PLATINUM2024

LITERACY COUNCIL OF FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND

Literacy Lifts Lives

aka Literacy Council of Frederick County, Inc.   |   Frederick, MD   |  www.frederickliteracy.org

Mission

OUR MISSION The Literacy Council of Frederick County provides pathways to essential literacy skills. VISION Literacy lifts lives. THEORY OF CHANGE Success for the individuals and families we seek to serve rests on a collective community approach that shapes a full path to a thriving life. VALUES • Sustaining our organization through responsible financial stewardship, sound management, and community engagement. • Teaching a parent in order to educate a family. • Educating our students in a learner-centered format with compassion, confidentiality, and respect. • Producing a safer, healthier, economically stronger, and more vibrant community through adult literacy. • Sustaining, empowering, and energizing a passionate, strong, dedicated volunteer base.

Ruling year info

1977

Executive Director

Ms. Laurie Fisher

Main address

110 E Patrick Street

Frederick, MD 21701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1100228

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2022.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

An estimated 25,000 Frederick County adults are at the lowest literacy level, at risk of being unable to read and understand even very short texts well enough to perform simple tasks. 29,000 speak English poorly or not at all. When such individuals increase their literacy or English-speaking skills, they qualify for better jobs, they are more effective parents, and they can in general lead more fulfilling lives. Their new skills also have a direct impact on the whole community, because a well-educated workforce attracts new high-quality employers; literate workers are usually employed in jobs with higher salaries, increasing the county tax base; and health, social and police services are less burdened. Perhaps most important, the children of literate parents tend to enjoy higher academic success, breaking the cycle of low literacy in families. Children whose parents have a low level of literacy are 72% more likely to be at the lowest reading level themselves.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ESL (English as a Second Language)

People whose first language is other than English are taught to speak, read and write English through one-to-one tutoring and small group classes.  Individual assistance is provided to meet goals such as citizenship and driver's license exam preparation, helping to access community services, support their children's education, getting a better job, and other everyday life skills.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Immigrants and migrants

Illiterate and semi-literate adults are taught to read and write through one-to-one tutoring.  The program also offers help with GED preparation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Workplace classes are taught at the job site of small businesses who employ workers in low wage jobs for employees who want to improve job-related English communication. Lessons are customized in conjunction with each employer to meet the needs of their business and employees. These classes are taught by a paid ESL instructor, since the commitment and expertise required to adapt curriculum and teach classes with multiple levels of learners is too great for most volunteers.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Immigrants and migrants

This program, launched in 2018, is aimed at improving the literacy of parents with young children in six Title I schools. Parents are tutored or attend small classes right in the school that their child attends, helping to eliminate some of the barriers, such as child care and transportation, that they might encounter in accessing these services.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Maryland Literacy Champion of the Year 2011

Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Ambassador of the Year Award 2021

Tourism Council of Frederick County, Visit Frederick program

Affiliations & memberships

ProLiteracy America 2014

ProLiteracy America 2015

ProLiteracy America 2016

ProLiteracy America 2017

ProLiteracy America 2018

ProLiteracy America 2019

ProLiteracy America 2020

ProLiteracy America 2021

Catalogue for Philanthropy - Greater Washington 2020

Catalogue for Philanthropy - Greater Washington 2021

ProLiteracy Ameria 2022

Catalogue for Philanthropy - Greater Washington 2022

Spur Local (Catalogue for Philanthropy-Greater Washington) 2023

ProLiteracy America 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In FY2023, 357 adult learners participated in our programs, 95% of them ESL, and an additional 154 received other services. 178 volunteers gave 14,300+ hours to our programs.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our Strategic Plan for 2022 - 2025 includes the following goals:

1. Expand our presence in strategic areas of impact opportunity.

2. Widen our workforce footprint to include sectors/industries of high-impact potential.

3. Increase our presence and role in the bigger economic development arena and strategy.

4. Facilitate public understanding of the value of our mission amidst a complex social landscape.

The Literacy Council of Frederick County (the Literacy Council) was founded in 1963 to teach illiterate adults to read and non-English speaking adults to speak and read English. Our mission is provide Frederick County adults with pathways to essential literacy skills.

Our vision is Literacy Lifts Lives.

Theory of Change: Success for the individuals and families we seek to serve rests on a collective community approach that shapes a full path to a thriving life.

Core Values:
• Sustaining our organization through responsible financial stewardship, sound management, and
community engagement.
• Teaching a parent in order to educate a family.
• Educating our students in a learner-centered format with compassion, confidentiality, and respect.
• Producing a safer, healthier, economically stronger, and more vibrant community through adult literacy.
• Sustaining, empowering, and energizing a passionate, strong, dedicated volunteer base.



