The 2015-16 school year was another successful one for the LVGH community. 200+ volunteer tutors worked with nearly 1000 adults to improve their language, math, digital literacy and job skills – critical skills that shape the foundation of independent adult life.
To learn more about what we accomplished together over the past year, we invite you to review our 2015 – 2016 Annual Report. Inside, you’ll find a snapshot of our impact over the past year, and meet some of the folks who make this community so vibrant – our brave students, dedicated tutors, and generous donors.
Since we first opened our doors over 40 years ago, LVGH has helped over 15,000 adults from across Greater Hartford to improve their English literacy skills. Check out the timeline to see how we’ve grown!
Timeline: 40 Years of Helping Greater Hartford to Read. Learn. Grow.
1972 – Birth of an Agency
A small group of dedicated volunteers officially formed Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford on September 27, 1972. Based at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, the first year’s entire operating budget was just $3,600. The all-volunteer staff focused on recruiting and training volunteer tutors, who served an impressive 116 Basic Literacy students in the first year. One-on-one tutoring took place at variety of community sites: churches, libraries, community centers, local corporations like CIGNA, Aetna, and Hartford Hospital- even city parks!
LVGH hits a national record for number of volunteers serving 100 hours or more. From the very beginning, our tutor retention rate has always been above the national average.
1980s – A Time of Growth and Change, Searching for a Home Base
Throughout the ‘80s, LVGH expanded throughout the Hartford community, hired its first paid staff, transitioned from one-on-one to small group tutoring, and opened its first computer lab. Adjusting to these changes, LVGH moved around to several different homes during this time, including Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Moylan School, SAND, 110 Washington Street, the YWCA, and St. John’s Church. LVGH couldn’t have grown into what it is today without the early collaboration of these other organizations.
1990s – Engaging Students and the Community
The ‘90s were a time of in-depth student and community involvement. LVGH operated multiple program sites at libraries, schools, and community centers throughout Greater Hartford, in addition to the work at our Hartford Center. Greater efforts were made to recruit tutors from the neighborhoods being served. Students were active in literacy awareness campaigns and organized several fundraising events throughout these years.
After several location changes over the years, LVGH moves to 30 Arbor Street, finally establishing a permanent home base in which to grow and thrive.
2000s – Hitting Our Stride
The first decade of the new century found LVGH in a strong, stable place – the perfect time to reflect on the past and strategize for the future. After years of operating as many as 12 community sites at a time, LVGH streamlined operations to just three community sites in Hartford, Bloomfield, and East Hartford. This resulted in improved coordination and evaluation of services, a greater variety of programming, and a strengthened sense of community.
After 13 years of service to the agency, Susan Roman retires from LVGH. CJ Hauss is appointed as the new Executive Director.
LVGH partners with the Wickham Library in East Hartford to open a satellite Reading Center there, expanding our service region to include not only East Hartford but also the surrounding towns of Bolton, Ellington, Glastonbury, Manchester, South Windsor, Tolland, Rockville, and Vernon. LVGH grows to serve nearly 600 students per year.
2012 and Beyond: Leaders in Our Community
In 2012, LVGH celebrated 40 years of serving Greater Hartford, and is now recognized as the premier community-based literacy organization in the region. While we’ve come a long way since 1972, adult literacy remains a major issue of concern for our community. We continue to grow; for the first time ever, we served over 700 students in 2011-2012. As we look to the future, LVGH is poised to fully realize its developing role as a leader of adult education in the region, and we continue to explore ways to build our capacity so that we can reach more adults in our community.