Affiliated Programs of the San Diego Council on Literacy
Central to the literacy effort in San Diego County is the work of the 34 programs that are affiliated with the San Diego Council on Literacy. Annually, they serve over 100,000 residents of all ages, at no cost. We are honored to work in partnership with dedicated organizations who provide tutoring, literacy resources, and support to the community.
American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3 –
Reach Out and Read San Diego
P.O. Box 22212
San Diego, CA 92192
(619) 281-2273 (Meredith Kennedy, Executive Director)
(858) 361-4644 (Tara Milbrand)
Program Director: Tara Milbrand
Project Specialist: Cindy Little
Description: Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based program that believes all families should have access to books and the meaningful moments that are created by shared reading with children. By integrating reading into pediatric practices, advising families about the importance of reading aloud, and giving books at well-child visits, we foster enduring family bonds between caregivers and their children that promote healthy childhood development. Reach Out and Read San Diego serves more than 118,000 families in 108 pediatric clinics throughout San Diego, Imperial, and Southern Riverside Counties, with a focus on low-income and underserved communities. Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children beginning at birth. Reading aloud with young children makes a meaningful difference, preparing them to succeed academically and intellectually, strengthening their social-emotional skills, and helping them build lasting relationships with the adults in their lives.
Barrio Logan College Institute
1625 Newton Ave. Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92113
Chief Programs Officer: Cristina Aguirre
Description: We believe all students should have the option to go to college. Education provides individuals with the knowledge, opportunities and skills to become full and active participants in society. We start preparing kids for college and careers through after school programs that begin in third grade and support them through college completion. Our programs are open from 3:30pm to 8pm Monday through Thursday and we conduct educational field trips on weekends. Our weekly Steps to Success Workshops for middle and high school students focus on important academic and personal skills such as time management, essay writing, college applications and admissions, community service, and standardized test prep. BLCI students also receive individual guidance as they apply to San Diego’s premier private and charter schools, apply for scholarships, and fill out financial aid applications. During the summer, we connect students to a variety of enrichment camps through our partners. We have received local, statewide and national distinction for our results. We have 4 locations: Barrio Logan, Downtown San Diego, Chula Vista, and El Cajon.
BASIC: Basic Assistance for Students in the Community
P.O. Box 1914
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
571-617-1051 or 760-505-0395
Learning Academy Founder: Joann Stang
Managing Director: Nidia Meza
Description: BASIC is committed to empowering youth and adults in the Borrego Springs community to pursue educational opportunities and achievement to reach their potential and realize their dreams. BASIC’s Cradle to Graduation strategy supports – a pre-school reading program with books in the home; a 4-week summer Learning Academy to provide students a boost in literacy, reading, math and English fluency; and scholarships for college, career and vocational studies.
Carlsbad City Library – Literacy Services
Carlsbad City Library Learning Center – Literacy Services
3368 Eureka Place
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Literacy Coordinator: Carrie Scott
Description: Literacy Services at the Carlsbad City Library Learning Center provides free one-to-one tutoring in reading, writing and digital literacy for English-speaking adults who wish to meet their life goals. The program also offers English as a Second Language classes through a partnership with MiraCosta College and an online high school diploma program for adults through Smart Horizons Career Online High School. The program serves those who live or work in Carlsbad and neighboring coastal communities.
Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego Foster Grandparents Program
3888 Paducah Drive
San Diego CA 92117
P: 619 323-2841
Program Manager: Marian Mcintosh
Catholic Charities Community Services Director: Stephanie Alvarez
Description: Catholic Charities’ Foster Grandparent Program serves both San Diego and Imperial Counties. Foster Grandparents can work with youth, as young as infants and as old as 21 years, experiencing a wide range of disabilities or are in circumstances that do not foster a learning environment such as homelessness, low socioeconomic status, justice-involvement, or foster care. Foster Grandparents provide services such as nurturing and skill building, tutoring, and coaching, as well as mentoring and role modeling. Our goals are to increase school readiness, reading proficiency, provide socioemotional support, and more.
Chula Vista Public Library – Adult Literacy Services
389 Orange Ave.
Chula Vista, CA 91911
Librarian, Literacy Program Coordinator: Miguel Murillo
Description: Chula Vista Public Library provides one-on-one or small-group tutoring.
