The Council is one of the biggest literacy organizations in Central Ohio. Learn more.

Changing Lives...
   One Word at a Time.

In serving individuals and families in Central Ohio, Columbus Literacy Council strives to

  • Enable Future Education
  • Increase Employability
  • Encourage Civic Involvement
  • Promote Family Stability and Support

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About the Council

Columbus Literacy Council began in 1970 when Church Women United organized and trained literacy volunteers to assist Asian and Greek immigrants in learning English and preparing for citizenship. From 1971 to 1977, the Council grew from 20 students and 38 volunteers, to 335 students and 300 volunteers. Battelle Memorial Foundation provided a $25,000 grant to support the Council's expansion, and the Council hired the first Executive Director in 1977. The Council's dedication and service to the community was recognized in 1978 when they received the Mayor's award for Community Service.

During the 1980s and 90s, Columbus Literacy Council continued to grow and was recognized as operating the 3rd largest literacy program in the United States with volunteers donating more service hours than any other organization in the country. By the end of the 90s, the Council was serving 1480 students with 906 volunteers.

In the past decade, the Council has expanded programming options to include basic literacy, English for Speakers of Other Languages, family literacy, youth literacy, digital literacy, workplace literacy, and workforce development. Over the past 44 years, the Council has grown from serving 20 students in 1971 to over 2,000 students in 2013. Columbus Literacy Council and the Council volunteers have been a steady presence in Central Ohio, helping our neighbors reach their potential and become self-sufficient.

Columbus Literacy Council is a United Way member agency, a member of Pro-Literacy America, and a Better Business Bureau accredited charity .

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