Carolinas Literacy Network began as the Lancaster Area Literacy Cooperative which was created by The J. Marion Sims Foundation as a way to focus energy on promoting greater community ownership of literacy as a key issue facing the citizens in Lancaster County, S.C.
In the past, this rural county was home to flourishing textile and farming industries, but as the economic climate changed, operations were shifted and local manufacturing jobs were lost.
Many of the mill workers who lost their jobs were unable to find employment because they lacked education needed for current jobs. The J. Marion Sims Foundation recognized the great need for literacy programming and support and embarked an ambitious journey to address the high illiteracy rates in Lancaster County.
As a result, the Lancaster Area Literacy Cooperative was founded in 2006 and officially gained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status the following year. The purpose of the cooperative is to rally around independent organizations with literacy-driven missions and provide the additional resources and support they need to thrive.
Today the cooperative has been transformed into Carolinas Literacy Network (CLN) and consists of 15 member agencies and organizations. These members provide the following services: GED preparation; family, heath, workplace and citizen literacy; life skills training; English as a second language tutoring; on-the-job training; etc.
The Carolinas Literacy Network, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, has a mission for leading an active collaboration of learners, providers, and supporters, to increase literacy and encourage life-long learning.