State Awards $307,000 to Support Adult Literacy Programs in Decatur, and Springfield

State Awards $307,000 to Support Adult Literacy Programs in Decatur, and Springfield

July 9th, 2020- Local adult literacy programs are receiving over $300,000 in funding from the Illinois Secretary of State.

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 skill.

The following organizations will receive grants:

Baby TALK Decatur


Richland Community College Decatur


Lincoln Land Community College Springfield


Fishes & Loaves Outreach Springfield



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.