Celebrating 25 Years of Leadership and Service
In the 1960s The Fort Wayne Literacy council was formed to match volunteer tutors with adults who wanted to improve reading skills. The Northeast Indiana Literacy Council was formed earlier as a coordinating group to raise community awareness. In 1988, the two groups merged to create Three Rivers Literacy Alliance (TRLA).
Services were expanded to include two learning centers where adults gathered to work on basic skills. Fort Wayne Community Schools provided teachers. Fort Wayne Housing Authority provided classroom space. Three Rivers Literacy Alliance provided trained tutors, coordination and outreach services including child care and transportation.
In 1991, TRLA contracted with CANI Head State to open a third learning center with a family literacy focus at Head Start’s St. Peter’s facility. In January 1993, two more learning centers at New Haven Methodist Church and Miami Village opened.
Additional sites were opened and closed over the years due to changing needs and lack of funding. TRLA also offered workforce literacy services for employers, including Parkview Hospital staff, Morrill Motors and Press Seal Gasket.
Additional services included book distribution through the Books for Kids program which expanded to the Read to Me Campaign, and the creation of a Kenan Model family literacy program at East Wayne Street Center and Adams Elementary School in 1994.
In 1997, TRLA purchased phonics software and a computer for student use. In 1999, TRLA moved to its current location on Clay Street.
In 2000, an English Literacy program targeting Hispanic families opened. Several foundations support these services. TRLA partnered with Fort Wayne Urban League to offer book sharing tips to inner city minority families.
The name of the organization was shortened to The Literacy Alliance in 2004 and introduced to the community in a marketing campaign with new logo and printed materials.
2010 - Today
The agency opened two new centers in 2014 in Monroeville and Waynedale, two areas of higher concentrations of adults without high school diplomas.
In January 2014, the State of Indiana adopted the High School Equivalency exam (HSE) to replace the GED. The test is more rigorous and requires use of higher level thinking skills.
The City of Fort Wayne provided funding of adult basic literacy classes while Northeast Indiana Workforce Development provided funding for high school equivalency exams.
The former executive director, Judith Stabelli, retired in 2014 after more than 20 years of service with The Literacy Alliance. In July 2014, Mike Landram was named Executive Director by the Board of Directors.
In 2016, The organization was moved to The Summit, a community campus located at 1005 W. Rudisill Blvd., Suite 307 in Fort Wayne