Our Mission

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

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.

What We Do


Literacyworks administers the US Department of Education’s Regional Professional Development Center (Region 4 http://lincs.ed.gov/lincs/regionalresources/region4) for the Literacy Information and Communication Network System (LINCS). Through LINCS we connect, train and provide educational resources for literacy programs in local libraries, adult education programs and other community and institutional settings throughout Alaska, Hawaii, and the western United States.

Literacyworks also supports literacy and lifelong learning through a variety of projects, including Know: the Journal of Lifelong Learning (http://www.knowjournal.org). We support these programs through the generosity of sponsors and donors to our Literacyworks Fund.

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.

Who We Are

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.


Administrative Assistant: Penn Sopranith
We are excited to welcome our new administrative assistant Penn Sopranith. She will be working both at the main office at Literacyworks and the Literacyworks Center. She brings a very needed skill set to our work and has already proved most helpful on managing the social media we need to make our Literate for Life campaign successful. She volunteers her time to help youth at the KSF (Khmu Student Foundation) in the East Bay. She recently left her for-profit job to work in the non-profit world.


Liam Nelson, Executive Editor - Know: the Journal of Lifelong Learning
Liam manages and contributes editorial content to Know: the Journal of Lifelong Learning and the Know Journal Podcast, which he also produces and records. Liam has worked in print media for thirteen years, most recently as a features writer for Gulf News, where he established a connection to many of Know’s international contributors.


Board of Directors

Elizabeth Howland, President 
Managing Director of Development at McKesson Foundation

Paul Heavenridge, Vice President
Executive Director, Literacyworks

Eric Backman, Secretary
Assistant Principal, Casa Grande High School

William Soper, Treasurer
CPA/Partner, Beels Soper LLP

Jeff Asher, MBA
Manager, vArchitects Pacific West at VCE, the Virtual Computing Environment Company

Amy Critchett
Executive Director, Illuminate the Arts

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