Our History

In October of 1982, Karen Goodyear developed Project Read, a non-profit dedicated to adult literacy.  Working out of a donated classroom in the old Phoenix Union High School, Karen organized a team of volunteers to teach reading to adults and provide tutor training programs; during our first year, we trained 26 tutors.  Due to a growing need for our services, Karen sought and received full affiliate status from the Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc., and Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County was incorporated.  In 1984, Denise Krugh became our first Program Coordinator, and by 1987, the number of tutors trained in one year increased to 512.

The Computer Lab

In 1988, we expanded our learning programs and became the first IBM PALS (Principles of Alphabet Learning Systems), offering a computer lab in Arizona for probationers in the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department.  We eventually expanded the program to high school juniors and seniors who were struggling with reading.

VNSA: The Key Partner

In 1989, the Volunteer Non-Profit Service Association (VNSA) became a partner to our mission.  Through their annual used book sale, they continue to provide funding for our educational programs; today, they are one of our biggest supporters.

In 1995, we received Federal funding to offer Family Literacy Programs.

Arizona Department of Education – Adult Education Services

In 1998, we applied for and received our first Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II funding from the Arizona Department of Education.  This funding gave us the opportunity to expand our services in the learning center offering  all levels of Adult Basic Education and adding English Language Acquisition for Adults (formerly referred to as English as a Second Language).

Learning Centers

In 2002, we opened our Central Phoenix Learning Center, at 1500 E. Thomas Road.

In 2004, we started English classes for the Alhambra School District.

In 2006, we began our Distance Learning Programs.

In 2009, we opened our Reed/Sunnyslope Learning Center in North Phoenix.

In early 2020, we completed the remodeling of the Learning Centers, both locations are fully operational, now with one cohesive layout and design. In partnership with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation, we are now also in West Phoenix offering our blended Adult Basic Education program at the Bret Tarver Learning Center in Maryvale.


Today, we have 10 full-time and 4 part-time employees, over 50 volunteers, and serve more than 1,000 students every year.

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