Member Spotlight: Literacy Partners of New York City
Posted by Jennifer Vecchiarelli on October 25, 2017 in categoryStories from the FieldcategoryMember Tips

ProLiteracy directly supports our members’ programs and initiatives that have helped millions of adults gain the vital literacy skills they need. 

For this week’s ProLiteracy member spotlight, we want to talk about Literacy Partners. 

Our Adult Literacy Member Spotlight

Since 1975, Literacy Partners has helped over 25,000 adults achieve better lives for themselves and their families through free education classes in New York City. With the help of its growing community of corporate sponsors since the mid-1980s, including The New York Times, and New York Life, Literacy Partners has developed a curriculum that focuses on the role of literacy in day-to-day life. The organization has continued to add various life skills components to its classes including health care, banking, living in New York City, AIDS education, financial literacy, and job preparation.

We want to share with you some of the unique elements that make Literacy Partners stand out as a voice for literacy.

The Dual Generation Approach

Literacy Partners focuses on parent education to help influence educational achievement and success among low-income children and immigrant children. The parent education classes meet for 10 to 12 hours a week and last for 36 weeks throughout the academic year. 

By using a curriculum that combines research-backed English language learning with basic literacy or high school equivalency education, adult learners in the program gain the skills they need as parents to promote their children’s language and social-emotional development. Additionally, parents are coached on the habit of regularly reading to their children, which ultimately enables their literacy skills to grow, and promotes their progress in school.

What really stands out out in this dual generation approach is the program’s Books of Their Own initiative, which not only encourages reading among adult learners, but instills in their children a life-long love for reading and learning. Literacy Partners’ students are inspired to support their children and help them become academically successful. To help parents empower early reading proficiency and school readiness for their children, Literacy Partners provides every student with home libraries of 10 books for each of their children that are both age and culturally appropriate.

The program is supported by publishers like Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster, as well as many individuals who donate their own books and make a lasting impact. 


Literacy Partners is an official charity partner of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) New York City Marathon. The TCS NYC Marathon is an annual marathon in which selected participants run a little over 26 miles through the five boroughs of New York City. The marathon has grown to be the largest in the world, with more than 51,000 finishers in 2016 and more than 98,000 applications for the 2017 race. This year’s marathon will take place Sunday, November 5.

Through its partnership with the TCS New York City Marathon, Literacy Partners recruits five or more marathon runners to raise a minimum of $2,500 each and represent the organization at the marathon every year.

The TCS New York City Marathon acts as an influential hub for charity runners, like those who run for Literacy Partners, who want to fundraise and raise awareness for causes they are passionate about. The Literacy Partners marathon team raises the funds that enable the organization to provide its classes for free and help low-income parents gain the literacy skills needed to live a quality life while passing on important literacy skills to their children.

Take a look at this year's Literacy Partners marathon team.


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