PROJECT READ - MADISON COUNTY LITERACY COUNCIL INC
2150 Lexington Road, Suite H
Richmond KY 40475
Contact Information
Nonprofit PROJECT READ - MADISON COUNTY LITERACY COUNCIL INC
Address 2150 Lexington Road, Suite H
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone (859) 623-4905
Contact Name Brenda Thomas
At A Glance
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Donors may send checks to the above address in a donation/response envelope or make in-kind donations by contacting us by phone or email. 
 
Adults 18 and over who have a high school diploma may volunteer as tutors for Adult Basic Literacy, pre-GED, and English-Second-Language students. 
Financial Summary
 
 
Statements
Mission Statement
Project Read's mission is to improve the lives of adult learners in the Madison County community by teaching them to read or by helping them to improve their reading and math skills, by preparing them to work toward a GED, and by teaching those who are non-native English speakers to speak or improve their English language skills.    
Background Statement
Project Read was started in 1985 by members of the Richmond Women's Club and several EKU faculty wives to help many local residents improve their literacy skills.  In order to help them learn to read or to improve their reading and math skills, these women worked to establish Project Read, a ProLiteracy affiliate which helped hundreds of adult students get a GED.  For a variety of reasons, Project Read later shifted its focus to providing pre-GED services and expanded its programs to include English Second language clients.  Currently, Project Read provideds one-to-one and group tutoring services to adults in the Madison County area who want to improve their literacy skills or to learn English or to improve English-speaking skills. 
 
Impact Statement
Our top three accomplishments are: 1. Partnering with the Welcome Women program which provides both one-to-one and group tutoring to non-native English speakers in Madison County. 2. Developing a partnership with the Bluegrass Career Development Center through which we provide basic literacy tutoring to inmates; and, 3. Training and certifying both Adult Basic Literacy and English-Second-Language tutors to work with adult learners in Madison County.
 
Our goals are to increase the number of learners we serve by ten to fifteen percent; to increase Board membership to 10 people; and to find and retain corporate sponsorships.
 
Needs Statement
1. Due to a recent loss of funding from United Way of the Bluegrass amounting to more than $15,000--about half of our annual budget--Project Read is in need of money for operation expenses.  These expenses include: salary for part-time Executive Director, rent, insurance, utilities, and supplies.
2. We would like to hire a part-time office assistant. 
3. Project Read also needs 10 new volunteer tutors for Adult Basic Literacy and English-Second-Language learners.
4. We need (five of each) Oxford Picture Dictionaries in Arabic, Cambodian, Korean, Nepalese, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese which would cost approximately $1,000.
5. We need textbooks and workbooks for 80 plus students, as well as software for computers.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Project Read has provided adult literacy classes for 30 years to Madison County residents.  Our programs have helped people improve their lives through upgraded literacy skills which have helped them find employment, get a GED, enroll in a university, help their children with homework, learn English, and to accomplish many life goals. We currently partner with the CELTS/HOP programs at Berea College to train students and other interested community members as tutors for international residents.  We also partner with the Bluegrass Community Career Development Center to provide pre-GED tutoring to inmates who are being paroled out of the prison system.  In addition, Project Read provides high quality English-Second-Language programs for international students from all over the world.  We are the only agency to provide tutoring to the lowest literacy level participants.  Without Project Read, this group of people would have no local resource for help with raising their literacy levels. 
Board Chair Statement

 

How would you manage this dilemma? Project Read will no longer be funded by United Way of the Bluegrass. That means we have lost nearly 50 percent of our annual support. Yet, we must sustain our current program of providing tutoring services for adult literacy students. The challenge to make up the loss is daunting.
 
In addition to being Board Chair of Project Read, I am a tutor, and I see firsthand the challenges adults face when they are unable to read. It is my passion to help them learn so they have a better chance to achieve their life goals. One of my students, a 40-year old woman, states that, "No one should go through life without being able to read." We realize there are many adults in Madison County, Kentucky, who have low-level reading and/or math skills. Their challenge is to improve those skills. Our challenge is to continually seek reliable and consistent funding to carry out our tutoring program to assist those in need.
 
To address the reduction in funding and donations, Project Read's Governing Board is researching charitable organizations that support adult literacy. We recently sent newsletters to past and current donors informing them of our financial situation and loss. We have created a website to promote Project Read, which we hope will encourage more donations. And we have initiated a partnership with Madison County Public Library in Berea and Richmond as an outreach for our services.
 
