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 is to provide dynamic resources and opportunities that give adults, families and children a foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.
What We Do
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 by establishing high quality programs customized to state and local education standards.
Literacyworks Family Literacy Initiatives
Literacyworks has been an early adopter in believing that children’s first teachers are their parents. We work with educational and literacy programs, including family literacy programs that serve children under 5, in libraries and community based organizations, throughout California and the nation.
Because children develop reading and writing skills as they grow, family literacy takes place during daily routines in life as parents, children, and family members use literacy at home and in their community.
Literacyworks' Parents as First Teachers: Engaging Families to Increase Children's Literacy at the Literacyworks Center goal is to improve the emergent literacy skills of our Centers low-literacy, low-income bilingual parents and children through a combination of access to resources in the home and the community and by training parents in the basic skills to encourage their children to become avid readers.
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.
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
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.
Director of Development: Elizabeth Howland
Elizabeth is the senior fundraising manager for Literacyworks and is chiefly responsible for overseeing our revenue streams that includes grants, donations, and special events. Elizabeth is a founding member of Friends of the Petaluma River. She has lived in Petaluma for 25 years and is an active outdoor enthusiast and musician.
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
Rita Sorpranith is the talented Executive Administrator for Literacyworks. She has 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.
From the start, 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. Her duties to include working with The Literacyworks Center and assisting in performing student intakes, organizing schedules, and leading workshops among many other student-centered duties.
Director of ELL and Special Projects: Sara Bochte
Sara Bochte is the Director of English Language Learners and Special Projects for Literacyworks. Sara has an M.A. in English with a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Option from the California State University East Bay in Hayward. She holds teaching credentials in Spanish, English and social science as well as a bilingual certification. She has over fourteen years of experience serving both adults and adolescents as an English language learner teacher and administrator in the San Francisco East Bay.
Sara will be the English learner subject matter expert working with the Literacyworks many partners to support learners with limited English skills. She will also develop and implement curriculum for workplace English programs.
Board of Directors
Lynn Woolsey, Honorary Chairperson
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
Sales Leader, Microsoft Platform at Amazon Web Services
Gloria Cruz McCallister
Community Health Worker, Spanish teacher, Member Committee member: Petaluma's Dia de los Muertos
Former Chairman and CEO, Club One, Inc.