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JUNE 17, 2020

Our Coronavirus(COVID-19) Response

The Washington Literacy Center (WLC) staff and I have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here in the Washington, DC region. We have established a Coronavirus Response Action Team (CRAT) to plan for health-related issues, climate and culture, online instruction, and the welfare of all students and staff. As this situation continues to evolve, we remain vigilant in monitoring activity and taking the necessary precautions. These safeguards include sanitizing the air and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces in common areas. 


Beginning Monday March 16, WLC will suspend all classroom teaching and conduct our courses through virtual learning methods/online beginning immediately.  WLC will continue to ensure coverage and support for DHS/TEP customers.  We will follow local government recommendations as to when we should return to regularly scheduled classroom teaching and activities.


WLC is tracking the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) carefully, and we are taking every step to ensure your safety.  The WLC CRAT team will monitor risk levels, and additional infection control measures will be instituted based on individual and group risk factors.  WLC will continue to encourage everyone to take the needed precautions to exercise good health practices.


We are aware that these are unique and challenging times.  Please be assured we will continue to work together to find more ways to support our students, customers, and community.

To learn more about preventive practices, please click on the links above which includes information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to assist you in safeguarding your health against COVID-19.  We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Let’s work together to ensure the safety and well-being of all Washington Literacy Center staff and students. Following the steps above can help to limit the spread of this severe illness.

If you have questions, please contact the WLC at (202) 387-9029 or contact us info@washlit.org

We will also post updates on our website.



Jimmie Williams

President and Executive Director

For approximately 90,000 of DC’s adults, low literacy skills are a barrier to just about everything – completing their education, getting and keeping a decent job, and staying out of poverty.

The Washington Literacy Center removes the barrier by teaching basic skills – word attack (sounding things out), fluency (reading at a proper pace), and comprehension (understanding and thinking critically) to adults who read below a fifth grade level.

The Washington Literacy Center(WLC) has been helping DC residents with the greatest barriers and fewest resources learn to read since 1963.

The WLC has grown into a dynamic

nonprofit with full-time staff,

professionally-trained instructors,

and  passionate volunteers.

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All Classes and Activities Suspended Indefinitely Due to Coronavirus(COVID-19)
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Donovan Barnes

My name is Donovan Barnes, and I have written this letter on behalf of the Washington Literacy Center, a place that has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Now, I can simply go off on a tangent and share a “rise above” story, but I would rather tell you about myself and the opportunities that have presented itself over a time period of a year.

Unlike our typical students, I came to the center with a high school diploma, and previous college experience, studying psychology. As you are reading this, you might ask me why did I choose to come here? What did I gain...


Susan Bendlin came to the Washington Literacy Center in June 2018 seeking an opportunity to touch lives by volunteering to teach reading to our students. There were several students who expressed an interest in continuing their studies through the summer, so Susan was able to begin teaching right away.

Susan comes to the Washington Literacy Center as an attorney with experience as a law professor and Dean of Student Affairs for several law schools. Susan has a wealth of volunteer experience for various community-level organizations, including a “Read to Succeed” program for elementary school students in Orlando, FL. Susan was able to transfer her years ...

Susan Bendlin

Acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information which broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life. 

 - Kofi Annan

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1816 12th St NW - Ground Floor | Washington, DC 20009 | (202) 387-9029

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