In a 400 square-mile area where 64 different languages are spoken and families hail from 93 different countries, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s adult education programs are in great demand. Since 1962, LCNV has imparted the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English, empowering participants to engage more fully and confidently in their communities. Unique among literacy programs, LCNV focuses specifically on adults who cannot read or write beyond the fifth grade level – and cannot take advantage of citizenship, GED, or technology classes elsewhere. For these individuals, LCNV is the first serious step on the road to higher education. Last year its 700 trained volunteers provided more than 34,000 hours of instruction to 1,500 students. Its Family Learning Program also teaches English and reading skills to immigrant parents through activities that reinforce what their children are studying in school; civics, nutrition, and health are covered too. In the words of one successful graduate: "Now I feel good about myself. I don’t know how I could repay the Literacy Council."

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Youth; Adolescence; Adult

Ethnic Groups Served: African American, 14%; Asian American, 26%; Caucasian, 13%; Latino/Hispanic, 44%; Native American, 1%; Other, 2%

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Low- to Moderate-Income

Schools They Work In: Crestwood Elementary School; Key Middle School; Glasgow Middle School

Combined Federal Campaign Number: 28828

United Way Agency Number: 8356

Awards & Recognition

- LCNV Board President Kitty Porterfield selected as 2015 Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year in Alexandria
- 2014 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders grant
- The White House selected LCNV’s AmeriCorps classroom instructor Xavier Munoz as one of the ten recipients of the 2014 Cesar E. Chavez “Champion of Change” award in 2014.
- 2013 honorable mention for The Washington Post’s Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management


Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $29 million for charities across Greater Washington.

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