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The Coalition


For the Media

For press related inquiries about the Tarrant Literacy Coalition, the Corporate Spelling Bee, or any of our other events, please contact Wes Young at (817) 870-0082 (office) or (972) 746-1877 (cell).

News and Announcements

Late April 2022 marks one year since ETS HiSET announced that they would not renew their test offering in Texas for the next contract cycle. They stated 'a business decision' as the reason for not returning. In the months following that announcement, Tarrant Literacy Coalition staff doggedly pursued answers about why, especially when stakeholders around the state, and especially in Tarrant County, advocated tirelessly for test choice in the state from 2014-2016. Those answers, unfortunately, are unsatisfying.

As we discussed in parts one and two, Texas has both a dropout and prison epidemic. They each affect or are affected by the overall level of education in Texas. We want to shift focus to the economic impact of low educational attainment in both the nation and state. Most of the statistics we reference here compare individuals with less than a high school diploma or its equivalent (< HSD/E), with those who have a high school diploma or equivalent (HSD/E), to those with some college (SC), and those with a Bachelor's degree or higher (BD+).

 In part one, we wrote about how the number of adults taking and passing high school equivalency tests decreases because schools are doing a better job at ensuring children stay in school and complete their high school diplomas. We highlighted data that showed dropout rates are decreasing in Texas. However, the total number of dropouts is increasing as the population in the state increases. While the numbers show a shift towards a more positive outcome for youth, many adults still lack a diploma or equivalency certificate. One of the most concentrated populations suffering from low literacy is our incarcerated population.

With the HiSET exam not renewing their contract in Texas and adult learners scrambling to complete the exam before August 31, it is important to look at some critical factors and statistics which, if nothing else, point toward a greater need for increased educational focus and spending within the adult education sphere. Over the coming weeks, we plan to share research and shine a light on realities in Texas that are not widely known as we build a case for opportunities and advocate for change, all within the context of the school dropout and the high school diploma/equivalency earner.

For the first time in more than a year, in-person events are back! Literacy Texas, whose annual conference has moved around the state for the last few years (including virtually in 2020), is coming to DFW this August, and we are counting on our colleagues to represent in droves. The three-day event (Aug. 2-4)

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded Tarrant Literacy Coalition a $5,500 grant to support adult literacy through its LEARN for Life program.  This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent award of $10.5 million donations to support summer, family, and adult literacy programs, representing the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 28-year history.

We are pleased to bring you a night of entertainment and laughter by joining forces with our emcee, KERA’s Krys Boyd, host of the nationally acclaimed call-in-radio program “Think,” and our speakers, “A Way with Words” radio co-hosts and language experts Martha Barnette & Grant Barrett, to present "Lead with Literacy!"

November 13th from 8 AM to 2 PM

The DFW Literacy Symposium is back for year 5, and this time we brought our friends Literacy ConneXus to provide you back to back days of the most impactful and relevant professional development and training for adult education and literacy available! Join us for topics on basic literacy, English language acquisition, digital literacy and resources, high school equivalency, social media and navigating the world of adult education during COVID-19.

Join Tarrant Literacy Coalition for an online fundraiser in support of adult learners and those who teach them. Many of the items are up and we will be adding new items daily until the auction opens on August 21.

TLC's annual fundraiser, normally held every April and featuring corporate sponsors and guests competing in a spelling bee in support of every adult learner in Tarrant County, is taking on a new form in 2020. This year, for the public’s safety and to comply with social distancing recommendations and limited gatherings, we have had to forego our annual Spellabration and pivot to an online raffle and auction, with proceeds going to empower adult learners and those who teach them with resources, tools and classes that can help them navigate the changing digital environment.

Tarrant Literacy Coalition and Literacy Connexus are coming together to bring the community the first in a series of kickoff events for North Texas Giving Day 2019. Join us at Tommy's Hamburger Grill and Patio (2455 Forest Park Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76110) on Tuesday, August 13th from 5 - 9PM. It will be a great way to get to know each other better, find out about the great programs and events we have planned for the coming months as we strive to provide "Literacy for All", enjoy some great food, and get excited about North Texas Giving Day!

You don't want to miss this event - see you there!

The 10th Anniversary & Spellabration, set for Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6 pm at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center is now SOLD OUT! The evening will celebrate a decade of service in Tarrant County and surrounding areas to adult learners and those who teach them. In the spring of 2009, TLC was established after almost two years of work by a dedicated group of volunteers and a successful Corporate Spelling Bee that was hosted by the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. This year's event will pay tribute to students, volunteers, donors and supporters who have participated in programs of the Coalition over the past ten years. Stay tuned for photos and updates of this great event!

The Board of Directors has announced the members of the Host Committee for the 10th Anniversary & Spellabration, which will take place on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Marilyn Ackmann, Larry and Karen Anfin, The Honorable Ken and Karen Barr, Kathryn and Lowell Bryan, Gary and Jane Cumbie, Robert Earley and Dr. Tricia Earley, Daniel J. Red and Julie Goldstein,
Jill “J.R.” and Mark Labbe, The Honorable Mike and Rosie Moncrief, Jane and Roger Nober, The Honorable Beverly and Charlie Powell,
Trenton and Tiffany Price, and Beth Zimmerman will host this event, which will pay tribute to the students, volunteers, and supporters who have been such an important part of ten years of service to the community. For more information, contact Wes Young at the TLC office: 817-870-0082.

