We believe in lifelong learning as a path towards opportunity and fulfillment. As individuals increase their literacy and basic skills they are able to secure better jobs, manage their personal lives, advocate for themselves, enhance their parenting skills, and contribute more to their community. In short, they improve the quality of their lives and communities.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide dynamic resources and opportunities that give adults, families and children a foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.

What We Do

Literacyworks is building the Literacyworks Center for Adult and Family Literacy in partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College.

Literacyworks Professional Development provides professional development opportunities to ABE and ESL professionals. We are improving adult education and literacy instruction through training, research, and best practices and by establishing high quality professional development programs customized to state and local education standards.


Literacyworks administered the US Department of Education’s Regional Professional Development Center (Region 4) for the Literacy Information and Communication Network System (LINCS) for twenty-one years. Through LINCS we connected, trained and provided educational resources for literacy programs in local libraries, adult education programs and other community and institutional settings throughout Alaska, Hawaii, the western United States and the Pacific Islands.

Our Story

Established in 2001, Literacyworks goal is to ensure that all individuals have the skills, support and opportunities to thrive in a complex and inter-connected world. Our services include:

  • Advocating for and addressing the needs of the 43% of Americans with low literacy skills. Fostering collaboration between education and literacy programs and other community organizations to share curriculum, resources, and ideas locally and nationally.
  • Designing materials and professional development programs to promote effective instructional methods that target the needs of learners with low literacy skills. Developing and disseminating innovative educational materials and technologies for learners.
  • Promoting and celebrating lifelong learning in practice by showcasing excellent writing and commentary.

The Literacyworks Organization

Literacyworks Staff

Executive Director: Paul Heavenridge
Paul administrates all Literacyworks projects including the Region 4 LINCS Professional Development Center. As Executive Director of Litereracyworks, he provides oversight of our activities providing literacy instructional curriculum design and development, online adult education, and technical assistance to thirteen state adult education directors, adult and family literacy resource centers, adult education schools, and library literacy programs. He manages the fiscal, grant, and board functions.

Principal Investigator: Kristin Ockert
Literacyworks Director of Training and Programs, Kristin Ockert, is the RPDC Region 4 Principal Investigator. She assists the Project Director with project management, including assisting adult education/literacy providers in Region 4 to identify appropriate and needed LINCS trainings, developing training plans and schedules; overseeing LINCS-certified training experts and task coordination for partner state, outlying area and local training; training and managing CoP monitors/leaders for CoPs created as support to participants in LINCS trainings; and preparing routine administrative reports. She conducts LINCS AEPD training, including L2A, and participate in RPDC national meetings and monthly phone calls.

Educational Technologist: Marty Ferrini
Marty provides technical assistance to partners, coordinates all social media, and maintains the Web 2.0 virtual AEPD offerings platforms for dissemination of LINCS, Communities of Practice, and online training. His role is to assist in meeting the goals, objectives, and outcomes of this project. He maintains all web-based applications, discussion groups; assists the project director and principal investigator with formatting and publication of materials for presentations/trainings; and provides technical assistance on web-related issues to states and outlying areas as needed.


Program & Training Coordinator: Kelin Backman
Kelin assists in conducting needs assessments on all RPDC 4 states and outlying areas use of high quality research and materials and helps gather data for reports. She assists in organizing and managing training schedules with the states and outlying areas; gathers data for measures established by LINCS concerning training, information dissemination and partnerships; and submits training data in the LINCS database. She coordinates all Literacyworks events and Social Media Marketing.


Literacyworks Center

Literacyworks Center Director: Chris Schultz
We are honored to have Chris Schultz as the new Director of The Literacyworks Center at Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma. 

Chris has an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from the University of LaVerne and a Teaching Credential from Dominican University. He held the position of Director of Student Services at World College West in Petaluma. He then spent many years at College of Marin as Dean of Student Development and Special Services, Coordinator of the Disabled Student Program, and Educational Consultant for the Student Service Programs at College of Marin’s Indian Valley Campus.

Since his short time with Literacyworks, he’s been recruiting students and staff volunteers for The Center and met with our community partners. His many years of experience in educational counseling make him uniquely qualified to provide guidance, coaching and advising to our adult learners. He looks forward to assisting them in the development and review of individual goals and connecting the learners with community services and job-placement programs. Welcome Chris!

Executive Administrator: Rita Sorpranith
We are honored to have Rita Sorpranith as the talented Executive Administrator for Literacyworks. Just this month Rita got a B.S. in Business with an emphasis in Business Administration from University of Oregon Eugene. She is the first in her family to earn a college degree. Congrats Rita!

From her start here in April, Rita has juggled a plethora of duties including organizing, scheduling, attending meetings, preparing minutes, monitoring budgets, maintaining databases, and keeping Executive Director Paul Heavenridge in racing form. She will move most of her duties to The Literacyworks Center later this month and assist in performing student intakes, organizing schedules and appointments, among many other student-centered duties. Welcome Rita!

Board of Directors

Lynn Woolsey, Honorary Chairperson
Congresswoman (Retired) 

Peter Coyote, Honorary Board Member
Actor, Author, Director, Screenwriter and Narrator

Elizabeth Howland, President 
Former Managing Director of Development at McKesson Foundation

Paul Heavenridge, Vice President
Executive Director, Literacyworks

Eric Backman, Secretary
Principal, Casa Grande High School

William Soper, Treasurer
CPA/Partner, Beels Soper LLP

Jeff Asher, MBA
Enterprise Cloud Solutions Specialist at Microsoft

Amy Critchett
Executive Producer, Bay Lights
CEO Art & Audience

Gloria Cruz McCallister
Community Health Worker, Spanish teacher, Member Committee member: Petaluma's Dia de los Muertos