Improving the Literacy Landscape of Houston


We serve 60 literacy provider organizations throughout the Greater Houston area. Find one near you! 

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Click below for Houston Center for Literacy's upcoming events and provider meetings.

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Houston Center for Literacy advocates and raises awareness for public policies that strengthen the literacy landscape in Houston.

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Make a contribution to Houston's literacy today and help us build a stronger future for our city.

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Mission Statement

The mission of Houston Center for Literacy (formerly Houston READ Commission) is to lead and mobilize a coalition of literacy providers and resources to improve the literacy landscape of Houston.

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HCL acts as the Mayor's liaison to literacy programming in Houston by supporting the Mayor's Coalition for Literacy, an association of 60 organizations offering literacy services. We distribute the annual Mayor's Challenge Grant to accredited literacy organizations across the city. HCL provides professional development courses, classroom resources, best practices, and volunteer recruitment. Our demonstration learning centers are another way HCL supports literacy programs. While HCL is not a literacy provider in the traditional sense, we operate three full-time demonstration literacy centers - San Jose, Denver Harbor and Magnolia - in areas of Houston where the need is high. Our centers are not only free of charge for learners, but they are also open to literacy providers to learn best practices. Organizations interested in starting a literacy center can observe classes, get lesson plans, and gain access to supplies by making an appointment to visit one of our centers.


Another important aspect of HCL's mission is to engage the community. We accomplish this by raising awareness about the effects of low-literacy and advocating on the city, state, and national levels for policy change that will increase resources and funding for adult literacy. HCL is an active participant in literacy events across Greater Houston.

Body Activity

Yoga is a powerful practice that can be used to improve speech and language development in learners. It is a body activity that encompasses body movement, flexibility, mindfulness, and breath, which is the very foundation of speech. People are able to produce speech by moving breath through their voice box. Without being mindful of the breath, it becomes difficult to teach a child how to become more articulate responsive, and interactive. By mapping words with movements, learners can establish strong vocabulary skills through a multi-sensory approach, which will promote long-term learning. Yoga is also a wonderful tool for teaching other aspects of speech such as vocabulary development and language acquisition.


There are many ways HCL connects our community to literacy services. Houston Center for Literacy has given the United Way of Greater Houston special access to its literacy provider directory, expanding the citywide 2-1-1 HELPLINE's directory and its knowledge of literacy services in the Houston area. Additionally, HCL works with businesses around Houston to procure in-kind resources, such as computers, books, and office supplies for our member organizations. Further, we connect literacy providers to other organizations offering similar services, through our monthly provider meetings and e-communication.


Run for a Reason

Meet Michaela. She's a resident of Sugar Land and running for Team HCL in the 2014 Houston Half Marathon. As a Literacy Advance of Houston Board member, Michaela's decision to run for literacy was an easy one!

Read Michaela's Story

2nd Annual Walking Towards Literacy

Please join us for the 2nd Annual Walking Towards Literacy on Saturday, October 26th. This family-focused free event is geared to promote all aspects of literacy as a pathway to success.

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AmeriCorps Texas Family Literacy Initiative

The Texas Family Literacy Initiative is a part of the AmeriCorps network of national service programs. Learn how you can join HCL's AmeriCorps program.