Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore CT
61 Goodspeed Dr
P.O. Box 1006
Westbrook CT 06498-1006
Contact Information
Address 61 Goodspeed Dr
P.O. Box 1006
Westbrook, CT 06498-1006
Telephone (860) 399-0280 x
Fax 860-399-0378
Web and Social Media

To help students in the 11 towns we serve to improve their abilities to read, write, and speak English more fluently; to help improve their working and personal lives; to help them achieve personal and professional fulfillment, however they define it; and to help them become better able to contribute to the community we share.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1978
Former Names
Literacy Volunteers of America-Valley Shore
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
CEO/Executive Director Mark O'Brien
Board Chair Sharon Colvin (Acting)
Board Chair Company Affiliation The Colvin Group
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years

To help students in the 11 towns we serve to improve their abilities to read, write, and speak English more fluently; to help improve their working and personal lives; to help them achieve personal and professional fulfillment, however they define it; and to help them become better able to contribute to the community we share.


 In 1979, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. (LVVS) was founded to teach English as a second language (ESL) to refugee families from Laos and Vietnam that were immigrating to communities along the shoreline. On July 5, 1980, 18 tutors completed the first LVVS training program. On July 14, 1980, LVVS was incorporated.

 LVVS has:
  • Tutored 220+ students from 65+ countries last year alone
  • Done it in complete confidence
  • Done it at no cost to them
  • Helped them achieve more rewarding daily lives, at work and in the community
  1. Raise $50,000 during fiscal 2017-2018
  2. Expand our Workplace Literacy Initiative
  3. Upgrade our training materials 
  4. Train 50 tutors, certify them, and match them with students
  5. Update our resource library 
CEO Statement

We aspire to be a visible, viable, soundly constituted, and financially sustainable organization dedicated to creating a fluent, fully literate future for the residents of the 11 towns we serve — one student, one tutor, one word at a time. But we can't do it without your help.

 Your contributions make it possible for us to train more tutors, tutor more people in our community, create more programs, help make the American Dream come true for more people.
Board Chair Statement
Illiteracy isn't going away. But we can cure it. Improved literacy contributes to economic growth, reduces poverty and crime, increases civic engagement, promotes better health by making information accessible, and increases self-esteem and self-confidence.
Most important, it improves the quality of life for everyone in a self fulfilling circle:
  • The more people in the community who read, the more people who contribute to the community.
  • The more people who contribute to the community, the better the quality of life.
  • The better the quality of life, the more people who have the opportunity to read.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Adult Education
Secondary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Citizen Participation
Tertiary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C.
Areas Served
Though we cover the towns listed, we serve students from eight other area towns who work in the towns listed in our profile.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

  • 10% of Connecticut residents over 25 don’t possess a high school diploma or equivalent
  • More than 50% of Connecticut adults function at the two lowest levels of literacy
  • Those who struggle with forms are more likely to be low-wage employees.
    Nearly 64% have never used a computer.
    Just 27% have high school diplomas or equivalents.
    Those with diplomas are 2-4% more likely to be employed full-time.


Volunteer tutors, trained and certified by LVVS (accredited by ProLiteracy, Inc.) to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) help students improve their abilities to read, write, and speak English one-to-one and in complete confidence. Our tutoring is provided free of charge to the student/
Population Served Adults / Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / Native Americans
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Our goal for this coming year is to train an additional 48 tutors and bring in an additional 100 students to the literacy program and to assist our existing student population to make incremental gains in reading level, writing proficiency, in achieving citizenship, obtaining and retaining employment and in preparing for and entering secondary education. Further, we hope to have our tutors help their students increase their competency levels by one increment during the next fiscal year.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Our vision is to develop a financially secure, highly visible organization and create dynamic relationships that will enable us to meet 100% of the literacy needs of the community.
Works with area companies to tailor curricula to vocabularies, phrases, idiomatic expressions, and conversations pertinent to the jobs they offer. The Initiative provides the same confidential, one-to-one tutoring we offer to every student, with the goals of increase their productivity and improving their professional and personal lives.
Population Served / /
Program Comments
CEO Comments
In a climate of decreasing grants and increasing need, we rely on individual and corporate donors for our sustainability. This isn’t a matter of available resources. It’s a matter of choices and priorities. Consider:
  • According to, total domestic movie box office receipts for 2016 were $11,334,675,347
  • According to the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title II allocation for 2015 was $582,667
  • WIOA state grant allocations for 2015 were: $568,955
Thats’s a difference of $11,333,523,725.
For a fraction of that $11 billion, we can change lives. You can change lives.
Please help us.

CEO/Executive Director
Mark O'Brien
Term Start Mar 2017
Mark is a career brand-management and marketing professional. Prior to founding O’Brien Communications Group in March of 2004 and co-founding BizComics in June of 2015, he worked in various marketing positions in the insurance industry, followed by stints in public-relations and advertising agencies.
To date, in addition to his professional work, Mark has written and published a number of short stories and two books for children: Martin the Marlin and The One and Only Ben. Those books have given him numerous opportunities to visit schools, public and private, to share his books and to speak on the subjects of reading, writing, and other creative endeavors.
Mark served on the Board of Directors of LVVS for two years before becoming the Executive Director. He has a B.A. in English Literature from Trinity College in Hartford. 
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 203
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
John Ferrara July 2010 - Jan 2017
Ms. Mary Ellen Jewett June 1987 - June 2010
Senior Staff
Title Administrative Assistant
She brings twenty years experience in positions as administrative assistant, purchasing, sales and client services as well as non-profit teaching experience. She holds a degree in Economics from Gonzaga University.

Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
CEO Comments Given the age of previous planning documents, the new Executive Director has made it a priority to develop Fundraising, Communications, Strategic, and Succession Plans, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, as soon as reasonably possible.
Board Chair
Sharon Colvin (Acting)
Company Affiliation The Colvin Group
Term Jan 2017 to June 2018
Board of Directors
John Bogaert Bogaert Construction
Paula Chabot Retired
William Guerra Bank of England
Linda Liptrot Community Volunteer
Nancy Shapiro Community Volunteer
Elizabeth Steffen Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 5
Standing Committees
Audit, Compliance and Controls
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
Ms. Ann Lander Community Volunteer
CEO Comments
The new Executive Director is working with the Board to develop formal Board Selection Criteria.
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30 2017
Projected Revenue $60,000.00
Projected Expenses $55,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Form 990s
Form 9902016
Form 9902015
Form 9902014
Form 9902013
Form 9902012
Form 9902011
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$22$16$19
Membership Dues$3,985$6,598$5,265
Special Events$8,412$9,547$15,415
Revenue In-Kind------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$21,417$20,477$22,725
Administration Expense$37,487$36,932$37,427
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.811.031.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses36%36%38%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$19,040$29,935$28,344
Current Assets$16,423$25,901$22,575
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$759$566$527
Total Net Assets$18,281$29,369$27,817
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities21.6445.7642.84
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
CEO Comments In the previous six years, expenses have exceeded revenues. The new Executive Director is working with the Board of Directors and the Treasurer to reverse this trend and restore reserves.
Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address 61 Goodspeed Dr
P.O. Box 1006
Westbrook, CT 064981006
Primary Phone 860 399-0280
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mark O'Brien
Board Chair Sharon Colvin (Acting)
Board Chair Company Affiliation The Colvin Group


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