Community HousingWorks — Study Stars After-School and Summer Program
3111 Camino del Rio North, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92108
After-School Program Manager: Fernanda Aceves
Description: Study Stars is an onsite after-school program, serving K-5TH grade CHW resident youth. Study Stars focuses on working collaboratively with adult volunteers, resident teen leaders and community partners in providing academic support, community building and enrichment opportunities for young residents. The program enhances literacy skills, sharpens reading and study skills, builds self-esteem, and fosters parent participation in school life. Study Stars uses a nationally-evaluated online literacy program, i-Ready, that provides individualized lessons and reports.
Deaf Community Services – Literacy Program
1545 Hotel Circle South, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92108
Front Desk: (619) 550-3436
Relocating in June 2023:
2240 Cleveland Ave, National City, CA
Lead Community Educator: Thao Pham
Description: DCS literacy programs (LEAD and PVSA) are unique as they enable Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, and Deafblind adults to succeed in education or in today’s workplace by providing small group and one-on-one instruction. Students work on developing communication skills, computer knowledge, and preparation for education (college, continuing education program, adult education school) and/or employment in addition to improving their literacy skills.
Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership (DEEP)
404 Euclid Avenue #304
San Diego, CA 92114
Acting Executive Director: Rhianna Basore
Description: DEEP’s focus is on ensuring that children — whose schools are located in a cluster of southeastern San Diego neighborhoods referred to as the Diamond Community — enter kindergarten prepared for success and complete third grade reading proficiently. DEEP accomplishes this ambitious mission by working with partners to build a continuum of educational and community supports for children (and their families) as they move along the early education pipeline from cradle through third grade.
Education Begins in the Home
Oceanside, CA 92057
Founder: Edward Becerra
Description: Education Begins in the Home provides free books to families and students in the north county region of San Diego.
Escondido Public Library – Adult Literacy
239 South Kalmia Street
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 741-4255 fax
Senior Librarian, Literacy & Youth Services: Dan Wood
Description: Escondido Public Library provides literacy services for Escondido and surrounding areas. Services include small learning communities, one-on-one tutoring for English speaking adults, ESL classes, bilingual computer classes, a computer literacy lab and early literacy for children of adult learners. Escondido also provides family literacy programs and a bookmobile.
Grossmont Adult School – El Cajon Adult School
1075 Madison Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92021
Contact: Leslie Carter, PLC Coordinator, ESL Teacher
Descriptions: The El Cajon Adult School provides free English as a Second Language classes to anyone who needs to learn English and is over 18 years old. We offer over 50 classes at 25 sites from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in East County. We also offer: Adult Basic Skills, U.S. Citizenship, High School Diploma, and GED (General Educational Development).
Guitars & Ukes in the Classroom (GITC)
1286 University Ave., #389
San Diego, CA 92103
Contact: Jess Baron, Executive Director
Guitars & Ukes in the Classroom (GITC) trains, inspires, and equips educators to engage students in learning all subjects through the joy of making music and the power of song. Our inclusive and responsive teaching approach promotes equity, academic achievement, literacy, and social emotional well-being, 21st century skills and caring classroom communities. Our services include free weekly music training and leadership classes for anyone serving in education. No musical experience is necessary to participate. Desire and willingness to learn are the keys to success. We also provide capacity-building, classroom teaching artist residencies, and after-school music clubs for students. GITC can also be invited to present departmental in-service training for music educators, special educators, and general classroom teachers.
International Rescue Committee
5348 University Ave., #205
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 641-7510 ext. 303
Deputy Director, Programs: Deanneka Flores
Description: The International Rescue Committee provides literacy services for refugee parents and their children. Programs include English language instruction, life skills training and family literacy. Programs are located in City Heights and El Cajon.
John Corcoran Foundation
Executive Director Colleen Mertes
Phone: (760) 445-0229
Description: We provide evidence-based literacy instruction to children and adults with sub-literate struggles. We also facilitate training for educators in evidence-based methodologies of literacy instruction. We are literacy advocates wherever we go!
Juvenile Court Book Club, Inc.
PO Box 880706
San Diego, CA 92168-0706
Liaison: Crystal Culhane
Description: JCBC provides an innovative literacy program for incarcerated teens who are wards of the Juvenile Court residing in Juvenile Hall, and Girls Rehabilitation Facility. Our volunteers discuss monthly book club selections with about 150 teens at 4 sites. We also provide one-on-one tutors to teens in need of remedial reading assistance and GED preparation. Due to Covid, Probation has suspended in-person visits. However JCBC is continuing to provide books to the facilities, as well as some online activities.
