adult literacy 070920Manar urges skilled tutors to volunteer

SPRINGFIELD – With $307,645 in grant funding from the Illinois Secretary of State headed to local organizations to promote adult literacy, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is urging skilled tutors to volunteer to work with students to develop reading, math, writing and English-language skills.

“The adult literacy grants will help put thousands of adult learners on a path toward building a brighter future for themselves and their families,” Manar said. “I encourage tutors in Decatur and Springfield to consider donating their time and abilities to help equip students with skills they will use for a lifetime.”

Statewide, more than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs. Nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors provide skills training for students. Adult literacy projects help Illinois adults who read below the ninth-grade level or speak English at a beginning level to improve their reading, writing, math or English as a second language skills.

The following organizations in Manar’s district will receive grants:




Richland Community College



Lincoln Land Community College



Fishes & Loaves Outreach



“Fishes & Loaves and Baby TALK uplift and empower young adults in a way that few other organizations can,” Manar said. “I was pleased to learn that the state will help advance their missions.”

The Adult Literacy Program is administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office and awards grants in three categories:

  • Adult Volunteer Literacy Grants provide training for volunteers who tutor those ages 17 and older in basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Participating literacy providers include libraries, volunteer tutoring organizations, community-based organizations, community colleges, regional offices of education, schools (individual and public), preschool programs, school districts, domestic violence shelters and correctional facilities.
  • Penny Severns Family Literacy Grants provide educational services to parents and children to enhance basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Programs must partner with an adult literacy provider, a child-at-risk agency and a public library.
  • The Workplace Skills Enhancement Project Grants provide onsite instructional services to employees of participating Illinois businesses, enabling them to enhance their basic reading, writing or language skills and to improve their chances for promotion. Eligible employees must read at or below the ninth-grade level. Grantees must match the grant award and provide instructional services to prospective employees. The fiscal agent and submitting agency may be either the educational partner or the business partner.

People interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511.