The Strategic Plan includes these strategies:

1. Establish a community literacy coalition to engage key partners and stakeholders in the work.
2. Pursue formal partnership with Frederick County Public Schools in parent literacy.
3. Develop metrics competencies for case-making and support of economic development connection to literacy.
4. Expand partnership with tourism and hospitality sectors.
5. Pursue increased student volume in the workplace through targeted business development.
6. Establish 2-3 satellite sites for increased presence in strategically selected, hyper-local communities.
7. Grow number of students served with a shift in our business model weight from 1-1 tutoring to community classes.

Currently 178+ trained volunteers provide 350+ students with free literacy services yearly. Our
greatest resource is our volunteers tutors, office help, board members and tutor trainers. We have significantly increased staff capacity to manage our programs in the past two years. We now have four full-time staff, a Program Manager, Program Coordinator, Office/Program Administrator, and an Executive Director, and three part-time staff - a Workplace Coordinator, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Workplace Literacy Program, and Development Coordinator. We are supported primarily by local organizations, foundations, individuals and businesses. The county public library provides our facility.

Equally important is our board leadership. Our board members provide leadership, policy guidance, raise
funds and help to market our services. Board and ad hoc committees include: Executive, Governance, Finance,
Development/Communications, Program, Scrabble Fundraiser, Events, and Strategic Planning Committee.

We collaborate with Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL), the Asian American Center, Centro Hispano, Spanish Speaking Community and other nonprofits to refer clients, and with Frederick Community College to refer students to each other based on student needs and student assessment results. We conduct classes to teach workplace English to hospitality and manufacturing workers and plan to expand to other industries. We
collaborate with Frederick County Public Schools(FCPS) to reach parents of young children in six Title I schools
who need literacy services. Our ED and volunteers spend significant time on outreach to build our capacity
and reach more adults in need of our services.

We also participate regularly in strategic community forums in order to ensure that our programs and
services are consistent with the future direction of Frederick County. This includes coordinating closely with
The Community Foundation, United Way, Frederick County and Frederick City economic development,
Workforce Services and FCPL. We are monitoring the impact and assessing service implications of the most recent Human Needs Assessment and ALICE reports, and the new Livable Frederick model. We are increasing our
outreach to additional partner organizations including the Seton Center, churches and FCPS schools to
discuss needs in under-served northern areas of the county. We are conducting Volunteer Information Sessions and tutor training workshops via Zoom which makes them accessible in all areas of the county. We are establishing or renewing referral contacts with the YMCA's Head Start Program, Goodwill, and Frederick Rescue Mission. Centro Hispano and Asian American Center have offered their facilities to us and we are getting the word out to tutors.

Our student count has grown 208%, from 116 in FY2011 to 357 in FY2023. Our volunteer count has grown 166%
from 69 in FY2011 to 178 in FY2023. Our student waiting list continues to grow. Our budget grew from $17,400 in FY2011 to $448,861 in FY2024 reflecting our growth in students, tutors and fundraising efforts. Hiring additional staff has greatly increased our efficiency and capacity to serve more people.

The Board has become more strategic supporting a committee structure for financial management,
development, governance, programs, planning and marketing.

We are now working with a local marketing firm which has greatly improved our communications.

Commitment to:
Become more financially sustainable by implementing our Fundraising & Sustainability Plan
Continue to increase tutor training capacity with shorter and more frequent training workshops supplemented with expanded online learning.
Continue to grow annual fundraiser which has now moved to a downtown distillery to draw a more
diverse and younger crowd. Our marketing firm colleagues are exploring innovative ideas to recruit more
teams
Establish planned giving strategies
Continue robust board recruitment
Expand Workplace and Parent Literacy initiatives
Continue to strengthen data collection to better measure progress and impact

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

LITERACY COUNCIL OF FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

LITERACY COUNCIL OF FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND

Board of directors
as of 02/06/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lt. Col. U.S.M.C. (Ret.) Sharon Jacko

Retired, United States Marine Corps

Term: 2023 - 2024

Darrell Batson

Retired Director of Frederick County Public Libraries

Carmen Hernandez

Physician

Catherine Mock

Retired, health insurance industry

Michael Cohen

Retired school district administrator

Richard Holley, LTC/U.S.A.R. (Ret.)

Holy Cross Hospital

Erik Jones

Montgomery County Court Services

Carole Southam

Finance and Operations Consultant to NGOs

Peter Shuck

Software Developer/AvXtel LLC

Sakina Husain

Design, Room & Board, Former Teacher

Ginger Trautman

Plamondon Hospitality Partners Talent Manager

Graciela Zurita

Certified Community Health Worker, Frederick Health System

Geordie Wilson

Publisher, The Frederick News-Post

Cyndi McNamara

Accounting Finance Workforce Services Grants Management

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/17/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.