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About Literacy Volunteers

In 1964 two women from Oswego County, Miss Lytle and Mrs. Ruth Loveland (both Zonta and United Church Women - Fulton County members), were trained to become adult literacy tutors at the old WHEN-TV station located on James Street in Syracuse, NY. They were trained by the founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), Ruth Colvin. She (Colvin) formed LVA in 1962 in Syracuse, NY.

Lytle and Loveland provided 740 hours of tutoring to adult Oswego County residents their first year. It was originally known as the Fulton-Phoenix project. Only two years later (1966), sixteen more Oswego county tutors were trained. The name, location, funders and regulators of the program may have changed through the years, but providing quality one to one confidential adult literacy services at no cost to the students has remained the same. Tutors are trained to instruct through an 8th grade reading level and can also provide basic financial, health and computer literacy.

Today, the OCO Literacy Volunteers Program provides more than 3040 hours of tutoring per year with currently 40 volunteer tutors. There is still a large demand for tutors. Most literacy related research is conducted with K-12 students. There is very little current adult literacy research available on a local level. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003), approximately 12% of Oswego Country adults read at or below a 5th grade level. Determined from OCO Literacy Volunteers Program data, over the last three years, 50% of newly enrolled students each were at or below a 3rd reading level.

In 1985 Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. granted full affiliate status to its offspring partner in Oswego County, NY. Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County (LVOC) was nurtured as a non-profit community-based educational organization and has continuously provided quality tutoring in basic literacy skills and conversational English. In June of 1993, the affiliate became an autonomous organization, breaking away from SUNY Oswego, who had served as its parent and fiscal agent since its birth. In July 1994, LVOC was granted corporation status under section 402 of the Non-For-Profit Corporation law. In the Fall of 2011 LVOC started to merge with Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. (OCO). In the summer of 2012 the dissolution of LVOC, Inc. will be completed, allowing the LVOC program to continue under OCO.

Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County is funded through the NY State Education Department, the United Way Foundation, fund raisers, donations, and grants.