CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — 108 literacy projects throughout the state, including a few in central Illinois, will be getting grants from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to help improve adult literacy.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced the grants on Monday. More than $5.6 million is going to these 108 projects.

“An estimated two million Illinois residents need adult literacy and/or English-language instruction,” White said. “I am pleased to provide funding for 108 local literacy projects that will allow adult students to help them achieve their utmost potential in the upcoming year. It has been an honor serving as Secretary of State and State Librarian for the last 24 years, helping to ensure that every citizen of this state has access to quality literacy programs.”

The Adult Literacy Program, administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office, awards grants in three categories:

  • Adult Volunteer Literacy – provides training for volunteers who tutors adults 17 years of age and older in basic reading, math, writing or language skills.
  • Penny Severns Family Literacy – provides educational services to parents and children to enhance basic reading, math, writing or language skills.
  • Workplace Skills Enhancement – provides onsite instructional services to employees of participating Illinois businesses, enabling them to enhance their basic reading, math, writing or language skills and improve their chances for promotion.

The following central Illinois organizations and their adult literacy projects were named as recipients of the Secretary of State’s grants:

  • Parkland College (Champaign)
    • Parents and Family Learning Lab (Family Literacy) – $33,081
    • Project READ (Adult Volunteer) – $94,029
  • Danville Area Community College (Danville)
    • The Reader’s Route (Adult Volunteer) – $63,754
  • Baby TALK, Inc. (Decatur)
    • Baby TALK Macon County Family Literacy Program (Family Literacy) – $50,000
  • Richland Community College (Decatur)
    • Project read Plus Literacy (Adult Volunteer) – $70,000
  • C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation (Effingham)
    • C.E.F.S. Adult Volunteer Literacy (Adult Volunteer) – $71,524
  • Mattoon Public Library (Mattoon)
    • Community Literacy Initiative (Family Literacy) – $35,543
  • Fishes & Loaves Outreach Ministries (Springfield)
    • Springfield Literacy Project (Adult Volunteer) – $67,000
  • Lincoln Land Community College (Springfield)
    • LLCC Adult Volunteer Literacy Program (Adult Volunteer) – $65,031
  • Urbana Adult Education Center (Urbana)
    • Salt and Light & UAEC Work Skills Enhancement Program (Workplace Skills Enhancement) – $8,500

People who are interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to call the Illinois Adult Education Hotline at 1-800-321-9511.