Literacy Council of Frederick County, MD
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History of The Council

The Literacy Council of Frederick County (LCFC) is a volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)(3), nonsectarian organization founded in October 1963. It was organized when some women of Church Women United, while assisting the area's migratory farm workers, discovered that many of them could not read. A trainer from the Koinonia Foundation near Baltimore, of which Dr. Frank C. Laubach was president, trained the volunteers in the Laubach method of teaching reading.

After the migratory workers moved on, the tutors soon discovered that many native-born Frederick residents, over 10% of the population, also needed their help, and tutoring continued year round.

The Council was first housed in a founder's E. Second Street basement and later relocated to the Schaeffer Center of the Evangelical Lutheran Church for many years before moving into the C. Burr Artz Library in 1982.

Since 1963, we have trained about 3,000 volunteer tutors and assisted around 8,000 adults in our county with tutoring in basic reading and in English as a Second Language (ESL).  We currently have about 100 tutors working with 175 students.  Since the mid 1970's, an ever-increasing percentage of requests for help have come from foreign-born immigrants needing to learn English. Currently about 85% of our students are in our ESL program.  With the exception of one part-time office manager/volunteer coordinator, the council remains entirely volunteer.

LCFC has also served in a unique role as a literacy ambassador, helping to train tutors and establish new literacy councils in several neighboring counties and states.

Many things have changed through the years, but some things have remained constant - the effort, commitment and pride of our students as they work toward literacy and English proficiency, and the dedication, satisfaction and pure joy of our amazing volunteer tutors as they watch their students attain their goals and improve their lives.

Why do we focus on teaching adults to read and write, or to speak English, when there are so many problems needing attention?  Because these skills are fundamental!  Illiteracy and poor English skills contribute to unemployment, poverty, poor health, family instability, and all the other problems that come with these.  We see the transformations in our students' lives as they learn.  And we know we are helping to make Frederick County stronger and more prosperous, one student at a time.

LCFC is an affiliate of ProLiteracy, which was formed in 2002 by the merger of Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America. We are supported through membership dues and community donations.