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
Health Literacy


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.


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.


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

Nausha Brown Chavez

Education Program Manager

Teaching Staff

Debbie Amos


Lara Coggin


Leslie Harper

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Carolyn Harsh

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Kay McCall

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Janet Sodell

Teacher & Tutor Trainer

Carol Trent


Don Wilms


Don Wood


Board Of Directors

Samuel Baronian, Jr., President

Baronian & Associates, P.C.

Nora Crouch, Vice President

Chief Accounting Officer
Markel Corporation

Margaret Shaia, Treasurer

Community Volunteer

Bryan Stogdale, Secretary

Senior Counsel
Columbia Gas of Virginia

Maxwell Duncan

Senior Associate, Audit

Earnest Greene

External Affairs Manager
Dominion Virginia Power

Ellen Marie Hess

Virginia Employment Commission

Delores Kimbrough

Retired Philip Morris/Altria

Frank McCormick

Sr. Vice President/ State Manager
Fidelity National Title

Larry Mills

Joyner Properties
Real Estate Sales

Jean H. Proffitt

University of Richmond (Ret.)
A READ Founder

April Rehmann

Communications Manager
UPS Freight

William Seymour

Florance, Gordon, Brown, PC

Kindall Stevenson

Marketing, Advertising, and Recruitment Specialist
People Places, Inc.

Madeline Taylor

Manager, Human Resources
Columbia Gas of Virginia

Download a list of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

READ Center’s Board welcomes e-mails from constituents.

Everyone needs and deserves a literate life.

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