Annual Appeal Letter

by lvorc on January 26, 2017

September 2016

Dear Friend of Literacy Volunteers,

September for many of us is typically a time of renewed energy, anticipation and new beginnings as children and others return to school, new friends are made, new classes are taken and new goals are set. The adult learners and children who Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County (LVORC) serves are able to experience this excitement of September any and every month of the year thanks to your friendship and support.

Your most generous support makes it possible for Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County to continue its mission of teaching adults to read, write and speak English and as importantly to provide new beginnings and more productive lives for those we serve. This past year, Literacy Volunteers with the help of 245 volunteers provided literacy services to 255 adults and 116 children. The help given has been invaluable to our learners, improving their literacy skills, making them better prepared for entering or retaining employment and making life better for them overall. We are proud also to share with you that seven of our students became U.S. citizens in 2015.

“W.M.” is one person whose life has been dramatically improved thanks to your support. “W.M.” is a young woman who left her native Burma under duress, endured the challenges of living in a refugee camp, and came to the United States with only her determination to make a better life. She found work with an area employer who hosted one of LVORC’s workplace literacy programs. She went on to enroll in additional English classes with Literacy Volunteers that assisted her in learning her new language and gave her the means to navigate the many complicated systems of life in America. LVORC’s citizenship preparation class gave her the skills she needed to pass the U.S. Naturalization test and interview. She is now happily studying to become a cosmetologist. She continues to be most grateful for the support and help she has received from Literacy Volunteers and for the tutors who have enabled her to reach her goals thus far.

There are many others just like “W.M.” who will come to Literacy Volunteers this year seeking a chance to make their life better by improving their ability to communicate with others. LVORC’s volunteer tutors work with adults who are learning to speak English as well as those who want to be better able to read and write. The need for improved literacy skills continues to be great. You may be surprised to know that in the U.S. more than 36 million adults cannot read, write or do basic math above a third grade level; that in New York State 2.7 million adults need basic literacy, math and employment skills; and that in Rensselaer County tens of thousands of adults and out of school teens struggle with low reading and math skills, which leads to limited access to employment and other opportunities. Another fact is that only 3 million of the 36 million who need literacy help will be lucky enough to get it. (

You can help more people like “W.M.” by making a donation to Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County’s 2016 Annual Appeal. Your donation will help provide tutor training, support a tutor/learner match, and fund other programs offered that include workplace literacy, conversation class, Everybody WINS! Power Lunch, citizenship preparation, and financial literacy/math tutoring.

Your donation will make a difference for a student who comes seeking to improve their ability to read, write and/or speak English. If you are willing to help, please complete the form enclosed and return it in the envelope provided.

We presently have nearly 55 adults waiting for a tutor. If you would like to learn more about how you can also invest your time and talent as a tutor or volunteer, please contact the literacy office at 518-274-8526 or use the contact link on this website.

Literacy Volunteers’ volunteers and staff work diligently every day to lessen the literacy crisis. Will you help Literacy Volunteers to raise adult literacy rates in Rensselaer County? Your financial support no matter the amount is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for making it possible for others like “W.M.” to have a happier and more productive life because of improved literacy skills.


Judith A. Smith, Executive Director

Caitlin Stein-Miner,  President, Board of Directors


“Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag Program to Benefit Literacy Volunteers through March 31st

LVORC has been selected again to be a beneficiary of the “Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag Program featuring the bright blue Good Karma bag.  The program which began on October 15th has been extended through March 31st, 2016. For every blue “Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag purchased at the Lansingburgh, N.Y. Hannaford at 9 126th St, Troy, Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County will receive a $1 donation. LVORC depends on this kind of support to fulfill its mission of teaching people to read, write and speak English; empowering learners to be advocates for themselves, and educating the larger community about literacy issues.


Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County Selected as “Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag Program Beneficiary

October 16, 2015

 Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County has been selected as a beneficiary of the “Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag Program featuring a bright blue bag.  This innovative program was designed to create revenue streams for deserving local nonprofits such as Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County. For every blue “Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag purchased at the Lansingburgh, N.Y. Hannaford […]

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Working to Address the Adult Literacy Crisis

September 3, 2015

On September 8, the world will mark the 48th annual International Literacy Day to remind us all that reading, writing, and basic math remain an elusive target for nearly 800 million adults around the globe, including one in six adults in the United States. In Rensselaer County, thousands of adults struggle with low literacy, leading […]

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Please Welcome Our New President

August 31, 2015

Caitlin Stein-Miner has been elected to serve as President of the Board of Directors of Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County (LVORC). She has served on the Board since 2011, attaining the position of Vice President in 2013. She has been active in the many events that financially support LVORC including chairing the Literacy 5K in […]

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Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County’s Everybody WINS! Power Lunch Program Receives Funding from First Niagara

August 31, 2015

Troy, N.Y.: Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County’s innovative literacy and mentoring program for children, Everybody WINS! Power Lunch, has received a $900 grant from First Niagara. This funding will allow children in area schools to be paired with volunteer reading mentors during the 2015-2016 school year.  Everybody WINS! Power Lunch increases children’s chances for success […]

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Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County Awarded a ProLiteracy National Book Fund Grant

June 23, 2015

  Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County is pleased to announce it has received a $910 award from ProLiteracy’s National Book Fund. The National Book Fund provides adult education and literacy programs throughout the United States with grant awards to help purchase high-quality educational materials and resources needed to support their literacy initiatives. Kevin Morgan, president […]

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Famous Ladies’ Tea Promotes Women, History and Literacy

March 11, 2015

If you love to learn about women’s history and want to support literacy in Rensselaer County, this is the event for you. The third annual Famous Ladies’ Tea will be held on Sunday, March 22nd from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 235 Hoosick Street, Troy. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased in […]

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Literacy 5K Run/Walk is Scheduled for Sunday, May 3, 2015

February 18, 2015

This year’s Literacy 5K Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, May 3 at the Rensselaer Tech Park, Troy, N.Y. To add to the fun, participants are invited to come dressed as a favorite historical person or fictional character. All proceeds from the event will help Literacy Volunteers to provide free services to adults and children in […]

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Please extend a welcome to our newest members of the Board of Directors

November 28, 2014

The Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County Board of Directors has three new members. Please join us in thanking them for their volunteer service! Habiba Mechakra came to LVORC as an English Language Learner in 2012. She is originally from Algeria, where she taught French at the secondary school level. English is her fourth language. When […]

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