Telephone:  (540) 536-1648

Fax:  (540) 536-0198

Daytime Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm

Evening Hours:

Monday and Thursday: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Copyright © 2018 Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area.  All rights reserved.

History of Literacy Volunters on America and Literacy Volunters Winchester Area

2000'S
In 2002 former board member Paula Gould was employed as the program director. Betty Jo Dickerson’s title was changed to Executive Director. Patti Rexroad was hired as the administrative assistant. LV-WA received a program improvement grant of $30,000 (over three years) and the board and staff went through a rigorous accreditation process. A strong partnership was formed with Northern Shenandoah Valley Adult Education.

LV-WA was invited to assume a suite of offices in the Our Health Complex under construction on N. Cameron Street in October 2003. Roxanna Orndorff was hired as the administrative assistant. Betty Jo Dickerson retired in 2004 after dedicating five very successful years to the leadership of LV-WA. Paula Gould remained as Program Coordinator/Acting Executive Director.

 

At the end of year 2005, Paula Gould resigned and in January 2006, Jean Lee became the Acting Director. Carol Burns was hired as the Administrative Assistant in March 2006. Peg Crompton joined LV-WA as the Program/Volunteer Coordinator in June 2006. Karen Brill replaced Peg Crompton as PVC and remained with the program for 2 years.

LV-WA has continually faced the need for greater fundraising. It is extremely important that we demonstrate to the United Way as well as to the grant givers that we as an organization are willing to raise money on our own. In the last few years the board and staff have developed two signature fund raising events; the Adult Spelling Bee held in the spring, and the Storybook Ball held in the fall. Both events have become very popular in the community and readily identified as Literacy Volunteers events.

Our History

Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) was founded in 1962 by Ruth Colvin who said, "If I don't do something, who will?"  In 2002, the organziation merged with Laubach Literacy International and became ProLiteracy Worldwide. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980's

Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area (LVWA) was formed in January 1985 through the efforts of Emily Neumann (first board president) and Polly Hotinger. In the early days, the organization was named Literacy Volunteers of the Greater Winchester Area.  The core program focused on teaching adult basic reading and was basically run out of Emily’s basement. Tutor training was conducted at Grace Lutheran Church in Winchester.

 

In January 1989, Joanne Spano of Clarke County was hired as the first program administrator with funds from the Virginia Literacy Foundation. The Handley Library Board made a small office available to store books and supplies and through the kindness of the Kiwanis Club, a phone was installed. Joanne Spano resigned in October 1990.

 

 

Bonnie Flax, former board president of Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area and Ruth Colvin, founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (ProLiteracy)

 

1990's
Jackie Morgan, of Winchester, was named program administrator in January 1991. A growing program and the addition of computers required more office space than was available at the library, so we moved to 132 N. Braddock St. The three small rooms, small bathroom, and air conditioning seemed luxurious! Three computers were provided by IBM, an individual, and a literacy grant. In addition, a copier was donated by the Winchester Moose Lodge 1283.

 

In the first ten years of LVWA the program changed dramatically in both variety and quantity. More and more students were requiring ESL (English as a Second Language). Also, more students were single mothers needing additional education to earn a satisfactory living. In 1998 the first Family Literacy program was led by Barbara Creasey for Hispanic parents of kindergarten students at Frederick Douglass Elementary School. Tentative plans were made to work with the three Head Start Centers and the Child-Parent Center.

 

In 1998, Betty Jo Dickerson of Winchester was hired as the program director. Gordon Thomas was hired as a VISTA Volunteer in 1999 and established a Family Literacy program with Fremont Street Nursery.

 

As a member of the United Way, LVWA worked to expand its image in the community. Taffy Thomas presented a story-telling program in 1999 and Scrabble playing evenings were held on the Downtown Mall. Barbara Creasey served as president of the Board of Directors until Derrick Schultz agreed to serve in 2000.


2000's
In 2002 former board member Paula Gould was employed as the program director. Betty Jo Dickerson’s title was changed to Executive Director. Patti Rexroad was hired as the administrative assistant. LVWA received a program improvement grant of $30,000 (over three years) and the board and staff went through a rigorous accreditation process. A strong partnership was formed with Northern Shenandoah Valley Adult Education.

 

LVWA was invited to assume a suite of offices in the Our Health Complex under construction on N. Cameron Street in October 2003. Roxanna Orndorff was hired as the administrative assistant. Betty Jo Dickerson retired in 2004 after dedicating five very successful years to the leadership of LVWA. Paula Gould remained as Program Coordinator/Acting Executive Director.

 

At the end of year 2005, Paula Gould resigned and in January 2006, Jean Lee became the Acting Director. Carol Burns was hired as the Administrative Assistant in March 2006. Peg Crompton joined LVWA as the Program/Volunteer Coordinator in June 2006. Karen Brill replaced Peg Crompton as PVC and remained with the program for 2 years.

In 2013, Kim Herbstritt came in as the executive director and proceeded to partner with many agencies and businesses in the community in order to bring literacy to more people in our service area. Stormy Thrasher was brought in early 2014 to help with this task. LVWA more than tripled in size! This increase in work necessitated bringing on more part-time staff and expanding programs. Please visit our staff page to meet them. 

 

LVWA is committed to raising funds to meet the increasing need for basic literacy services in the community.  Fundraising to benefit our students is accomplished in several different ways which include, fundraising events (Storybook Ball and Buzzwords), grants, and donations.  In addition, the board of directors financially contributes to the organization in a way that is personally significant.