The Literacy Council of Reading-Berks recently received a $20,000 grant from the United Way of Berks County’s COVID-19 Response Fund Grant.

The Literacy Council will use this grant to support the delivery of virtual instruction and in-person blended learning at its locations.

The Council will upgrade its technology for instructors, as well as purchase online licenses to deliver high-quality English as a Second Language (ESL) and high school equivalency instruction to its students.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on our community. United Way of Berks County has launched the Berks COVID-19 Response Fund to support local nonprofit organizations, such as the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks, that serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Ashley N. Chambers, Senior Vice President, Community Impact, at the United Way of Berks County.

“The Literacy Council is proud to support Berks County adults who struggle with basic literacy skills and need to obtain employment. The Council is truly grateful to the United Way of Berks County for its continued support of our mission, and is ready to serve these adults at a time when they need our services the most,” said Ryan A. Breisch, Literacy Council Executive Director.

The Literacy Council is celebrating its 52nd year of providing exceptional adult literacy services in Berks County.

Since 1968, the Literacy Council has helped thousands of adults improve their reading, writing, math, and English-language skills. However, there are still approximately 90,000 adults in Berks County who need to develop sufficient literacy skills to become self-reliant in today’s world.

The mission of the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks is to help people better communicate, collaborate and contribute to their workplace and community. Current programs include one-on-one tutoring, classes for English as a Second Language and citizenship preparation, workforce development training, high school equivalency preparation, English Forward training to create more ESL classes in the community, and other services.

The Literacy Council’s vision is to eradicate illiteracy in Berks County by teaching people the vital reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills needed to improve their quality of life and enable more productive employment and community citizenship.