Educational Institutions

LITERACY VOLUNTEERS ON THE GREEN

Literacy . . .plant the seed

New Milford, CT

Mission

Literacy Volunteers on the Green provides free English literacy instruction to adults in Litchfield and Northern Fairfield counties so they can participate fully in the communities we share.

Ruling Year

2009

Executive Director

Lynn Davies

Main Address

P.O. Box 366 7 Whittlesey Avenue

New Milford, CT 06776 USA

Keywords

literacy, ESL, English, reading, writing

EIN

26-2018636

 Number

4954660118

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Teaching literacy

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of adults provided with literacy instruction.

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Teaching literacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adult students who achieve literacy goal

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified,

Adults

Related program

Teaching literacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Student goals range from increasing workplace English for employability to increasing fluency in order to support children's educational efforts, get a driver's license, or pass citizenship test.

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our organization's goal is to maintain and improve each client's quality of life through mastery of the English language. We strive to achieve this goal through careful and thorough training of volunteer tutors and providing free instruction in basic literacy and English as a Second Language to anyone who exhibits a desire to learn.

When English Language Learners register, they are given the English as a Second Language Oral Assessment (ESLOA). It was developed by ProLiteracy America to measure the learner's ability to speak and understand English and focuses on the client's ability to communicate in a meaningful way. It is a progressive test and the assessment ends when the learner cannot correctly complete the required number of items within a section. Those who proceed to the 3rd level are also given a writing test developed by Pearson Longman for the text series which we use. All clients complete a goals worksheet which ranges from obtaining basic survival English skills to preparation for G.E.D. classes or the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign language) which is required for college entrance. Their progress is assessed annually. Tutors report monthly on the client's attendance and participation.
Basic literacy clients are typically lifelong English speakers who are functionally illiterate, usually reading below a fourth grade level. They are evaluated using materials created by the Laubach Way to Reading/ProLiteracy America. As with English Language Learners, they complete a goals worksheet, and we assess their progress on a regular basis.
Volunteers on the Green recruits, trains, and supports the tutors who instruct our clients in language and literacy. Our program is effective because our tutors receive quality training, and both our tutors and clients are supported in their efforts. Our highly qualified volunteer tutor trainer holds a Master's Degree from Columbia University Teacher's College in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. As an affiliate of ProLiteracy America, LVG has access to all of the resources of that national organization, including the most recent research in literacy instruction and best practices for literacy organizations. In addition, we monitor our effectiveness through our clients. Each client establishes individual goals which are evaluated annually. In addition, pre-tests and post-tests are given to clients to measure their progress and determine the effectiveness of particular materials and curriculum for them. Tutors can pace instruction to match a client's needs, abilities, and interests, ensuring that it is appropriate for each client.

People are our greatest resource. We rely on volunteer tutors to provide instruction. The tutors are well-prepared by a trainer certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Our active, hands-on board of directors provide leadership and hard work to make fundraising events successful.
We are an affiliate of ProLiteracy America, an organization which does not provide financial support to affiliates but which does provide curriculum and training resources and guidance.
We partner with many agencies in order to provide services. Literacy Volunteers on the Green accepts referrals from the social service agencies in the towns throughout northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties, from the Head Start Program in New Milford, and from the Nurturing Families Network in New Milford, as well as from local church communities.
With the support of Kent Center School and the John Pettibone and Hill and Plain Schools in New Milford, Literacy Volunteers on the Green provides English tutoring to the parents of English as a Second Language clients. We provide a college application mentoring program to clients at New Milford High School.
LVG created a Family Literacy program based on the Imagination Library provided to parents of local children by The United Way of Western Connecticut. This program helps parents who are English language learners to read the books with their children.
An additional family literacy program, Family Read®, is offered in partnership with the Connecticut Humanities Council by LVG facilitators who have been trained by Family Read®. The goal of Family Read® is to teach parents of all educational and socio-economic levels how to read with their children so as to increase the child's love of reading.

We evaluate the effectiveness of our program based upon the improvements made in our students' literacy levels and participation in their communities. In order to monitor these improvements, we use a portfolio assessment which includes tutor ratings of students on specific literacy performance tasks and the textbook's written assessment component. For students who have been with the program for one calendar year, we have noted the following results: 100% have improved their basic English survival skills, 82% improved on the performance task and on the text assessments.
But our students' lives, not pen and paper assessment results, are the true evaluation of our program. As one woman told us, “You have changed my life and opened a new world of possibilities for me. Thanks to the {tutor} volunteers, not only can we improve ourselves but, by becoming a part of the mainstream community, we can contribute to making our new country a better place."

For students who have been with the program for one calendar year, we have noted the following results: 100% have improved their basic English survival skills, 82% improved on the performance task and on the text assessments.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

ProLiteracy America 2007

United Way Member Agency 2007

Financials

LITERACY VOLUNTEERS ON THE GREEN

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Operations

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

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity