About The Literacy Cooperative
How did The Literacy Cooperative get started?
The Literacy Cooperative began as a joint initiative of the Cleveland, George Gund and Martha Holden Jennings Foundations with a goal of addressing literacy levels, determining need, identifying solutions, and implementing a collaborative literacy plan to create an effective, seamless pathway for lifelong learning.
The planning for The Literacy Cooperative began in June of 2004 after the release of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy report that showed 69% of the adults in the city of Cleveland and 47% of the adults in Cuyahoga County had literacy levels below the eighth grade. Representatives of the aforementioned foundations brought together more than 300 individuals representing 250 organizations to better understand literacy services and practices in our community. Collectively, the group came to a consensus on two key recommendations – develop an action plan and create a collaborative organization to carry out the plan. The collaborative organization ultimately became The Literacy Cooperative. The Literacy Cooperative became operational in February 2006 under the administrative support of Suite 1300 Services, an incubator agency of The Cleveland Foundation. In May of 2009 The Literacy Cooperative obtained its 501c3 status.
The Literacy Cooperative’s mission is to work to advance literacy by raising awareness of the issue, promoting effective public advocacy, and fostering a delivery system with maximum impact on our region. Aiming to hold up the highest standards in the field, The Literacy Cooperative addresses low literacy levels in Greater Cleveland by bridging current gaps in the education continuum and support availability; allowing for children and adults in Greater Cleveland to reach their highest literacy potential for employment, self-sufficiency, and lifelong learning. For more than a decade, we’ve been bringing the community, agencies, and stakeholders together to maximize shared outcomes, help learners lift themselves out of poverty and deliver greater return on investment.