Our students may range in age from 16 to senior citizens. Some are recent graduates of high school, but they admit to feeling ill prepared to seek a job because of poor reading skills. All of the students express a desire for help.  Our successes motivate Project Read tutors to continue to donate their time.  For example, we worked with two sisters who began with limited reading and math skills, but with dedication and motivation, progressed to earn their GED certifications.  In addition, one sister has completed two years of college and the other is gainfully employed.
 
I doubt that most citizens in our county realize the scope of illiteracy in their area. Unfortunately, due to life circumstances, there are many adults who could certainly benefit from our services. Their need is ever present but our funding is not. We must find new sources of revenue.  Time is of the essence.
 
 
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Public & Societal Benefit NEC
Tertiary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building /
Geographic Areas Served
Areas
Kentucky
Project Read provides one-on-one and group tutoring to residents of the Madison County area, which can include Garrard, Jackson, and Rockcastle Counties.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact. Project Read aims to help adult learners improve their lives through increased education levels.  Educational improvement for some adults occurs when they learn to read for the first time.  For others, it occurs when they improve reading skills by one, two, three, or more grade levels.  Additionally, improvement for non-native English speakers occurs when they learn effective English communication skills.  Such educational improvements allow these adult students to find better jobs, seek job promotions, enroll in college or university classes, help their children with homework, understand health issues, and/or achieve a host of other literacy-related goals.  Agency goals for the next three to five years are to increase (by 20 percent) the number of students who complete 50 or more hours of instruction annually. 
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

In order to help adults who need to raise their literacy skill levels, Project Read must have qualified tutors.  Furthermore, because we are a small non-profit agency with a limited budget, we must rely on volunteers from the community to help us.  Our volunteers have to attend a 12 hour training session that certifies them to work Adult Basic literacy students or English-Second-Language learners.  The two training sessions are separate and volunteers may seek certification in only one area or they may seek certification in both.  The certification allows them to work with adults at ProLiteracy affiliates across the Unites States.  All of our tutors must have a high school diploma, though we give preference to those who have completed a four year degree or higher. 

Students are tested to determine their skill-level upon enrollment, and then retested after every 50 hours of instruction to determine their progress.  We use the Laubach series for both ABL and ESL teaching.  In addition, our tutors use the internet, books and materials like driver's license manual's, and other appropriate teaching materials as the case requires.
 
Volunteers keep records of their class preparation time, instruction time, and drive time, and their records are turned in to the Executive Director at the end of each month.  In addition, student portfolios are kept which record progress as students work toward their stated goals.
 
Using volunteers to provide free literacy instruction to adults who need it has worked extremely well for Project Read as well as for other adult students enrolled in ProLiteracy affiliate programs across the country.  In Madison County, there is simply no other resource for those with low-level literacy skills.  The Madison County Adult Education program works with GED seekers. Our students often work at low-paying jobs, so hiring a paid tutor is out of the question.  Therefore, they must rely on our free services.
 
Project Read goals are to increase the number of adult students and volunteer tutors by about 20 percent over the next two years.  We will accomplish this goal is by working with the Madison County Public Library, the Berea College CELTS/HOP program, the Welcome Women program, and the Bluegrass Career Development Center.  To attract more students and tutors, the Executive Director and the Governing Board will work with our existing partners and with other agencies in Richmond and Berea to display information about our services.  
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

Project Read has consistently trained and certified volunteer tutors since its inception in 1985.  The training is conducted by the part-time Executive Director who also enrolls and tests students and then matches them with a trained tutor.  In order to train volunteer tutors, the Executive Director must achieve trainer certification through the national ProLiteracy office.   The Director also writes grant proposals, speaks to community groups, works with a Governing Board to plan and administer programs to students.

Equally important to its success as a non-profit adult literacy agency is the assistance and guidance of its Governing Board made up of seven to twelve community members who have expertise in relevant areas.

Project Read's capacity to accomplish its goals are also tied to its current and future partnerships with the Bluegrass Career Development Center, the Berea College HOP and CELTS programs, the Welcome Women Program, and the Madison County Public Library.  These partnerships provide us with both students and tutors, meeting the needs of both Adult Basic Literacy clients as well as English-Second-Language learners.  

Project Read is supported in part by its private donors as well as by the Madison County Government and by corporate donations and public foundations.  Funding from United Way of the Bluegrass was denied for the 2014-2017 funding cycle, cutting our overall budget by about 50 percent.  
 
Project Read will double its efforts to secure funding for its programs and to grow the kinds of services offered to clients.  
 
