair Statement

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Tri-cities Region
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Hopewell, City
Petersburg, City
Prince George County
Amelia County
Dinwiddie County
Goochland County
Powhatan County
Charles City County
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Sam Baronian
Company Affiliation Cherry, Seymour & Baronian, P.C.
Term July 2016 to June 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Ms. Kathleen Albanese Attorney-at-Law
Mr. Samuel Baronian Jr.Cherry, Seymour & Baronian, P.C.
Ms. Nora Crouch Markel Corporation
Mr. Earnest Greene Dominion Virginia Power
Ms. Delores Kimbrough Altria/Phillip Morris - retired
Mr. Frank McCormick Fidelity Trust
Mr. Larry Mills Joyner Properties
Ms. Jean H. Proffitt Retired
Mr. Reggie Quick Dupont Teijin Films
Mrs. April Rehman UPS
Mr. William Seymour Cherry, Seymour & Baronian, P.C.
Mrs. Margaret Shaia READ Center
Mr. Lorin Sodell Rolls-Royce North America
Ms. Kindall Stevenson Home Again
Mr. Bryan Stogdale Columbia Gas of Virginia
Ms. Madeline Taylor Columbia Gas of Virginia
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 8
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 53
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
No comment at this time.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Karen S. La Forge
Prior to joining The READ Center, Karen was Executive Director for the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. She worked for AITC for about 18 years first serving as the Development Director and then as Executive Director. 
Karen has a business degreee from James Madison University. She also holds a certificates in nonprofit fundraising and development and marketing from the University of Richmond.  
Former CEOs
Ms. Carol H. Holmquist Sept 2005 - June 2010
Ms. Harriet Scruggs - Dec 2014
Senior Staff
Leslie Harper Teacher
Carolyn Harsh Teacher
Teri Taylor Volunteer Coordinator
Dawniece Trumbo Program Manager
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 9
Volunteers 130
Contractors 0
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted July 2016
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Classroom instruction and one-to-one tutoring to teach reading and communication skills to low level literacy adults.
Originally developed as a one-to-one tutoring program, READ has continued to grow and change its methods and training over time, keeping pace with the field of Adult Literacy. Classroom instruction and one-to-one tutoring provide students with a defined curriculum and personal support to achieve literacy goals. Increased frequency of student participation from once per week to twice per week and intensity of instruction from one hour to two hours give students the opportunity to make progress in reading.
Population Served Adults
Budget $284,299.00
Training of volunteers to serve as adult literacy tutors.
The READ Center trains and provides resources to volunteers who tutor adult-learners twice a week on average. READ tutors come from all walks of life and share a common interest in giving back and making a difference. Their gifts of time, dedication, and talents to our students is much needed and greatly appreciated.
Population Served Adults
Budget $3,000.00
CEO/ED/Board Comments

The READ Center has been committed to working with adults with low-level literacy for over 32 years. There is no charge for our services.

The adults The READ Center typically serves read at or below the 5th grade level. Learning to read as an adult is often difficult, and many of the students who come to The READ Center had very limited success as youngsters in their school. Because of this, our faculty and tutors deliver services in a very individualized way, while utilizing research-based methods and curricula. 
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $326,432.00
Projected Expenses $355,374.00
Endowment Value $138,989.00
Spending Policy Income Only
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$21,407$16,407$25,257
Individual Contributions$116,970$92,312$74,217
Investment Income, Net of Losses$12,836$7,727$17,544
Membership Dues------
Special Events$26,576$34,092$20,186
Revenue In-Kind$102,820$103,690$67,844
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$320,858$324,574$249,203
Administration Expense$20,670$28,249$31,090
Fundraising Expense$27,781$12,386$15,209
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.190.861.31
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%89%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue9%6%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$485,237$418,709$465,617
Current Assets$327,790$413,816$460,247
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$9,714$13,735$9,185
Total Net Assets$475,523$404,974$456,432
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities33.7430.1350.11
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
Organization Comments While The READ Center has a budgeted deficit this year, we believe we can close that gap during the year. Early fundraising results are good as READ has received several significant grants that were not received last year. New Board members are bringing new opportunities for funding and new energy to the Board.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from audited financial statements.
  • Audited financial statements prepared by Harris, Hardy, & Johnstone, PC.
  • IRS 990s prepared by Dixon Hughes Goodman/Goodman & Company.