Literacy Volunteers of East Bay
17 Croade Street, Warren, RI 02885


Serving East Providence ■ Barrington ■ Warren ■ Bristol ■ Portsmouth ■ Tiverton ■ Little Compton ■ Middletown ■ Newport ■ Jamestown



Literacy Volunteers of East Bay believes that the ability to read is critical to personal growth, individual freedom, and the maintenance of a democratic society. We provide free and confidential instruction to any local, low-literate adult who needs our services to reach their personal, educational and employment goals.

"Once you learn to read you will be forever free."
Frederick Douglass

Since 1986, LVEB has benefitted principally low- and moderate-income persons and limited clientele, who meet this criterion because of their low literacy. With offices in Warren and Newport, R.I., we serve East Providence and all of Bristol and Newport Counties. Students meet with their tutors in libraries all over the East Bay.

Specifically, LVEB serves residents who:

  • have less than a 12th grade education in the U.S. or other countries,

  • are enrolled in GED/NED or job-skills training and need additional support,

  • speak English less than very well,

  • are parents lacking English proficiency and have children in local school districts, and

  • are in critical need, including those with low income or minimal literacy skills.

Our students improve their - and their familiesí - lives as they become more skilled and fluent parents, consumers, employees and citizens.

We tutor people working on basic reading and writing as well as those working on a GED or NED. We also work with ELL (English language learner) students who want to learn to speak English, acquire cultural survival skills, and prepare for their citizenship exam.

Most students are tutored individually in public spaces (such as their local library). We also provide group classes in a variety of locations and can organize groups for local businesses, churches or other organizations.

LVEB also helps students set personal goals and track their achievementóanything that improves an individual's social function, from getting a library card or participating in a parent-teacher conference, to driving or voting for the first time.

We are supported by funds from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), local and state government, our annual campaign, and generous donations from local citizens and businesses, such as BankNewport.

Literacy Volunteers of East Bay has 100 volunteers, a Board of Directors and four part-time staff. We typically serve 80-100 learners each year. To work with a student, tutors must complete 15 hours of training and work with a literacy specialist.

Elizabeth McDowell comes to Literacy Volunteers from 20 years in the corporate sector where she specialized in marketing, communications, training, and proposal development. A special focus of her communications experience was editing materials used by consumers of varying educational levels, such as the United Auto Workers. She has a B.A. from Wheaton College and studied Marketing Management at Harvard Extension School.

Newport Literacy Coordinator
Stanley P. Brown, Jr. has decades of educational experience both as a teacher and an administrator. He has extensive experience in the non-profit arena and his in-depth understanding of the needs of low-literacy and low-income Newporters is key to our success in assisting them.

Literacy Specialist
Cynthia Woolf brings 45 years in instruction to her role at Literacy Volunteers. With Master's degrees in Education and in English as a Second Language, she has been an elementary school teacher, a GED and English Language instructor, and a student-teacher supervisor. She has spoken nationally and is a published author on learning differences.

Warren Literacy Coordinator & Data Specialist
Steve Spaulding brings to Literacy Volunteers a background in social work and organizational communication. He has worked in non-profit public relations, and more recently in social work positions with older adults and people with physical disabilities and mental illnesses. He earned a B.S. in Journalism/Public Relations and a Masterís in Social Work from The Ohio State University. Steve was an adult literacy volunteer in Florida coming to Rhode Island LVEB. Having also worked extensively with international students at the college level, he is focusing on ESOL adult learning.


President Dennis Hogan, Ph.D.
Treasurer Rick Rummel
Secretary Adrienne Shaw
Isabel Salzillo
Phyllis Seeba

Barrington Womans Club
The George Hail Library
Rotary Club of Warren/Barrington
The Link Agency
...and generous individuals from all walks of life.

Rhode Island Department of Education


Copyright 2014 Literacy Volunteers of East Bay. All rights reserved.