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Literacy Organization Takes New Name

To reflect the growth in programs and in geographical outreach beyond the Roanoke Valley, the area’s largest non-profit adult literacy program has adopted a new name as of January 1.

Blue Ridge Literacy is the new name of the regional organization formerly known as Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley.

According to Russ Merritt, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Literacy, “This has always been an outstanding organization, doing very special work for a lot of people who need our services.  Now, our new name and the ancillary branding should help us tell the literacy story better than we ever have before.”

Molly Bell,. President of the Board of Directors of Blue Ridge Literacy, noted that “since early last year, our Board and staff have been considering how we can best communicate who we are and all that we do.  In September a group of marketing professionals in our area, through an organization called Ad Fed, helped us create a whole new brand.”

Bell noted the strong foundation and continuity of the literacy organization over the past 26 years.  “The well-trained and deeply committed volunteer tutors have always been critical to our operation and success,” she said.  “We continue to rely on those volunteers to deliver much of our program, but we now also have an expanded number of group classes and literacy computer lab opportunities.  As the community has changed, the needs of those adults seeking to learn to read and write English have also changed, and we’re changing to meet those new realities.”

The new name will also reflect the organization’s new services to areas outside the Roanoke Valley.  “We will soon be providing non-profit, low cost or no-cost literacy programming in several surrounding counties,” Merritt said.

However, even with the name change, Merritt emphasized that the mission of the organization stays the same.  “Our mission is to teach English literacy skills to adults and to raise literacy awareness, still in the Roanoke Valley, but now throughout the Blue Ridge region as well.”

For more information, contact Blue Ridge Literacy at 265-9339.

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