Program Feature - MN Literacy Council

Last year, 2,900 AmeriCorps members served in the state of Minnesota through one of three programs - VISTA, AmeriCorps State and National, and NCCC. We wanted to begin sharing with you what each program does in our monthly newsletter, since every program is unique and does different things to help incite positive change in Minnesota communities.

This month, we will highlight the Minnesota Literacy Council’s Literacy Leadership Program. They sponsor VISTA members throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota to support organizations in expanding literacy services for all ages, birth to adult.

VISTA was established in 1964 as part of the Economic Opportunity Act, and the first VISTAs began serving in 1965. In 1993, VISTA was integrated into the larger AmeriCorps program. VISTAs serve in capacity-building positions throughout the United States, expanding the capabilities of service organizations to address specific community needs.

This means that while members may not be directly serving an individual in the community, they are providing vital services that will build the capacity of the program in order to serve that same community member. As part of this program, the Minnesota Literacy Council (MLC) sponsors between 15 and 20 full-time VISTAs at numerous host sites each year, and many more Summer Associate VISTA members through their Summer Reads program.

These service members are leading the way to address community literacy needs - and making a big impact doing so! Service projects include designing and supporting distance-learner programs for adult English Language Learners, establishing strong volunteer pipelines to support elementary literacy tutoring services, building family literacy programs and services for young children and their parents, expanding literacy-rich after-school programs for elementary, middle, and high-school students, securing grants, evaluating programs, and so much more.

For a full list of host sites, be sure to visit MLC’s VISTA homepage:

If you’re serving as a member of the MLC VISTA program, we’d love to hear from you! Email us or tag us in social media to be featured in Public Spirit or on our website!