The Literacy Alliance Fights Illiteracy in Fort Wayne
Dec16

The Literacy Alliance Fights Illiteracy in Fort Wayne

When you wake up, what is the first thing you do? Do you head downstairs to read the morning paper or your favorite online news source to catch up on what’s going on in the world? Do you read e-mails, text messages, or a book? Now imagine you can’t read well enough or fast enough to do any of that. Life would become pretty difficult, right? It’s scary to think about. Did you know over 30,000 people in Allen County can’t read and don’t have a high-school diploma? That’s even scarier. The Literacy Alliance, formerly known as Three Rivers Literacy Alliance, is a non-profit organization founded here in Fort Wayne in 1988 by the late Judy Stabelli. Located at 1005 W. Rudisill Boulevard in Suite 307 at The Summit campus, The Literacy Alliance was formed to battle illiteracy in Fort Wayne and the Allen County by offering assistance to adults age 18 and older. There are 9 learning centers in Fort Wayne that offer classes at various times for accessibility. Their services include basic adult education, small group reading classes, and prep for the High School Equivalency diploma (formerly GED). The agency uses professional teachers and trained tutors, and coordinates outreach services including free child care and transportation because their mission is to do whatever it takes to make learning and improving possible for everyone. Mike Landram, Executive Director, said “We’re in the business of helping adults get a second chance.” Some of those students who are looking to become self-sufficient, want to read to their families, or obtain better jobs who test at or above the fifth grade level will be placed in one of the High School Equivalency (HSE) centers. Other students who test below the fifth grade level have a different curriculum and are placed in pre-HSE classes. These classes are offered free of charge. Currently, The Literacy Alliance has helped approximately 7,000 adults improve their literacy and 700 adults achieve their HSE that they need to live, work, and play in Fort Wayne. “People are surprised when I’m asked how many adults in Fort Wayne and Allen County are without a high school diploma and there’s over 30,000 adults in our community. That’s about 11% of the population that is without a high school diploma, and so when you look at that in the community that is a fairly extensive problem,” said Mike Landram, Executive Director. The move to The Summit from Clay Street assisted with visibility, accessibility, and recruitment which led for The Literacy Alliance to hold an Open House that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony in partnership with Greater Fort Wayne with special guests such as Mayor Tom Henry and students Norma...

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