Our History

The Literacy Project was founded in 1984 by Dr. Lindy Whiton, Jim Vaughan, and Phil Rabinowitz. 

Lindy, who had been trained as a reading specialist, had been hired by Greenfield Community College to run a short-term grant to teach adults to read.  Jim was a volunteer with the program. 

When the grant funding ended, Lindy and Jim decided to continue their good work by creating an independent non-profit agency.  They were soon joined by Phil Rabinowitz, and The Literacy Project was formed. 

With a strong commitment to teaching adults to read – and very little funding – The Literacy Project grew quickly and established classes in Greenfield, Orange, Northampton and Ware.  Dozens of volunteers worked with staff to stretch the limited budget and meet the needs of the students. 

Their efforts were successful, and in 1987 The Literacy Project gained national attention when it was named by the Association for Community Based Education as one of the ten best adult education programs in the country.

 The Literacy Project now offers classes in basic literacy, high school equivalency and college and career readiness at 5 locations in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts: Greenfield, Orange, Northampton, Amherst and Ware.  We have a staff of about 20 people and a team of about 75 volunteers each year.

 Co-Founder Dr. Lindy Whiton

Co-Founder Dr. Lindy Whiton

 Co-Founder Phil Rabinowitz

Co-Founder Phil Rabinowitz

Read Lindy and Phil's recollections of the early years of TLP. 

Many wonderful staff, board members and volunteers have worked together since 1984 to carry out the mission of The Literacy Project.  Here are just a few photos from our past.