Our Programs

The Literacy Council currently operates the following educational programs:

Basic Literacy Program

The Basic Literacy Program provides instruction to adults who need to develop their basic reading and writing skills. Volunteer tutors provide specialized one-to-one instruction that allows each student to progress at his or her own pace. This is the only region-wide program specially designed to work with adults who read below the fifth grade level. Upon completion of the program, students have a firm base of literacy skills with which to pursue further educational goals.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

The ESL Tutoring Program teaches foreign-born adults to read, write, speak, and understand English, placing emphasis on the day-to-day skills needed to survive in a new culture. Volunteer tutors provide one-to-one instruction for students in this program. Students currently enrolled in this program represent over 40 different countries from all regions of the world.

ESL Learning Centers & Classes

Centers are located in Alexandria and Falls Church and offer a combination of classroom instruction, and self-paced, computer-assisted learning. Instructors teach each class with help from volunteer class aides. Each learning center is equipped with eight computers and a variety of educational software. Four times a year, each center offers two, 10-week beginning-level ESL classes.

Each Center also offers open computer lab hours five days a week. There are a variety of computer programs available for students to practice their reading, writing, listening, and English-speaking skills.

The Council also offers beginning-level ESL classes in Springfield, Culmore, and Arlington.

Click here to view the Class and Computer Lab Schedules


Family Learning Program

In partnership with Fairfax County Head Start, this project provides a supportive environment in which families can work together to improve the skills and educational level of parents and children while promoting enthusiasm for learning in the home. Participating families engage in activities that help parents to develop English-language and reading skills, reinforce and enhance what children are learning in school and promote parent and child interaction.

The Family Learning Program is offered at Main Street Child Development Center, Crestwood Elementary School, and Timber Lane Elementary School.

Thanks to grant from the Corporation for National Service, we will be expanding the program to include Bailey's Elementary School and McNair Elementary School in Herndon.   


Special Projects

In the many years of the Councilís existence, we have developed strong broots in the community. Not only do our volunteers tutor individually, but they also can be found taking part in many of the Council's special projects.

Community Outreach Projects

Volunteers may participate in community outreach projects such as tutoring in jails, homeless shelters, senior centers, and in the workplace. 


Dictionary Project

Through the generosity of individual donors and Modern Publishing in New York, the Literacy Council is able to provide a free copy of the New Concise Webster's Dictionary to each of its students.


Learning Disabilities Project

Our reading specialist screens students for learning disabilities and then works with their tutors to develop a curriculum suited to each student's individual learning style.


Vision Screening Project

A partnership with area optometrists and optical stores allows the Literacy Council to refer income-qualified students for visual screening and optometry services.


Word Processing/Keyboarding Class

The Literacy Council provides an introduction to word processing and basic keyboarding to its students.


Student Essay Publication

Each year the Literacy Council publishes a book of essays written by Council students. The most recent addition, Writing...from the Heart, contains writings from students who share their thoughts and personal experiences through stories, poems and personal histories.


Copyright © 2022 Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Inc. All rights reserved.