Who We Are
The mission of the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) is to strengthen and expand the adult education system, and to advance adult literacy as a core value in our society and a foundation for equal opportunity and social justice. Nationally, there are more than 36 million adults who lack basic reading, writing and math skills. In New York City alone, there are more than 2.2 million adults who lack a high school diploma or its equivalent, English language proficiency or both. At the LAC, we envision a future in which every immigrant, every parent, and every adult in this country has the full range of knowledge and skills they need to secure employment, achieve economic security, access quality health care, support their children in school, advocate for their rights, and actively participate in the civic life of their communities.
Since 1983, the LAC has been working to build the capacity and improve the quality of the Adult Basic Education (ABE), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and High School Equivalency (HSE) programs that serve New York and the surrounding region's most educationally disadvantaged and economically marginalized communities. Our staff has spent years in the field witnessing the power of literacy education to transform lives.
Our areas of expertise include:
What We Believe
We believe that adult literacy education is part of the broader movement for educational equity and social justice. We believe that "literacy" is not just the power to speak the language, read and write the words on a page, and do basic math, but the power to "read," critically analyze, and transform the world. The programs we work with cultivate the skills and confidence students need to succeed in the workplace; pursue college and careers; engage in the political process; advocate for themselves and their families; and express their inner voice and creative spirit.
What We Do
The LAC serves experienced and aspiring literacy practitioners by providing them with professional development that sustains their learning throughout their careers. We provide adult literacy programs with critical technical assistance, including on-site coaching, curriculum design, data support, and guidance on policy implementation. The LAC advocates for greater investment in adult literacy services, engages a wide range of stakeholders, and serves as a resource for policy makers, funders, and the field. In addition, the LAC provides training and program development services to organizations that have an interest in advancing adults' and out-of-school youths' reading writing, oral communication, numeracy, and English language skills.
The LAC works with seasoned teachers, tutors, staff developers, and program managers as well as those new to literacy education – introducing principles, strategies, and practices that better enable them to help the students they work with achieve their goals and pursue their dreams.
For more information about the LAC, please contact the Executive Director, Ira Yankwitt, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-803-3302.