About Us

Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties is a charitable organization that helps adults achieve their personal goals through literacy. With our main office in Port Henry, NY and satellite offices in the Tri-Lakes area and Malone, NY, Literacy Volunteers serves a large geographic area that includes all of Essex and Franklin Counties.

Literacy Volunteers recruits and trains volunteer tutors to work one-on-one with students. Each tutor attends an accredited training program which gives them the skills to effectively tutor adult students in both Basic Literacy (BL) and English as a Second Language (ESL). LV then matches trained tutors with adult students in need of training in either Basic Literacy, English-as-a-second- language, or help with obtaining a GED© qualification (General Education Development).

Once a student/tutor match is made, Literacy Volunteers provides ongoing resources, learning workspace, and tracks progress toward educational goals.

As a community based non-profit, Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties relies heavily on the kindness and financial support of community members who are willing to help make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Literacy Volunteers of Essex / Franklin Counties began in 1986 as two separate organizations; Literacy Volunteers of Essex County and Literacy Volunteers of Franklin County. At that time, both organizations were affiliates of Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), a national organization founded in 1962 to combat low literacy in the U.S.  As affiliates, their primary purpose was to recruit, train, supervise, and support volunteers, tutors and students throughout the county.


Preston Miller, a Malone native, was troubled by the low level of reading skills in Franklin County.  He was convinced that reading was a human right and chose to help those who were unable to perform many daily tasks because of their low literacy skills. On April 7, 1986, he founded Literacy Volunteers of Franklin County and remained Director of the organization until his death in April 2000.

Anne Mesrop moved to Essex County in 1985 with a very strong desire to be useful.  As a former school teacher, reading specialist and school administrator for seventeen years, she recognized instantly the need for literacy education in the county.  In 1986, she spent 14 to 20 hours a day building a volunteer organization that was funded by a few local residents and business organizations. The end result was Literacy Volunteers of Essex County.

In November 2001, the Boards of LVA-Essex and LVA-Franklin unanimously voted to merge their two organizations into one: Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties.  Under this arrangement, literacy services continue in both counties.  Furthermore, the two organizations created a stronger and more accountable organization for the North Country. This merger is more than ten years old and has been very successful.