Educational Institutions

Lewis & Clark Literacy Council

Soaring to New Heights

aka L&CLC

Helena, MT


The Lewis & Clark Literacy Council helps adults and their families acquire reading, writing, English language, workforce, and life skills so that they may have an improved quality of life. Students make these gains during one-to-one tutoring with trained volunteers and through participation in small-group classes. Services, supplies and tutoring are free of charge

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Mary DuVernay

Main Address

P.O. Box 67

Helena, MT 59624 USA


Literacy,English Language, American Acculturation, ESL, Tutors, Non-Profit, Free of Charge





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Our program provides literacy and English language education for adults and their families. Approximately 6% of adults in Lewis & Clark County lack a high school diploma. This means that they are limited in their ability to participate in the workforce, pursue higher education, or support the education of their children or other household members. For many, low literacy also interferes with activities of daily living, such as understanding and paying bills, following instructions from health-care providers, and participating in community events. Of the approximately 50 million new immigrants to the U.S. each year, about 50% lack either proficient English language skills or high school education. Teaching adults to read, write, and speak English provides them with tools for independence and self-determination. As these skills improve, they can better support their families, find stable employment, and connect with other community resources.

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

Adult Literacy Tutoring

Women's Discussion Class

Book Pals

Where we workNew!

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 and haven't they accomplished so far?

Our organization wants to see a Lewis & Clark County area population that is fully literate and able to use English for daily living. We want each of our students to achieve proficiency in reading and writing so they can pursue their own goals - improved employment, higher education, reading with their children.

Our core program is an individualized tutoring match. We connect adult learners with community volunteers who will meet with them one-to-one to study the aspects of language, literacy, and basic academics that are most important to them. This allows the adult learner to direct the learner program so that studying will be relevant to their current needs. We also offer a discussion class for English learners. This group learning environment helps learners gain practice and build confidence in their ability to communicate about a broad range of topics. It also provides a forum for discussion of American customs, government, politics, and holidays. Finally, we provide reading support to elementary school students at Title 1 elementary schools in the Helena School district. We recognize that low literacy is inter-generational and linked to poverty. By providing extra reading support to students at these schools, we help to break that cycle and boost student achievement.

The Lewis & Clark Literacy Council is completing its 30th year of serving the Helena area. During this time, we have established a strong community of local support, both financial and in-kind. We rely on a strong team of volunteer tutors. Through the generous donation of their time and talent, these volunteer educators allow us to deliver individualized, flexible lessons to our students. We also receive important support from the Helena School District, in terms of an annual financial contribution, as well as office space in a school district building. This connection with the school district gives us a home in the community, and also helps foster connections that can support our adult learners as they see their own children entering the public school system.

We monitor progress for our adult learners in several ways. Each adult learner sets their own learning goals based on their starting level and what they wish to accomplish. For some this is very concrete (e.g., pass an exam, earn a certificate). For others it is broader (support my family, become a member of this community). We follow-up with learners and their tutors to evaluate progress towards these goals and determine on-going lesson materials. We also monitor some common indicators of success, including students who become citizens, improve employment, enter higher education, or earn a driver's license. For our elementary students, we compare baseline scores and year-end scores on a standardized reading test. We also collect anecdotal evaluations from teacher, elementary school students, and their families.

In the 30 years since our founding, the Lewis & Clark Literacy Council has helped hundreds of learners improve their lives through literacy and language skills. From 2012 - 2017, we served 175 students. 33 of these students reported improved employment, 14 became citizens, and 12 earned their driver's license. In the first semester of our elementary reading program (Spring 2018), 69% of students met or exceeded school-wide standards for annual reading progress.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

ProLiteracy America

United Way Member Agency



Lewis & Clark Literacy Council

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



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



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



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



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


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


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

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We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
Our students are very diverse - different ethnicities, religions and cultures. We serve them all.