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact? We will know we are making progress when our funding is stable enough to support the number and kind of programs that help adult learners in Madison and surrounding counties realize their goals of achieving gainful employment, enrolling in institutions of higher learning, achieving financial goals, and helping their children succeed in school.  We will know our students have achieved these goals by doing exit interviews and six-month follow-up surveys for two years.  We will consider the achievement of any or all of these goals to be successes; however, in order to demonstrate success to our funders, we will provide information to show that at least 25 percent of our students achieve their stated goals.
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

Project Read has helped hundreds of adults over the years, both ABL and GED, as well as ESL students.  We continually provide our learners with excellent tutors and we have pushed our range of services to include learners from the outlying areas of surrounding counties.  We know that Madison County has a transient population of both basic literacy and ESL learners who are not currently being served.  We can help these adults by providing classes at Salvation Army, the Public Library, in community rooms of public housing, and locations near food banks and the Health Department. To meet the needs of large numbers of students in the same class--which is the most efficient way to teach literacy and English-usage skills--we would need to pay a  half-time instructor.  We have not heretofore been able to afford such an expense.  We will continue to establish partnerships with social welfare agencies in order to reach more adults.  Our current partnerships are a good measure of the progress we have made in the community.

Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Feralith Perkins
Company Affiliation Governing Board Chair
Term June 2012 to May 2015
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Mr. Jack L. Dyer RetiredVoting
Mr. Zachary Feltner-Reichert M.A.Clark County SchoolsVoting
Ms. Myrena Jennings Ph.D.Retired EKU Business ProfessorVoting
Ms. Feralith Perkins Governing Board ChairVoting
Ms. Beverly Pyle RetiredVoting
Mr. Adam Turner RRP InternationalNonVoting
Dr. Janna Vice Eastern Kentucky UniversityVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Academic Affairs
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Nominating
Finance
Comments
CEO Comments
Our challenges are having adequate funding for the services we provide and creating awareness in the community about our program.  We have written grant proposals, are planning a fall fundraiser, and have bombarded social service agencies with information about our programs.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Brenda K. Thomas
Term Start July 2006
Email bthomas@projectreadky.org
Experience
I have been the Executive Director at Project Read  for the past eight years.  Prior to that I worked for several years in the non-profit sector in management and program direction.  I also worked as a public school teacher.
Staff
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 22
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Ms. Marjorie Farris June 2002 - June 2006
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation No
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Comments
CEO Comments
Being the only paid staff person is challenging because I have to do all the jobs and wear all the hats.  The opportunities are those in the realm of assisting more people to complete the GED and enter a college or university so they can change their lives. 
Description
One-to-one and group tutoring classes are offered to adults who want to learn to read, improve their reading and math skills, take part in pre-GED studies, and learn to speak English or improve English-speaking skills.
 
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served US& International, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Long term Success Long-term success for the program will involve enrolling 75 students in Adult Basic Literacy and English-Second-Language classes and retaining at least 75 percent of them through 50 hours of instruction.  From the improvement in their literacy skills, these students will be able to get jobs and job promotions, enroll in university classes, help their children with homework, fill out job applications, read labels and medication instructions, and make many other life improvements.  
Program Comments
CEO Comments
Project Read faces financial challenges due to the down turn in the economy.  We have many opportunities to offer literacy services to the undereducated adults in the area, and we have recently begun a campaign to increase awareness of who we are and what we have to offer.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Collaborations
We collaborate with the Berea College CELTS/HOP, the Welcome Women program, and Bluegrass Career Development Center.
 
 
 
 
.
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
Projected Revenue $26,140.00
Projected Expenses $26,140.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$14,933$23,400$29,000
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions$3,500$9,000$6,000
------
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Other------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$3,039$17,355$30,310
Administration Expense$14,000$14,000--
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.081.031.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses18%55%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$6,000$6,000$6,000
Current Assets$4,000$4,000$4,000
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$6,000$6,000$6,000
Form 990s
2016 Form 990 N
2015 990N 2013, 2014, 2015
2013 Form 990 N
2012 990 EZ
2011 990 EZ
2010 990N
2009 990EZ
2008 990EZ
2007 990EZ
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Comments
CEO Comments Project Read recently lost its United Way support which amounted to about half the annual budget.  Though we continue to have strong indications of need in the community and requests for services, our current funding sources are not sufficient to ensure that we serve these clients as they deserve to be served.
Foundation Staff Comments Project Read filed the 990N postcard in 2013, 2014, 2015, which contains no financial information. Financials were submitted by the organization. Numbers are unaudited.
Address 2150 Lexington Road, Suite H
Richmond, KY 40475
Primary Phone 859 623-4905
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Brenda K. Thomas
Board Chair Ms. Feralith Perkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation Governing Board Chair