Literacy Volunteers of South Sarasota County Inc
260 N Nokomis Ave
Venice FL 34285

Our mission is to change the lives of adults with low literacy skills by providing tutoring, educational technology, and classes that effectively increase their English reading, writing, and speaking skills at no cost to the adult learners.

CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Joe Pokorney
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Former Names
Literacy Volunteers of America Venice Area, Inc.
Literacy Volunteers of America of South Sarasota County, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1982
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Jan 2019
State Registration Yes Apr 2019
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

Our top accomplishments from the past year:

  1. We helped 343 English as a Second Language and Basic Literacy adult students from 48 different countries improve their English speaking, reading, and writing skills and obtain U.S. citizenship.

  2. We trained 63 new volunteers to tutor adult students and recruited one additional Tutor Trainer who will earn certification from ProLiteracy. 

  3. We launched Start Now! North Port (SN!NP), hired a part-time SN!NP Project Manager, and rented space in the North Port Family Services Center to provide services quickly to adults on the long waiting list. 

Our top goals for the current year:

  1. Raise funds for the Start Now! North Port Computer Learning Lab. 

  2. Implement the first year of our new 5-Year Strategic Plan.

  3. Offer three or four continuing education workshops to increase volunteer tutors’ knowledge and skills.

  4. Recruit volunteers for non-tutor functions such as tutor training, Board membership, computer work, public speaking, grant writing, and fundraising.


Needs Statement

1. Furnishings for the Start Now! North Port (SN!NP) Computer Lab including computers, printers, and furniture. ($20,000).

2. Rent, insurance, and telephone/internet for the SN!NP Computer Lab in the North Port Family Service Center. ($8,500 per year).

3. Wages for part-time Literacy Office Coordinators in Venice and North Port Libraries and the part-time Project Manager of SN!NP.  Coordinators support tutors and students and coordinate all program services. The Project Manager is developing and managing the SN!NP project to provide literacy services quickly to adults on the long waiting list. ($865/week, $3,750/month, $45,000/year).

4. English as a Second Language Student and Teacher books to serve the increased number of students. ($3,000)

5. Marketing materials to recruit business donors by telling the story that improving workers' ability to read, write, and speak English results in employees who perform their jobs more effectively and become promotable. ($2,000)


Background Statement

 Since 1982, the Literacy Volunteers of South Sarasota County (LVSSC) has offered free tutoring to adults who want to improve their functional reading, writing, and English-speaking skills. LVSSC is affiliated with ProLiteracy America, the largest adult literacy organization in the United States, and has been recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

LVSSC adopts a learner centered, flexible approach in the personalized tutoring of reading, writing, understanding, and speaking English, both in one-to-one and small group instruction. Real life communication is stressed in English as a Second Languages (ESL) with attention to both the students' speaking skills and their ability to listen and understand. Progress is measured by increased life skills and reaching personal goals. Basic Literacy students learn to read and write using individualized training materials appropriate for their skill level as well as everyday reading materials such as newspapers and magazines.


Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Literacy Volunteers of  South Sarasota County serves the communities of North Port, Venice, Englewood, Nokomis, Osprey, and Laurel. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Human Services
Tertiary Org Type Employment
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

My wife, Judith McGinty, and I joined LVSSC as Tutors in 2014, and we were immediately made aware of the impact the organization has, as captured in our tag line, “Literacy Changes Lives.” Soon after we began tutoring, we were approached by the President and asked to join the board. We discovered an organization that had successfully provided Literacy services for many years, but was operating in a year-to-year survival mode. Two years back, I was asked to become Vice President, and the board also established an officer succession policy for the first time.


This past year LVSSC has progressed to an organization on the threshold of major change. We have expanded our board membership, increased our community visibility, initiated three literacy programs with local employers, and seen increased demand for literacy services. The challenges we face include raising our annual income to a level where we can afford a full time executive director, recruiting more volunteer tutors, especially in the North Port service area, implementing computerized instructional technology, and expanding our board membership.


Most of my career was spent in management consulting, hospital consulting, or computer services, and I believe I have something to offer LVSSC over the next 18 months. Since I retired 12 years ago, I have been very involved in the Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club. I think my experience with Rotary projects and my networking with other Rotarian’s can help move LVCCS forward.  My professional and personal skills, developed over decades of successful experience, match the management challenges currently facing the organization.


