The first literacy program to start in Rochester began in December 1964 and was promoted by the United Church Women. The newly created literacy program for adults, named Each One Teach One, was designed to give each student a personal learning experience with a volunteer teacher at no cost to them. The program initially started with eight students and eight teachers but word quickly spread around the Rochester area of the program to combat illiteracy.
By April 1965, five months after the program started, Each One Teach One had grown quickly to 93 volunteers and 86 students who actively participated. The mission to serve the 7,000 residents of Monroe County who could not read or write gained local attention from newspapers and community leaders. The efforts by Queenie Zuehlke, Mrs. Harper Sibley, and the United Church Women were seen by many community members and the movement to resolve the illiteracy problem in Rochester was significantly growing.
A couple years later, the literacy program would eventually evolve into the organization, Literacy Volunteers of Rochester. In the 1968 annual report for Literacy Volunteers, an outstanding 211 community members volunteered to serve a total of 250 students in Monroe County. A year later, the number of volunteers nearly doubled! Each year volunteers would come and go but the number of active volunteers increased slowly over the years. In 1996, a record breaking 652 volunteers were involved in the adult literacy services at LVR. Volunteers at this time participated in one-on-one instruction or small group conversation.
Currently, volunteers at Literacy Rochester are involved in the instructional and/or the digital programs. The support and generosity of all the volunteers who have supported Literacy Rochester’s mission to adult literacy has been unwaivered overtime. In celebration of National Volunteer Month, we appreciate everyone, current and past, who has volunteered and donated their time and services to their community.