Who is Shelby Literacy Center?
Empowering individuals and enriching communities through literacy.
Fostering lifelong literacy throughout the Mid-South
The Shelby Literacy Center, formerly the Collierville Literacy Council, is based in Collierville, Tenn., and serves the greater Mid-South.
For 35 years, we served our community through adult literacy services – English for Speakers of Other Languages classes and test preparation and testing for the high school equivalency diploma, often referred to as the GED.
In March 2020, we temporarily closed in March for COVID. Pivoting to online work was difficult for our students, and our Board of Directors began reviewing changes to our services.
The Center reopened in May 2021 with a new mission, vision, and programming for the entire family. We are building on our strength of individualized support in a safe, open environment to serve the children who need intensive support to improve reading at a critical time, their parents, and caregivers, and our ESOL adults. We bring all these programs together with family events open to our community, so that we all can continue learning throughout our lives.
While we support and believe in the value of books, apps, and software, we know that our literacy students need a compassionate, trained person to guide and support. We create an environment is welcoming, safe, and open for questions and support by providing smaller, more personalized support within a framework of structured learning. We limit the number of students in our ESOL classes so every student has an opportunity to read, speak, listen, and write. We train and guide tutors so that while they are tutoring, they develop a relationship with a student and act as a mentor and coach. We reassess students after each semester to measure growth and share that with our students to adjust and celebrate learning gains. While our method is more costly than larger groups or with technology, our students achieve their goals quickly in an environment that is conducive to learning.
We’re so honored to be included in the city CURRENT March The SPARK. City CURRENT is a privately-funded catalyst working to power the GOOD in the Mid-South and Middle Tennessee. A team of more than 100 businesses, comprised of some of the largest employers in the world to mid-size and smaller firms, have joined forces and funds to make a difference through philanthropy and volunteerism, hosting more than 150 FREE community events each year, and producing an array of positive-oriented media.