As Judith and I have continued to work with our respective students, we have found the tutoring experience to be extremely fulfilling and satisfying while also affording us an opportunity to learn more about the world we live in. Teaching English to people who lived most of their lives under communism has been educational for us, while explaining our healthcare system to these same individuals has been challenging.  Each teaching session is an opportunity to enrich both the tutor’s and the student’s lives.


LVSSC provides one-on-one tutoring and small group classes for English as a Second Language (ESL) and Basic Literacy (reading and writing) at no cost to adult learners. 

Program details:

* Reaching out to adults who need literacy services

* Recruiting, training and supporting volunteer tutors

* Securing well-equipped, conveniently-located training facilities

* Providing effective training materials

* Partnering with other organizations, businesses, and government

* Raising awareness of literacy issues in the community

* Identifying and securing resources to meet the above goals

Budget $82,000
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Short Term Success

The number of students served has grown at a steady rate in the past six years...we experienced an overall increase of 47%.  Even though this number shows substantial growth, the actual number of people served is much greater since the effects of a better understanding of the English language have a significant impact on the student’s entire family as well as our local economy. 

Most adult ESL students cannot concentrate solely on learning English. Life gets in the way. Job, family, health, housing, and transportation problems, all these are more difficult for those who are unable to communicate in English. A student-focused, non-academic program such as ours is important to help adults increase their skills so they are able to function as literate parents, employees, and citizens. 
Long Term Success

Progress is measured by increased life skills and reaching personal goals. Basic Literacy students learn to read and write using training materials appropriate for their skill level as well as everyday reading materials such as newspapers and magazines. A customized approach to tutoring is designed to help individual learners in a manner appropriate to their learning styles, goals, and literacy proficiencies.  

ESL beginners with no English-speaking abilities and advanced learners who want to improve their language skills and/or take the test for U.S. citizenship will each be able to meet their objectives.

Last year LVSSC adult learners received 11,290 hours of instruction from volunteer tutors and class instructors.


Program Success Monitoring

LVSSC's Coordinators and Database Manager will monitor progress and follow up with both tutors and students to guarantee a successful learning experience. 

Tutors report instructional hours with students and log learning outcomes and achievements (reported either online or in printed form).

Evaluation criteria include:

* Secured a new or better job

* Improved employability skills (read, write, computer)

* Received GED or other secondary school diploma

* Entered other education and/or training

* Met work-based goal (promotion, raise, new skill, etc.)

* Advanced level(s) in curriculum series 

* Obtained citizenship

* Registered to vote/voted for first time

* Increased involvement in community activities

* Obtained a driver's license

* Increased involvement in children's educational activities

* Attained consumer skills (money, shopping, credit, etc.)

* Improved health and medical literacy

* Attained a personal goal 

* Attained a new skill 

Program Success Examples

Volunteers of South Sarasota County is Empowering Adults through Literacy.  Alma said she was “a human being with no opinion, no voice, and no way to communicate” when she came to American. Her first tutor taught her ABCs and 123s and other Beginner lessons. As she advanced, our ESL conversation class was where she practiced speaking English. After a break and a new baby, Alma again requested a tutor; this time it was to improve her reading and writing skills. She was preparing herself to help her child in school.  

In the last five years, our 12-week Citizenship course graduated 53 students who passed the difficult naturalization test and are now U.S. citizens. Carmen came from Peru via the government's Green Card lottery. She thanked the class instructor for challenging her and her husband and helping them learn more about U.S. history and government. She was such an enthusiastic speaker that we may see her running for office some day. She said, “Although we are all different colors, we have one goal--to make this nation great.” 

After many years of struggling with his poor reading and writing skills and not being gainfully employed, Tony, a 61-year old native-born American, sought help from us. The stress of not being able to write incident reports for his security guard job was causing health problems. He lived with the fear of being “discovered” as a non-reader. He and his tutor have worked together for two years now. He has significantly improved his reading and writing skills and was able to find a better job. 

Videos of these students may be viewed on our website and FaceBook page.

Program Comments by Organization

LVSSC is the only organization in South Sarasota County that offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) and Basic Reading tutoring services for adults. We definitely fill a niche that no other agency fills.

Suncoast Technical College (STC, formerly SCTI) offers ESL classes in Venice, and North Port, but they charge tuition. STC often refers students to us when their reading skills are too low for their career programs. 

