Who We Are

Educators. Innovators. Leaders in adult literacy, partnering with you to transform lives and communities.

Our job is to make sure adult literacy programs can do theirs.

We’re experts in adult education who believe that even the smallest community-based organizations can change the world through literacy. Yes, we work with large associations and governments to advance literacy at a greater scale. But the outstanding, passionate work of grassroots programs is at the core of who we are and who we’ve always been.

Our Story

Our history is rooted in the inspiring work of Dr. Frank C. Laubach and Ruth J. Colvin, two passionate educators who in the 1950s and ’60s founded literacy organizations with the common goal of creating a more literate world.

Dr. Frank C. Laubach and interpreter teach Azira chart

Ruth Colvin

1955: Laubach Literacy International

Following a quarter century of adult literacy work as a missionary throughout the world, Dr. Frank used the platform of his new nonprofit organization to educate people in the US about the transformative power of literacy.

In 1963, Dr. Frank’s son, Dr. Robert Laubach, was teaching at the Syracuse University School of Journalism when he found his calling to follow in his father's literacy footsteps. He created a newspaper for low-literate adults and began developing and testing learning materials for new readers as New Readers Press, the publishing division of Laubach Literacy International.

1962: Literacy Volunteers of America

Ruth Colvin was moved when she heard Dr. Frank speak about literacy. When she read that over 11,000 people in her hometown of Syracuse, NY, struggled to read and write, she began organizing volunteer tutors out of her basement.

By 2002, these organizations had merged into one. Out of this incredible legacy, ProLiteracy today is leading the charge to advance adult literacy through our support of hundreds of grassroots programs—like the ones that started it all—throughout the U.S. and the world.

Our Board and Staff

You’re here because you believe that education changes lives and communities. So do we. Meet our team of passionate educators, literacy advocates, and innovative thinkers, united in our commitment to support your life-changing work in every possible way.

Our People