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The Great Courses and the Washington Literacy Center Partner to Fight Illiteracy in the Nation’s Cap

With approximately 90,000 reported illiterate adults in the District of Columbia, The Great Courses and The Washington Literacy Center have teamed to solve critical obstacles to overcoming this challenge – access to training and educational resources designed to put people back to work.

The Great Courses is making its entire catalog of more than 600 courses available to tutors and students of The Washington Literacy Center, which has been helping D.C. residents learn to read since 1965. Among the resources donated to Washington Literacy Center will be The Great Courses Plus streaming video-on- demand service of over 4,000 hours of lectures on topics from vocabulary and basic math skills to history, science, and health and wellness. Additionally, a customized library of DVD, CD and digital download courses from The Great Courses’ library is being collaboratively curated to build on the literacy curriculum and enhance the learning environment for both instructors and students.

“We believe can use The Great Courses’ diverse catalog of courses to ignite the love of learning in our community and ultimately open doors for them,” said Jimmie Williams, executive director of the Washington Literacy Center. “Courses such as ‘Building a Better Vocabulary’ and ‘Mastering the Fundamentals of Mathematics’ or Art of Conflict Management are strong additions to our existing curriculum and will support our instructors, staff and volunteers to empower students and their lives and careers.”

Nationwide, 36 million adults lack basic literacy skills, according to the National Coalition for Literacy. The problem greatly impacts their employment, wages, standard of living and their own children’s future academic success.

“This marks the first of what we hope will be many community-centered partnerships to

empower lifelong learning for everyone,” said Paul Suijk, President and CEO at The Great Courses. “The single greatest hurdle to becoming a lifelong learner is to overcome the stigma of illiteracy, and we’re proud to join the Washington Literacy Center to help fulfill its 50-year strong mission to eradicate illiteracy and improve lives in the District.”

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About The Washington Literacy Center

The Washington Literacy Center has been helping D.C. residents with the greatest barriers and fewest resources learn to read since 1965. Starting off as an all-volunteer initiative, the WLC has grown into a dynamic nonprofit with full-time staff, professionally-trained instructors, and passionate volunteers. The Washington Literacy Center achieves its goal of helping D.C. adults re-enter the workforce through small-group literacy classes, extracurricular trainings ranging in topic from math to computers, and individual tutoring. Learn more at or

call (202)387-9029.

About The Great Courses

The Great Courses is the nation’s leading developer and marketer of premium-quality media for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Delivered in engaging, expertly produced video and audio (in convenient online, digital, video on demand and disc formats), these carefully crafted courses provide access to a world of knowledge from the most accomplished professors and experts. The content-rich, proprietary library spans more than 600 series with more than 14,000 lectures designed to expand horizons, deepen understanding, and foster epiphanies in the arts, science, literature, self-improvement, history, music, philosophy, theology, economics, mathematics, business, and professional advancement. Creating unique learning experiences

since 1990, The Great Courses is the premier brand of The Teaching Company Sales, LLC of Chantilly, Virginia, which is owned by Los Angeles-based Brentwood Associates. More information can be found at

About The Great Courses Plus

The Great Courses Plus is a video streaming subscription service offering members unlimited access to more than 8,000 lectures online via connected television and mobile devices for a periodic fee. New members can sample the service without risk for a one-month free trial. Learn more at

Contacts Media Inquiries: Kaitlen Murphy 310.824.9000

Candace Cunningham 202-387-9029

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