Adult literacy classes are offered by the Port Charlotte Adult Learning Center at the Towne Center Mall which would be near some North Port residents. However, they charge fees for these classes because they receive State funding. Some students are unable to pay these fees and instead request our services, which are free to adult learners.

For students who can’t afford tuition, do not require education credentials, and/or are below the level required to enter a diploma program or vocational training program, LVSSC can help.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 184
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No

LVSSC collaborates with the North Port, Venice, Jacaranda, and Elsie Quirk Englewood Libraries. We have small offices in the Venice and North Port Public Libraries.  All four South County libraries provide tutoring and tutor training space as well as acting as literacy advocates for our organization. 

LVSSC collaborates with Goodwill Industries in Venice and North Port. In North Port, a LVSSC instructor conducted a small class for employees who Goodwill has determined need to improve their English skills to be successful in their development program. In Venice, LVSSC provides one-to-one tutoring for English-speaking employees identified by Goodwill as needing to improve their reading and writing skills. 

Suncoast Technical College (STC) refers students to LVSSC when the level of their reading and writing skills are too low for vocational programs they want to enter.  An LVSSC volunteer tutor has worked with students in the STC GED program at Suncoast Workforce in Venice to help their students who are not proficient in English, reading or writing. 

ProLiteracy America2017
Florida Literacy Coalition2017
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Nominee in the Non-Profit Organization of the Year categoryVenice Area Chamber of Commerce2015
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Apr 2017
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization

Our organization is at a crossroads in our growth, we depend on three part-time program coordinators to tend to day- to-day operations; but due to growth, we need to advance to a level of support where we can hire a full time Executive Director. The continued growth in demand for Literacy services has led us to initiate new programs such as StartNow! in North Port and to explore the use of technology to expand our delivery capability.

Board Chair
Board Chair Joe Pokorney
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Jan 2018 to June 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Esther Bird Senior Friendship Center-Venice
Svitlana Cherkashyna Community Volunteer
Claudia Daniels Re/Max Platinum Realty
Debi Hoefer Community Volunteer
Judith McGinty Community Volunteer
Sandy McIntyre Community Volunteer
Don Moore Community Volunteer
Dr. Jim Patterson Community Volunteer
Nancy Pike Retired - Director, Sarasota County Libraries
Joe Pokorney Community Volunteer
Mary Seyler Community Volunteer
Polly Skinner Community Volunteer
Janita Wisch North Port Library Asst. Mgr.
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 84
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Governance Comments by Organization

On January 1, 2018, Vice President, Joe Pokorney, assumed the office of President, as Jan Gallas, our President since July 2016, resigned due to health issues. As an organization based on active participation of board members, we must continue to expand our board membership. We are particularly looking for board members with experience in finance, law, fundraising, and marketing. With the recent development in the West Villages, many talented individuals are now offering their services, and LVSSC is prospecting for new board volunteers.

Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month July
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month June
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $82,000.00
Projected Expenses $82,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$25,792$48,804$28,547
Administration Expense$21,845$2,428$25,728
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.190.981.07
Program Expense/Total Expenses54%95%53%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$45,733$36,744$37,750
Current Assets$47,733$36,744$35,498
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$3,243$3,377$3,324
Total Net Assets$42,490$33,367$34,426
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $21,572Contributions, gifts, grants $21,369Contributions, gifts, grants $26,298
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIn-Kind Contributions $19,800In-Kind Contributions $19,800In-Kind Contributions $19,800
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $11,198Fundraising $4,539Fundraising $7,100
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities14.7210.8810.68
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

Since 2006, the organization has recognized in-kind income and expense of $19,800 each year for donated facilities at the Venice Public Library and the North Port Public Library provided by the Sarasota County Library System.

Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they were not separated in the 990s or financial statements.  Financial figures were taken from the Federal 990s.  The Federal 990s do not reconcile with the financial statements.  For tax year 2009 audited financial statements were provided; however for tax years 2010 - 2013, only Statements of Financial Position and Statements of Activities were provided.  For 2014 - 2016, the value of in-kind donations is included in total revenue on the Federal 990-EZ.
Nonprofit Literacy Volunteers of South Sarasota County Inc
Address 260 N Nokomis Ave
Venice, FL 34285
Phone 941 861-1352