About LV Wayne

History

Our local Literacy Volunteers was founded in 1979, headed by people interested in improving literacy in Wayne County. In September, at the first annual meeting, Grace Coco was elected president of the board of directors. Thirteen volunteers had been trained as tutors, providing service to twelve adults. The organization met in libraries and halls donated by civic groups. All positions were voluntary, and operations were supported through fundraisers, individual, and corporate donations.

By 1987, the number of tutors recruited had risen to 70, and 35 were actively tutoring. The Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) program lent great help to LV Wayne. LV Wayne's own VISTA, Dr. Joyce Lehman, helped to establish the first (donated) Wayne County Literacy office at the Wayne County Community Action Program, then located in the Wayne County Offices on Route 31 in Lyons.

The first rented office opened on February 13, 1988 in the Third Methodist Church in Sodus. In June of that year, LV Wayne took over the ESL classes for migrant agricultural laborers from the Cornell Migrant Program. LV Wayne hired its first paid staff person, a coordinator for the English classes. Later, the first paid administrator, Rica Pandina was hired full-time in the Sodus office, lightening the load on many volunteers.

In 1992 the title of "administrator” was changed to "executive director", reflecting an increase in responsibilities. Two new positions were added and soon after, a paid bookkeeper was welcomed to the affiliate.

In 1995 the new executive director, Kirk Baker, was charged with creating partnerships with other agencies in Wayne County, including Head Start, Even Start, and Finger Lakes Migrant Program. In that year, great changes in NYS Education funding took place depriving LV Wayne of over 50% of its income. Through staff reductions, increased volunteer involvement, aid from Literacy Volunteers of New York State, and sacrifices on the part of paid staff, LV Wayne survived.

Chris Edgar became LV Wayne’s Executive Director in 2002, after working for 8 years in Cambodia with Food for the Hungry International. Building on Kirk’s foundation, community support and recognition continues to grow. In 2005, the office was moved to its current location at 12 Canal Street in Lyons. LV Wayne was accepted as a United Way agency in 2007.

Currently LV Wayne reaches over 150 adults each year. Programs include One-to-One Basic Literacy, One-to-One and small group English as a Second Language, Worksite Literacy, and others.

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Adult Literacy Tutor Training

English as a second language ESL program in upstate new york.