The mission of Literacy Volunteers Ontario–Yates, Inc. (LVOY) is to provide adults the literacy skills needed to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, workers and citizens.

LVOY sprang from the visionary work of Ruth Colvin, a native of Syracuse, New York, who was inspired to address the problem of illiteracy in the United States in 1962. With the strong support of local Church Women United, she formed Literacy Volunteers of America in 1964.

Efforts to form a Literacy Volunteers affiliate began in Ontario County in 1966 in Geneva, New York. By 1969 work had spread to include a presence in Canandaigua, New York. An affiliate was started in Yates County in 1979. Then, in 2010 the Ontario and Yates County programs merged to form Literacy Volunteers Ontario-Yates (LVOY). A history of Literacy Volunteers Ontario County, from 1962-1994, written by Lynda McCurdy Hotra, can be found here.

Today LVOY serves adult learners throughout Ontario and Yates Counties, with staff located in Canandaigua, Geneva and Penn Yan, New York. Our primary programs - literacy for native English speakers and English for speakers of other languages – serve learners from all walks of life. Our foreign-language speaking learners come from countries all around the world, and our native English speakers range from young adults to retirees. 

LVOY’s work has always revolved around learner-centered, one-on-one tutoring provided by highly trained volunteer tutors. Today that work is supplemented by subject-specific group sessions as the need arises, including math, pronunciation, conversation, and science groups as well as a book club.

To find out more about becoming a tutor, click here. For information about programs for learners, click here.