Literacy Volunteers of America Accreditation

Upon achieving national accreditation in 2002, Literacy Volunteers of America President Marsha L. Tait stated, “The Accreditation Award means that Gaston Literacy Council provides effective nonprofit management, excellent volunteer tutor training, and quality literacy instruction…Gaston Literacy Council, Inc. has demonstrated its ability to meet the highest standards of excellence in providing literacy services to its students and volunteers.”

Note: Literacy Volunteers of American and Laubach Literacy Action merged to become ProLiteracy.



Nonprofit Sector Stewards Award

Gaston Literacy Council, Inc. received a statewide honor on October 25, 2001 when the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits presented the 2001 Nonprofit Sector Stewards Award to the agency.  The Council was recognized for exemplary stewardship of the public trust that is expected of all nonprofit organizations.

The Center recognized the Council for its commitment to accountability and to engaging the whole community in fighting illiteracy.  The Council regularly evaluates its results in order to determine whether it is achieving its mission of helping people learn to read and raising community awareness of the causes of and problems related to illiteracy.

“The Gaston Literacy Council is not content with just ‘feel good’ stories about people who learn to read.  Instead, it uses monthly assessments of its program results along with research about what works in literacy education to make constant improvements in its services.  This commitment to continuous improvement is a hallmark of effective nonprofit organizations,” said Jane Kendall, president of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

The Council also was honored for its ability to collaborate with others in the nonprofit, business, and government sectors to identify and serve people who are illiterate.


Tablet of Honor

Kiwanis Club of Gastonia


"The name of Gaston Literacy Council, Inc. is inscribed on the Tablet of Honor for the vital contribution that your organization makes in unleashing the untapped potential of the people of Gaston County."


"Circle of Caring Award"

Gaston Together Community Leadership Award


As an organization committed to leading positive change in Gaston County, the Gaston Together Leadership Award recognizes organization(s) in our community including government, human services, arts, grassroots, religious, etc., that have developed a project which has made a significant impact on the betterment of our community during the previous year.  The project meets the following criteria:  leads positive change for the betterment of Gaston County, contributing to the overall quality of life enjoyed by Gaston County citizens; demonstrates collaborative efforts among diverse individuals or groups; has provided creative leadership by utilizing a unique, non-silo thinking approach to community improvement or problem-solving; contributes to the long-term growth of the community; and strives for a process of continuous improvement.


All-American City Project

“Gastonia was smart to recognize the essential role that nonprofits play in any community’s health when it featured the Gaston Literacy Council in its successful application to be an All-American City.  The Council shows how citizens come together through nonprofits to address critical issues.  Its story is one of positive community change through grassroots participation,” said Jane Kendall of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

It began on a Wednesday, with a bus of bleary-eyed but excited delegates pulling down Main Avenue in the early morning sun.  A handful of team members who stayed at home waved goodbye in the parking lot.  When the bus pulled back up the street just four days later, Saturday, June 3, 2000, it was welcomed by hundreds of citizens decked out in red, white, and blue.  The bus returned to an All-America City.

Gastonia’s theme, “City Wide, City Pride” was demonstrated by three stories which cross boundaries—citizen activists, local governments, nonprofits, and businesses assuming a collective responsibility.  West Gastonia’s Boys and Girls Club volunteers share talents to tackle serious problems facing the city’s most disadvantaged children.  Unity Place—a Parable of Art and Heaven unites a local arts organization and a local church as compatible sources of inspiration, motivation, and guidance.  A literacy project, Make Room for Reading, coupled with a church expansion, creates a binding partnership that models the mission of both organizations.

Andrew Cuomo, Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, honored the All-America City Award winners at a White House ceremony on November 1, 2000.  “This National Civic League program honors cities that have partnered most effectively to strengthen the bonds of their communities and enhance the quality of life for their citizens.  These cities demonstrate that every sector in society must play a role—citizens, business and local government,” said Secretary Cuomo.  Excerpted from:  Congressional Record “This year’s award recipients symbolize the backbone of our nation—the ability of American citizens to join together in community partnerships to address critical issues,” said Christopher T. Gates, President of the National Civic League.

Congressional Record

Volume 146  |  Washington, D.C., Friday, June 9, 2000  |  No. 71

Proceedings and Debates of the 106th Congress, Second Session

In the House of Representatives on Friday, June 9, 2000, the Honorable Sue Wilkins Myrick rose to congratulate Gastonia, North Carolina for being named one of ten All American Cities.  Gastonia has a unique history, but it won the award because it has some great plans to fight illiteracy, enhance the arts, and provide a safe environment for our kids... And, Gastonia has done great things to fight illiteracy.  No one demonstrates the impact of the Gaston Literacy Council better than Gary Avery, who says:  "Now I can read the Bible at church, I can read with my children and I can even write my wife a love letter."

ProLiteracy America

On June 17, 2010, Gaston Literacy Council, Inc. was awarded accredited status by ProLiteracy America, the US Programs Division of ProLiteracy Worldwide. The accreditation is based on a set of 16 nationally recognized quality standards that address instruction, training, and other programmatic areas as well as organizational management.

Gaston Literacy has maintained accredited status since 2002.  Peter Waite, Executive Director of ProLiteracy America says, “Gaston Literacy has demonstrated that their program meets the highest national standards for volunteer literacy programs and that their services to the community are effective. We applaud the many volunteers, staff, and students who have devoted their time and effort to achieve this goal.”

ProLiteracy America Accreditation acknowledges literacy organizations that are distinguished by superior professional leadership, effective programs, committed governing boards, and outstanding volunteer support. Gaston Literacy Council was recognized for its excellence in each of these areas.

Affiliates complete a rigorous process of self-evaluation, program improvement, documentation of compliance with the standards, and ongoing evaluation. The process culminates with a daylong, on-site review by a nationally trained accreditation reviewer. A national review panel makes the final determination of accreditation.

The fact that Gaston Literacy Council voluntarily participated in this process speaks to its commitment and desire to be among the premier literacy providers in the nation. This process prepares literacy organizations to achieve the outcomes that funders and supporters expect and adult literacy students deserve.

Click here to donate and to see more information about levels of giving.

You can also give a donation in honor or memory of someone.