Laubach Literacy Council of San Diego County, Inc.
P.O. Box 502733
San Diego, CA 92150-2733
President: Leslie Gonzalez
Description: The Laubach Literacy Council is an all-volunteer organization providing free English tutoring to adult Second Language Learners in one-on-one and small group environments. We also provide free tutor training for new members. Centers are located throughout San Diego County, including numerous County Libraries for which we are the ESL component provider.
License to Freedom
SENA – Survival English for Newly Arrived
131 Avocado Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020
Contact: Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, Project Manager
Description: The mission of License to Freedom is to promote peaceful, loving and safe relationships within the diverse immigrant and refugee communities of San Diego, accomplished through services and strategies that build resilience and self-sufficiency, support healing from trauma and violence, and advocacy for equity and justice. The mission of Survival English for New Arrivals (SENA) is for volunteers to provide in-home basic English instruction to new arrivals, prioritizing women: the focus of our program because they are the least likely to work or school outside the home, and therefore have the greatest need for in-home services. As needed, we may provide instruction to men and children. This program is free for families. Currently our focus is on curriculum development. We have so far identified a few groups that need assistance: older women who do not leave the house and are keen to learn; high school students who are in ‘age-appropriate grades’ but do not read and write English and speak very little English; young daughters-in-law who are house bound because of their children.
MiraCosta College – Continuing Education
1831 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 795-8730 fax
Representative/Instructor: Eliza Rabinovich
Description: The Continuing Education program at MiraCosta College provides free noncredit courses in four areas for adults in Carlsbad and Oceanside: Adult High School, GED, ESL, Citizenship, Short Term Vocational, and Other Noncredit which includes special education and older adult courses. Also offered are enrollment services, counseling, tutoring, a writing center, Math Learning Center, library services and an open computer lab.
National City Public Library – Literacy Services
1401 National City Blvd.
National City, CA 91950
Literacy Coordinator: Mikki Vidamo
Description: Adult Literacy Services provides one-on-one and small group tutoring to adults in the areas of basic reading, writing, math, computers and ESL, as well as GED, ASVAB, and Citizenship preparation.
Oceanside Public Library – Oceanside READS Learning Center
804 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92054
Literacy Coordinator: Chelsea Genack Eggli
Description: Oceanside READS provides one-on-one tutoring and computer-assisted literacy instruction for English-speaking adults in Oceanside and neighboring communities.
1140 West Mission Rd.
San Marcos, CA 92069
Contact: Nora Kenney-Whitley
Description: The ESL Tutoring Center at Palomar College offers support in writing, reading, grammar, pronunciation and conversation practice for all Palomar College classes. We also offer support in learning how to use Canvas, MyPalomar, email, and more!
San Diego College of Continuing Education – San Diego Community College District
4343 Ocean View Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92113
Associate Professor: Leah Gualtieri
Description: San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) is the noncredit public education institution of the San Diego Community College District. SDCCE provides free, no tuition instruction in a variety of academic areas including English as a Second Language, High School Diploma and Equivalency, Adult Basic Education (ABE), Disability Student Services and Programs (DSPS) as well as large variety of Career Technical Education and Older Adult courses. ABE programming includes beginning and intermediate basic skill courses. Courses are taught at seven SDCCE Campuses across the City of San Diego. For more information visit the website or go to the Welcome Center to speak to a college representative.
San Diego County Library – Adult Literacy Services
Literacy Staff: Hector Ortega, Kevin Vigil
Description: The San Diego County Library provides one-on-one literacy tutoring services for English-speaking adults 18 years of age or older.
San Diego County Office of Education – Everyone A Reader
San Diego County Office of Education
5304 Metro Street, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 291-5995 fax
Coordinator: Cindy Dunlevy
Description: The Everyone A Reader Volunteer Program serves elementary students in San Diego County who need additional support in decoding and comprehension reading strategies. Trained tutors reinforce reading strategies as students practice in a one-on-one supportive environment. During the process the students become more proficient readers and build their confidence to become independent learners.
