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Whatcom Literacy Council

Listing Last Update: August 16, 2018


3028 Lindbergh Avenue
Building A
Bellingham, WA 98227

Primary Contact

Katherine Freimund

(360) 752-8678

Educational services

  • To read and write better
  • To study for my high school equivalency exam
  • To learn English
  • To improve my math skills
  • To improve my technology skills
  • To become a U.S. citizen

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Program Overview

Since 1983, the Whatcom Literacy Council has been helping adults improve their literacy skills, permanent competencies that allow them to become more employable, self sufficient, and engaged members of the community. The threefold programming approach to addressing literacy gaps in the local population, offering one-to-one tutoring, small classes, and individualized learning plans utilizes the most effective formats of education. Our programs cater to the individual's needs in ways that other organizations cannot replicate, such as scheduling services at times that are convenient, and at locations that are accessible. Our professional staff are educated, certified, and experienced in the fields of adult basic education and teaching English as a second language, and our programs have been developed to have the greatest impact possible. Data regarding each learner's demographics is entered in a database, and participation and achievement levels are tracked. With this information we can reliably report on progress and impact over time, and be assured that we are meeting the needs of our clients. Our volunteers receive some of the most rigorous and complete training and ongoing support in the area.

In 2017 with the help of 100+ volunteers, we worked with over 900 learners, each identifying goals they wanted to achieve with their new literacy skills.

The design of these programs, where volunteers work with adults who want to improve their literacy skills, establishes the
basis for a healthy community culture fostering positive social connections and ensuring that community members have opportunities for meaningful input, involvement, and influence on conditions that impact their lives. Not only do the clients benefit, but the volunteers learn to cultivate a culture of compassion and understanding as they build community connectedness and resilience.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Whatcom Literacy Council is to empower adults to achieve their goals and improve their lives through literacy. Our vision of Whatcom County is a place where every adult may attain the literacy skills they need to thrive. Our mission and vision provide a framework that keeps us focused on a learner-centered program, serving our students as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Cost info: All services are free of charge.

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

~35% of our learners are native English speakers. The remaining 65% are immigrants or refugees who are learning English for the first time. 60% of learners do not have their high school diploma or GED, and most do not have a computer at home. Almost all are in the lowest income brackets, and 77% are parents with children.

Program Status: