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The "To-Do" list for a new literacy program is not for the faint of heart. Start-ups must consider the sustainability of their vision, and a successful program often demonstrates a strong infrastructure in process, an engaged base of volunteers and/or Board of Directors, and a plan for student recruitment.
The Coalition encourages anyone interested in starting a new program in Tarrant County to contact our office to learn about similar programs, areas of need in the community, funding, and other resources.
There are two approaches most often taken when beginning a literacy class-- one developed within an existing agency already offering services and one started outside the infrastructure of another organization.
Existing agencies often offer job training or other social services within a non-profit organization, library, or through a church's mission. New programs may have the support of other organizations or partners, but they do not have a system set in place yet.
Either approach must consider a plan for operation, staff positions, training for tutors, curriculum development, student recruitment and retention, and funding. But the process can be a reality-- with the right support.
Ready to begin? The Coalition recommends a few steps to begin the planning process:
1. Research- Understand the need in your area for literacy and any barriers that could limit your program's success (transportation, childcare, funding, time, and overlapping services with other programs).
2. Explore- Meet other program leaders and volunteers to gain invaluable advice from people just like you. View our calendar to start building connections.
3. Discuss- Keep in touch with the Coalition, literacy programs, and other organizations in Tarrant County willing to help you. Partnerships, resources, and support from a variety of sources will help you build a strong, sustainable program.