San Diego Oasis
5500 Grossmont Center Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942
Director of Intergenerational Programs: Kristen Amicone
Direct phone: (619) 881-6262 x1008
Description: San Diego OASIS supports successful aging for older adults offering lifelong learning classes, travel activities, and Intergenerational volunteer opportunities to work as tutors and mentors with low income elementary school students to improve literacy skills, self-esteem, and attitudes toward learning. 40,000 older adults engage with us, and over 1000 members volunteer in the community.
San Diego Public Library – READ/San Diego
330 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
fax (619) 238-6677
Description: READ/San Diego provides one-on-one tutoring and computer-assisted literacy services for English-speaking adults 18 years of age and older in the City of San Diego. READ/San Diego also provides family literacy and workforce literacy services.
Sweetwater Union High School District – Division of Adult Education
458 Moss Street
Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 425-8728 fax
Resource Teacher (ABE) /WIOA Coordinator: Erica Dibello-Hitta
Description: Sweetwater Union High School District provides classroom literacy, high school diploma completion, GED preparation, and English language instruction to adults in Bonita, Chula Vista, National City, and Imperial Beach.
7110 Convoy Court
San Diego, CA 92111
1240 E Plaza Blvd., Suite 604-430
National City, CA 91950
Literacy Coordinator: Hezhi Naseem
Description: Traveling Stories is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California that has been providing low-income children with access to quality literacy support since 2010. Our mission is to empower children to achieve their dreams. Since its inception, Traveling Stories has opened eight international libraries, has empowered almost 10,000 local children in San Diego, and has trained almost 700 volunteers. Traditionally we’ve served children through weekly, in-person StoryTents at farmers markets and malls in underserved communities. In 2020, due to COVID-19, we pivoted to an online model, the Virtual StoryTents.
United Way of San Diego County
4699 Murphy Canyon Road
San Diego, Ca 92123
Literacy Coordinator: Alexis Aviña
Description: United Way of San Diego County’s fundraising, outreach, and education efforts related to early literacy have historically spanned the entirety of San Diego County. With a goal of increasing the number of students reading proficiently by the 3rd grade, we partner with community organizations, leveraging our collective expertise to provide students with the necessary literacy supports to mitigate the effects of interrupted learning, supporting students and families with enhancing their at-home reading habits and joy of reading, and connecting families to needed family stability resources. Our goal is to spearhead real, lasting change and make a collective impact to transform the lives of children, young adults, families, and communities.
One of the primary programs is UWSD’s Every Student, Every Family is to collaborate and convene community stakeholders to develop and implement innovative and evidence-based programming focused on literacy mentorship, family stability, and family engagement. Our role at United Way includes aligning goals with school and community-based partners in support of school-based supports through a community learning model, while also facilitating data collection, analysis, and dissemination for continuous improvement and impact evaluation. Every Student, Every Family is currently being implemented in communities of City Heights and Lemon Grove, and we’re in the process of expanding countywide, particularly within other historically underserved communities.
UPLIFT – Kids at Heart
1660 Hotel Circle No., Ste 450
San Diego, CA 92108
2801 ‘B’ Street #26
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 234-4508 fax
Program Director: Carla Dorantes
Description: UPLIFT provides tutoring and mentoring services for low-income children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade who live in inner-city San Diego. UPLIFT operates at eleven sites and offers after-school enrichment activities and a summer program that assists children with academic skills.
15117 Creek Hills Road
El Cajon, CA 92021
Founder/Executive Director: Tiana Uribe
Description: Supporting education and social service programs that reinforce long-term self-sufficiency and empower women and youth through literacy. We place libraries and reading areas into homeless and transitional spaces. Our work strives to bring public and private sectors together with initiatives that serve our community for the highest good.
5111 Santa Fe St # 219
San Diego, CA 92109
Volunteer Coordinator: Robyn Grand
Description: Words Alive connects toddlers, teens, and families with the power of reading. Our work bridges the gap in access to education for underserved children (0-18) and their families through our unique “cradle-to-career” model. Founded in 1999, we host workshops on early childhood literacy for families, mobilize volunteer reading role models to visit classrooms in low-income neighborhoods, lead book group-style meetings for teens to help them extract meaning and fulfillment from text, and coordinate a mentorship and scholarship program for at-risk graduates as they pursue post-secondary education. Additionally, we provide free resources for children, teens, families, and educators on our website and social media at @WordsAliveSD on all social media platforms.