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We are the Marion County Literacy Council

We are the staff and Board of Directors. We are the tutors, teachers, and dedicated volunteers. We are the community partners, supporters, and donors. And we are the students, women and men seeking empowerment and opportunity through education.We are a community of learners and helpers.

We are a community of learners and helpers.

This is what we believe:

We believe literacy matters. Not only for individuals, but also for the community.

Improved literacy grows the economy, combats poverty, reduces crime, improves health outcomes, promotes civic engagement, prevents disease, and makes people happier and more productive. We want all of those things for every member of our community, for our city, for our county, and beyond.

We believe literacy means more than knowing how to read.

We define literacy not only as the ability to read and write, but also as the achievement of basic fluency in other vital areas. For us, this includes being able to read, write, and speak English, attaining credentials equivalent to a high school education, earning US citizenship, and achieving basic mathematical, financial, technological, and communications competency.

We believe literacy education is not remedial.

Literacy is not remedial. It is vital. We strive to eliminate the stigma sometimes associated with adult literacy education, and to promote instead a vision of learning to read and write as an act of personal responsibility, intellectual curiosity, engaged citizenship, and profound courage.

We believe in equal and open access.

We offer all of our services for a nominal fee, recognizing that access to literacy education is the right of every member of our community, not the privilege of those who can afford additional learning expenses. We also know that not everyone who might benefit from our programs can get to them; that’s why we strive to offer our services in the communities where our students live.

We believe in the power of individual attention.

Learning is hard work, and it requires real trust between student and teacher. That’s why all of our instruction takes place one-on-one or in small group settings. We want our teachers to know something real about their students. And we want our students to feel like learners, not numbers.

We believe our students are the authors of their own learning.

While we will do everything in our power to promote the success of our students, we understand that our students’ ability to realize their educational goals is a product of their own investment of time, energy, and effort. Our students’ achievements are theirs, not ours.

We believe in cultivating a healthy learning environment.

We strive to be collegial, inclusive, welcoming, transparent, receptive, encouraging, and collaborative. All students and staff treat each other with dignity, trust, and respect.

We believe in diversity and inclusion.

Our diversity is our strength. We do not ignore or disregard the race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, age, gender, disability status, or any other dimension of our students’ identities. Rather, we embrace and celebrate our differences as we work toward our common goals. If you desire to learn, then you belong here.

We believe in making mistakes. And learning from them.

We strive to build a culture where people are not afraid to make mistakes, and where errors are understood not as little failures, but as big opportunities. While we do not aspire to make mistakes, we recognize that we will make them, and we are committed to approaching them as precious chances to learn and to grow, both in our studies and in our work.

We believe in humility and teamwork.

There is no room for ego in our organization. To survive and to thrive, we need to be scrappy, smart, and determined. Nobody is too good to empty a trash can or clean a toilet. If something needs to be done, then we—all of us—need to pitch in. We are not precious; we are tenacious.

We believe in, and strive for, excellence. Period.

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