About Us

Our Mission

The READ Center’s mission is to help adults with low-level literacy develop basic reading and communication skills so they can fulfill their roles as citizens, workers, and family members. This mission is accomplished by providing:

Small Classrooms
One-to-one Tutoring
Financial Literacy

WHO WE ARE

01
The READ Center is a community-based nonprofit organization providing educational opportunities to adults with low-level reading and communication skills.

READ was founded as the Literacy Council of Metropolitan Richmond in 1982 by Altrusa International Richmond, Inc., a professional women’s business service club and became a 501(c)(3) organization in 1984.

WHAT WE DO

02
Learning to read as an adult is complex, and our students have often had limited success in school. READ serves students in a very individualized way so they make progress toward their literacy and life goals.

The READ Center’s mission is accomplished by providing classroom instruction, one-to-one tutoring, and educational resources to support students.

WHY WE DO IT

03
The ability to read well is something many of us take for granted. It is something we assume every adult can do, but that is not true for one in six adults in the city of Richmond. Every important social issue is impacted by low literacy.

Imagine trying to read your prescription, get a driver’s license, apply to a job online, or help your child with homework when you struggle with reading. Low literacy traps families in a cycle of poverty that is hard to break.

Read Center Staff

Karen La Forge

Executive Director
karen@readcenter.org

Nausha Brown Chavez

Education Program Manager
nausha@readcenter.org

Sarah Ramirez

Program Assistant
sarah@readcenter.org

Elizabeth Wong

Director of Development
elizabeth@readcenter.org

Teaching Staff

Debbie Amos

Teacher 

Leslie Harper

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Carolyn Harsh

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Mary Jamison

Teacher

Kay McCall

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Janet Sodell

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Don Wilms

Teacher

Board Of Directors

Nora Crouch, President

Markel Corporation

Bryan Stogdale, Vice President

Columbia Gas

Margaret Shaia, Treasurer

Community Volunteer

Frank McCormick, Secretary

Fidelity National Title

Maxwell Duncan

Senior Associate, Audit
KPMG

Ellen Marie Hess

Virginia Employment Commission

Delores Kimbrough

Philip Morris/Altria, Retired

Kerry Osborne

Capital One

Jean Proffitt

University of Richmond, Retired    A READ Founder

Sandy Reynolds

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLC

William Seymour

Florance, Gordon, Brown, P.C.

Madeline Taylor

Columbia Gas of Virginia

READ Center’s Board welcomes questions, comments and input.  You can e-mail the board with this link. 

Everyone needs and deserves a literate life.

Want to learn more about adult literacy? Click here for the facts.