Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota (LV*SW*MN) is a community-based nonprofit organization founded in 2011 to match trained volunteer tutors and adult learners with specific literacy needs.
We are led by a volunteer board of directors who donate significant time to the governance and financial stability of our organization. Our current board members are:
- Dr. Richard Herder, chair and tutor
- Al Kruse, vice-chair
- Julie Walker, secretary and tutor
- Dr. Will Thomas, treasurer and tutor
- Pat Thomas, director and Adult Basic Education liaison
- Laurie Boerboom, director and tutor
- Larry Montello, director
- Keo Rasmussen, director
- Pastor Lyle Snyder, director
- Candace Thomas, executive director (non-voting)
In 2015, our board created our first strategic plan.
In 2014, our board applied for a Literacy VISTA member from the Minnesota Literacy Council to assist us with expanding our programs with families and youth. Thanks to the support of the Minnesota Literacy Council, the work of our volunteers and community partners, and financial support from United Way of Southwest Minnesota, Otto Bremer Trust, and Marshall Community Foundation, we were able to develop an after-school STEAM literacy program at Marshall Middle School for students in grades 5-8 whose families speak a language other than English at home. We also have created new family literacy programs in partnership with Marshall ECFE, one for Karen speakers and one for Spanish speakers. Both programs are able to have interpreters thanks to Marshall Public Schools.
We train tutors to work with adult learners and follow best practices for tutor training for all tutors working with any age learner. Tutoring is provided to learners at no cost.
We are located in Marshall, Minnesota, and currently provide tutoring for adults in communities in Lyon, Lincoln, and Redwood Counties. Our programs for youth and families are in Marshall in cooperation with Marshall Public Schools.
Our mission is to support the literacy goals of adults and families living in Southwest Minnesota through quality tutoring, community partnerships, and advocacy.
The purposes of LV*SW*MN are:
- to connect volunteer tutors with adult and young learners in our region who want to increase their literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, basic math, and technology;
- to provide professional training and continuing education for volunteer tutors who work with adult learners, families, and youth to support their literacy and lifelong learning goals and academic success;
- to partner with other organizations to ensure that the comprehensive literacy needs of people within our region are being met; and
- to advocate for literacy for all people because literacy changes individuals, families, and communities for the better.
We are a membership organization and invite our volunteers as well as individuals and businesses in the communities we serve to join us. Your annual membership dues help support our work. All learners are automatically members if they wish to join and do not need to pay dues.
We are currently revising our membership program. We will have this information available in July 2016.