Mission and History

Literacy Chicago is a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals to achieve greater self sufficiency through language and literacy instruction.


In 1968, two organizations—Literacy Volunteers of Chicago and Literacy Council of Chicago—separately formed to address the needs of Chicago adults in the areas of language and literacy. Both successful in their missions to connect tutors and students, the groups merged in 1992 to establish a larger and stronger single organization called Literacy Chicago. For more than four decades, literally thousands of area adults have participated in the broad range of programs Literacy Chicago has developed, including basic literacy, GED preparation, English as a Second Language. Workforce Development, Citizenship Program, and Transportation bridge program. Literacy Chicago continues its learner-focused programming by relying heavily on the efforts of volunteer tutors, and frequently offers ancillary classes such as health literacy, computer literacy, and financial literacy, to support the language/literacy options.