Literacyworks in the News: December 2016

Literacyworks 2016 Wrap 

Happy Holidays from the Literacyworks Staff!

Literacyworks staff and participants have had a fabulous year. We once again (is this starting a tradition?) offer our own Literacyworks “Top Ten List” (in no particular order) of all the great things that happened in 2016 and a few for which we're grateful.

Let the countdown begin!


#10. LINCS Region 4 Regional Professional Development Center: After 21 years of successful professional development training for the US Department of Education, our LINCS Region 4 Professional Development Center grant ended in September. This final year we conducted over 28 trainings events in 12 states for 621 adult educators, which translated into 4,404 hours of training. As we say goodbye to the RPDC4, we say hello to new business, Literacyworks Professional Development. We are providing professional development opportunities to ABE and ESL professionals with access to over 130 researched-based ABE and ESL PD workshops and with over 40 National Subject Matter Expert trainers in adult education and literacy topics.


 #9. The Literacyworks Center: The Center had a total of 162 students participate in the program in 2016. We handed out the Adult Literacy Award (thank you anonymous family foundation) to all our students, administered through the Santa Rosa JC Scholarship Programs office. To date, the Center has a less than 10% student dropout rate compared to a historically 60% dropout rate for this at-risk population at community colleges. This demonstration project is proving that we can make a difference in keeping low income, highly motivated adults stay in school and become career and college ready.

#8. Peter Coyote, actor, author, director, screenwriter narrator and Literacyworks honorary board member, was the keynote speaker at our Peter Coyote Fundraising Event on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 on Santa Rosa Junior College's Petaluma Campus in the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium. Big thanks to our staff, students, volunteers and many sponsors who made this fundraising event inspiring and profitable. 

#7. Literacyworks Board: We sincerely appreciate the support and wisdom of our Literacyworks Board: Elizabeth Howland, President, Eric Backman, Secretary, William Soper, Treasurer, Jeff Asher, Amy Critchett, and Gloria Cruz McCallister

#6. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey: Lynn is our Literacyworks Center founder/partner and Honorary Board Chairperson. She continues to be our biggest supporter.

#5. Founding Friends of the Center, the Friends of the Literacyworks Center and Program Partners: Again this year, many people and organizations helped to make Literacyworks and the Center successful including the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Santa Rosa Junior College, Center Point, North Bay Children’s Center, West Marin Community Services (Pt. Reyes Station), and our Center donors, both individuals and organizations, including Codding Foundation, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Marin Community Foundation, Clover Stornetta Farms, AT&T, Xandex, Jackson Family Wines, The W Foundation, Sobel Communications, Bank of Marin, WestAmerica Bank and Schwab Charitable Giving.

#4. SRJC: The Petaluma Campus staff and administration have been very supportive of the Center with particular thanks to Jane Saldana-Talley, Vice President, Petaluma Campus, whose assistance was and is invaluable, Matthew Long, Dean of Student Services, Catherine Williams, Dean of Instruction and Enrollment Management, and Yesenia Rodarte-Hurtado, ELL Outreach Coordinator. The SRJC Santa Rosa campus staff has been great to work with also. Thanks to President/Superintendent Frank Chong, Rachael Cutcher, SRJC Manager of Scholarship Programs, Dean Cathy Prince, Instruction & Strategic Program Development and the Hispanic Serving Institution programs, and Enedina Vera, HEP recruiter.

#3. Our Center participants: 162 of our adult students received our Adult Literacy Awards to assist them in school and have enrolled to date. Many more are scheduled to sign-on in the Spring Semester 2017. Also, high-fives to our volunteer tutors who will start helping our students succeed with one-to-one tutoring in 2016. We held our first workshops and attended the SRJC Circle of Honor where our students came with family and friends.

#2. Staff: Thanks to our talented Center staff: Chris Schultz and Rita Sorpranith and Literacyworks staff Kelin Backman, Marty Ferrini, and Lisa Thompson.

#1. You: We are mostly grateful for all the Literacyworks supporters, both anonymous and public, and particularly you!

Literacyworks is helping underprivileged and underrepresented adults secure better jobs, become better parents, and contribute more to their community. Thanks for all your support this year and next.

Paul Heavenridge
Executive Director

P.S.  Today, we launched our 2016 Year-End Campaign. Our goal is to raise $25,000 in order to keep receiving the donor’s scholarship funding by matching it with funding for staff and operations.  This will allow us to reach our goal of to help 200 motivated low-income low literacy adults get on our program in 2017.  We can’t do it without your help.  Will you make a gift?  To make your donation now, go to or contact Rita at to be mailed a remittance envelope.