Ending the cycle of low literacy begins with you.

Low literacy continues to be a pervasive issue throughout Greater Cleveland. It’s an issue that not only affects individuals. It affects families. It affects the workforce. It affects the health of our economy as a whole. And if it isn’t addressed by the community as a whole, it will continue to be a debilitating problem for generations to come.



We all deserve the best chance at a good life.

Imagine, for a moment, you are struggling with literacy. You can’t complete a job application, read a bus map, or read a book to your child. Now think about your kids falling behind, too. Your low literacy will affect their schoolwork, their self-esteem and their future.

Consider these startling facts:

  • 435,000 Cuyahoga County adults read at or below 7th grade level
  • 66% of Cleveland residents are low literate
  • Two thirds of Cleveland children begin kindergarten not on track

Too many of our neighbors are at a tremendous disadvantage. They deserve better. They deserve our help.

Let’s address low literacy, together.

The Literacy Cooperative is an umbrella organization that brings foundations, organizations and people together to find practical solutions to improve literacy. We are mobilizing Northeast Ohio resources to increase reading, math, and digital literacy, beginning at birth, so our kids are performing at grade level throughout their educational journey.

And our support, coordination, and facilitation of adult literacy initiatives are creating pathways that lead to rewarding and life-sustaining careers.

We are sharing our research and introducing best practices and pilots that are innovative, interactive, and effective.


The future promises even more.

We have earned the trust of many benefactors and volunteers. Through their generous support we have introduced a number of initiatives to reach out to those in need.

#WordGapCLE. We are leading an awareness and action campaign that focuses on the link between a child’s academic success and their verbal interaction with their parents and caregivers before age 3. We are engaging our partner networks to help parents see the influence their words have on their children.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library. We’re mailing a new book every month to children from birth to 5 years old in nine  first-ring suburbs. Those who sign up, receive up to 60 books in all, so they can start a library of their very own.

Reach Out And Read – Greater Cleveland. Health care providers and volunteers share a book and model reading aloud to encourage parents to read with their children. We’re leveraging the well-child doctor’s appointment to share a literacy message. And together we’re instilling a love of books.

Career Pathway Engagement. We are opening doors to employment for low literate adults by working with adult education and workforce development providers to link industry-specific math and reading sessions with occupational training programs.

Professional Excellence. We connect educators to a learning community to promote best practices designed to advance literacy.

Can we count on you to join in and help?

Your $100 donation will support:

  • Pre-school level books for three families every month for a year

Your $500 donation will support:

  • Educational materials to encourage parent/child conversations proven to increase brain development

Your $1,000 donation will support:

  • A two-generation half-day event for 100 parents and children to encourage the love of reading
  • A hands-on community-wide seminar to encourage parent/child conversations proven to increase brain development
  • A training session on professional best practices for 30 literacy providers

Your $5,000 donation will provide:

  • More than 800 books for pediatricians to distribute to families

Your $10,000 donation will provide:

  • 300 families with monthly books for a year

Your $15,000 donation will provide:

  • Practical teaching techniques to more than 100 educators at our Teacher Academy

Your $25,000 donation will enable:

  • 2,500 adult education students access to training programs leading to family sustaining wages