Metroplex Literacy Conference

The annual Metroplex Literacy Conference will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Dallas Baptist University. This event will feature workshops offered by a wide range of subject experts for adult literacy program directors, teachers, tutors and volunteers. In addition, exhibitors from publishing companies and nonprofit organizations will be on hand to share information about the products and services they offer to support adult learners and those who teach them. Registration opens in early January at or contact for more information.

Joan Grigsby was recently named 2018 Volunteer of the Year at the Literacy Texas annual conference in Waco. Chosen from nominees submitted by literacy programs across the state, Joan's dedication to adult learners and her willingness to go 'above and beyond' for those in need of literacy services stood out to the judges who made this year's selection. "She travels all over the greater Fort Worth area to tutor and support adults attempting to better themselves through literacy support, completion of a high school diploma, and/or accessing opportunities for self-improvement in the workplace and life situations. It takes just a few minutes of conversation regarding her volunteer work to understand that the many hours Joan spends with the people she refers to as “her people” are a definitive life ministry and her mission to give back to a community of individuals with great need," said Lloyd Day, executive director at LinkED. Tarrant Literacy Coalition is extremely fortunate to have Joan as one of it's key volunteers and very proud of Joan for this tremendous honor.

The Tarrant County Adult Education and Literacy Consortium hosted a community graduation ceremony in June for Consortium students who received the Certificate of High School Equivalency in the past year. As these wonderful photos show, it was truly a night of celebration for the students and their loved ones. We are proud of each student who worked so hard to achieve this wonderful goal! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!

Literacy Texas will hold its annual conference for adult literacy administrators, teachers, tutors and volunteers August 6-8 in Waco, TX at the Hilton Waco and Waco Convention Center. Workshops on a wide range of topics of interest to those who work with adult learners will be offered, as well as the annual luncheon honoring the Literacy Volunteer of the Year, which will be held on Tuesday, August 7th. Exhibitors at the conference include a wide range of vendors who work with adult literacy programs, such as Burlington English, Cambridge University Press, Data Recognition Service, ETS HiSET, I'm Not Afraid of Math, New Readers Press, Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning and many more. For more information about this year's conference and scholarships available, contact Literacy Texas at 888-577-9347.

The 2018 Corporate Spelling Bee was held on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the TCU Brown-Lupton University Union. Larry and Karen Anfin will chaired the Bee, during which local corporate, education and community leaders will competed for thousands of dollars worth of prizes and the coveted traveling trophy, while supporting the important work of the Tarrant Literacy Coalition. CONGRATULATIONS to the Rotary Club of Fort Worth and United Way of Tarrant County, who tied for first place! BNSF who finished third. We are so grateful for all of the spellers and sponsors who made this another great year for our Corporate Spelling Bee!

Dr. Stevie Dawn provided two hours of valuable instruction to 125 literacy teachers, tutors and volunteers at the 2017 DFW Literacy Symposium on October 28, 2017. This full-day training event was held at Compass Christian Church, sponsored by Literacy Texas and funded through a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The DFW Literacy Symposium provides a great opportunity to network with other literacy partners while participating in workshops on a variety of literacy related topics. Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who helped make this an excellent professional development event for our literacy partners.

Congratulations to all of the adult learners who received their Certificate of High School Equivalency in the past year. This year's celebration was a wonderful evening for the students, their friends and family members and we are so proud of each and every one. We are especially proud of Charmaine Parramore, our Project BEST student who gave the student commencement address. She inspired all of us with her message, reminding the students that HSE graduation is not the end, but rather the beginning of the next step in their journey. Check out photos of the graduates by clicking on the title of this article.

The 2017 Corporate Spelling Bee is set for Wednesday, April 19 at the TCU Brown-Lupton University Union. Tickets are just $50 per person, which includes a wonderful meal and admission to the delightfully entertaining spelling competition among some of Tarrant County's best spellers! Click on the BLUE DONATE BUTTON at the top of this page or call the TLC Office at 817-870-0082 to make your reservations. Spellers will arrive at 5:30 pm for team photos; cash bar opens at 6 pm and dinner is served at 6:30 pm. The Bee competition starts shortly thereafter. This year, audience members will be eligible to win some great prizes donated by our loyal supporters! Don't miss this annual event, co-chaired by Larry and Karen Anfin and hosted by emcee Jill "J.R." Labbe with Wordmaster Gary Cumbie!

Join us at the DFW Literacy Symposium on Saturday, February 11th. Our keynote speaker is author Elia Moreno. Space is limited and registration is now open. Click on this link to download the flier with more information.

Check out this month's news for TLC

Check out this month's news from TLC!

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded Tarrant Literacy Coalition a $5,500 grant to support adult literacy through its LEARN for Life program.  This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent award of $10.5 million donations to support summer, family, and adult literacy programs, representing the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 28-year history.

We are very pleased to announce that The Alcon Foundation has just contributed $10,000 to support our work with adult literacy programs. These funds will further our mission of improving the quality and increasing the quantity of adult literacy services in Tarrant County and surrounding areas. We love working with everyone at Alcon and are very grateful for their investment in our community!

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