Accomplishments from past year
-VLF’s ExCELL program received additional funding to expand and enhance its work within the city of Richmond, including the addition of a cohort of kindergarten and special education teachers/classrooms and the implementation of a more rigorous external evaluation plan.
-The ExCELL program received funding from the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Beach Grow Smart Initiative to complete a pilot program in South Hampton Roads.
-The ExCELL program model and recent outcomes were presented at the 20th Annual National Center for Family Literacy Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
-The Virginia Literacy Foundation received a $250,000 grant from Verizon for its Verizon Improves Programs (VIP) project. This project is a four-year, state-wide initiative that will allow 15 community-based literacy organizations (CBLOs) to utilize technology, including Thinkfinity—the Verizon online educational program—to deliver powerful literacy tools to those in need. In December 2011, the first cohort of 10 programs attended the initial meeting.
-Developed program standards for all CBLOs in Virginia.
Goals for current year
-VLF/ExCELL plans to apply for federal funding this year in order to implement the ExCELL program at a larger scale and conduct more rigorous research and evaluation related to key program components and outcomes.
-VLF/ExCELL hopes to further develop its partnerships with key state-level agencies and establish itself as a provider of state-wide professional training and technical assistance and as an organization that contributes directly to public policy.
-VLF’s VIP goal is to help participating CBLOs, most of which are situated in rural, underserved communities of Virginia, to acquire technological proficiency in program administration and outreach, and incorporating technology in teaching literacy skills to adult students.
-To implement program standards for all CBLOs in Virginia.
The Virginia Literacy Foundation (VLF) promotes a lifespan of high quality, literacy-related services from early childhood through adulthood that enables Virginians to become successful readers and contributing members of their communities. The VLF works in partnership with public and private literacy and education organizations across the state and within the local Richmond community.
Created in 1987, VLF began by issuing grants to support the work of community-based literacy organizations. At that time, there were 34 programs serving about 1400 adults throughout the Commonwealth. Currently, there are over 140 community-based literacy organizations serving over 14,000 adult learners in Virginia. The Foundation is the longest-tenured organization of its kind in the country and has provided over $4 million in grants and technical assistance and training to community-based literacy organizations in Virginia.
Over the years, the Foundation’s work has helped to improve the literacy skills of over 120,000 functionally illiterate adults—many of them parents. The Virginia Literacy Foundation understands that children who grow up in families who read become readers themselves. Because of this, the VLF has been at the forefront of the parent and family literacy movement in Virginia, receiving two Toyota Family Literacy Grants in the early 1990s. In addition, the VLF developed a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003 to establish The Literacy Institute at VCU. Since that time, The Literacy Institute has received and implemented three Early Reading First research grants from the U.S. Department of Education to provide, with parental support, a foundation in pre-reading skills to all children while they are in preschool. With the expertise gained from the Early Reading grants, the Foundation has effectively developed and implemented the ExCELL program in Richmond’s Northside. This program enhances the quality of preschool classroom learning environments, provides preschool teachers with best practice instructional methods, and enables parents to be a part of their child’s learning process.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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.
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