Communities honored with inclusion in literacy program

September 10, 2012

TCSG Officials with Wiregrass DelegationStanding (left to right) – Chase Daughtrey of Cook County; TCSG State Board Member Ben Copeland; Lynn Cornett, TCSG State Board Member; Wiregrass Vice President for Adult Education Alvin Payton Jr.; Michael Purvis of Cook County; TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson; Wiregrass CLCP Director Lavonia Stepherson; Wiregrass Adult Education Instructor Denise Lee-Mathis; TCSG State Board Member Mary Flanders; Wiregrass President Ray Perren; Cheryl Duncan of Berrien County; Wiregrass Provost Lisa Tomberlin; TCSG Assistant Commissioner for Adult Education Beverly Smith; and TCSG Executive Director for Certified Literate Community Program Billie Izard.

Valdosta, GA— Local leaders from several South Georgia counties headed to Atlanta on Thursday, September 6 to mark their participation in the Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP). The group attended the State Board meeting of the Technical College System of Georgia to be awarded a proclamation for their participation status in the CLCP Program. Each community will receive two street signs signifying that their community is now working together to end illiteracy through the state supported program.

Leaders from Brooks, Berrien, Cook, Echols, and Lanier counties have been working since July 2011 to become part of the statewide Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP).The greatest barrier to economic development and growth in a community is the absence of a literate workforce. The Georgia solution for reaching adults effectively is the CLCP. Created in 1990 by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Council on Adult Literacy, CLCP asks a community to establish a non-profit collaborative to promote, support, and enhance community literacy efforts locally.

Under the direction of Wiregrass CLCP director, Lavonia Stepherson, these five counties have pulled together committees directed to reach specific community goals for reducing the number of citizens without a GED diploma or high school diploma within ten years. These committees are made up of officials from local chambers of commerce, family and children services staff, library staff, community volunteers and school administration officials. Each county’s committees will spend the next several years working on programs to increase high school graduation rates and GED recipients. The counties participating in the program will analyze community needs, create awareness of the needs, ensure that learning opportunities are offered, and evaluate progress so that the majority of citizens needing to improve their skills have access to do so.

For more information about the CLCP in our area, please contact Lavonia Stepherson, director for CLCP, at (229) 468-2274 or