OUR STAFF

Elizabeth Hart
Executive Director 

elizabeth.hart@literacyCV.org

(715) 834-0222 ext. 1

Elizabeth Hart worked for CESA 10 for 15 years in Education Technology as a distance learning French Teacher. She shifted her focus to the non-profit sector and has worked in the arts and education for the last 7 years. In her spare time she consults for the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra. Hart earned a PhD in French from SUNY Buffalo, an MA in Comparative Literature from UMASS-Amherst and a BA in Music and Comparative Literature from UW-Madison. She is passionate about reading and wants to kindle that spirit in others.

Deb Erwin
Family Literacy Coordinator
deb.erwin@l
iteracyCV.org
(715) 835-0610

Deb has been with LCV since 2012. During that time, she has been an corrections instructor, a transitions instructor, open lab attendant, office staff, GED instructor, Family Literacy Instructor and Family Literacy Coordinator.  "I coordinate all aspects of Family Literacy. This is accomplished by supporting the instruction of the adults and their children and facilitating the entire program. I work with LCV because I believe in everyone having the chance to be literate." 

 

Deb has two bachelor's -one in Elementary Education and the other in Family/Child Development. "My teaching career has spanned 6 states, MN, WI, HI, FL, NC and CA. This is due to my husband's career as a United States Marine, from which he is now retired.  We have two adult sons."

Stacy Martin

Dunn County Coordinator
stacy.martin@literacyCV.org
(715) 308-8542

Stacy has a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of WI-Stevens Point, a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, a WI principal certification from the University of WI – River Falls, and a Doctorate of Education in Instructional Leadership for Higher Education from Argosy University in Eagan, MN.

She taught special education for many years between WI and MN. Stacy was the Vice President of the Eau Claire Board of Directors, sat on the WI State Board for the March of Dimes, was active with Children’s Miracle Network, and Variety – the Children’s Charity of WI.  Stacy has also worked as a consultant for national alternate assessment development and works at CESA 10 Off – Campus Alternative School as a math teacher.

Aryn Widule
Marketing Coordinator

awidule@lvcv.org
(715) 834-0222

Aryn comes to Literacy Chippewa Valley with a bachelor's and master's in English and creative writing from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. He moved to Eau Claire in 2001 from northern Wisconsin and never left. Since then he has spent time in marketing and development, helping small businesses grow to better serve the community. He has a special interest in criminal justice reform and education and will be teaching adult English classes at Literacy Chippewa Valley as well. 

Jeremiah Coey
Intern
Jcoey@lvcv.org

715-834-0222

Jeremiah is a junior at UWEC, working towards a degree in social work and Latin American studies. He's studying to get certified to teach English as a foreign language. Jeremiah is a first generation college student, and has personally benefitted from the types of services that LCV offers. He finds it fulfilling to work in this field, helping others to reach their goals end empower themselves. Jeremiah is a self-described 'nerd' who enjoys maps and graphs, history, sociology and sci-fi.

Alena Xiong
Intern
axiong@lvcv.org

(715) 834-0222

Alena comes to Literacy Chippewa Valley with a background in childcare. She has taught a variety of ages, and also has spent time working with people in the beauty industry. Her combined experience has had her working with a wide variety of people, making her a valuable addition to LCV.

Alena chose LCV because the work they do has impact on her close to home and within her community.

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Our Board

Allison Shepard
President
Attorney, Herrick & Hart

Allison Shepard is an attorney at Herrick & Hart, S.C. where her practice focuses primarily on civil litigation and family law. Allison originally hails from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and moved to the Eau Claire area in 2015. She attended Loyola University Chicago for her bachelor’s degree and Marquette University for her J.D. An avid lifelong reader, Allison attributes her love of reading to her mother, a retired elementary school librarian. Allison is excited to serve on the Literacy Chippewa Valley board and help to empower those in our community through literacy.

Richard Jaenke  
Board Member
Customer Contact Center Site Manager, Xcel Energy

 

Macie Neitzel
Board Member
Human Resource Generalist, Stable Living LLP

Macie Neitzel is a human resource generalist with Stable Living LLP, an assisted living company. As a human resource generalist, she is focused on recruitment and hiring with Stable Living LLP, as well as administrative tasks such as on-boarding, social media and managing their website. Macie is from Alma, WI but moved to the Chippewa Valley after completing her bachelors and master's degree at UW-Stout. Her education and training are focused on applied psychology and organizational development. Macie lives in Chetek with her dog, Lucy who enjoys going to the dog park and sleeping in!

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Heather Felty
Board Member

Publisher, Inner Peace Press

An Eau Claire native, Heather Felty founded Inner Peace Press in 2021 to publish books by independent authors who share inspiring stories from their own lived experiences, with the hopes of supporting others on their journey of self discovery. Heather also teaches online yoga philosophy courses to help others learn to quiet the noise, find their focus, and put themselves first for a change. As a life-long avid reader, Heather is proud to support the efforts of Literacy Chippewa Valley to improve the literacy of people in our community and to help break the cycle of poverty.  

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What We Do

We teach students and train volunteers to teach reading, writing, math, computer skills, work skills, GED and citizenship using evidence based teaching methodology.

What is evidence-based instruction?  According to the International Reading Association (IRA), evidence-based instruction is an instructional approach, practice, or methodology that is derived from empirical research, resulting in reliable, trustworthy, and valid information suggesting that a program or practice is effective and that all proofs are scientifically based.  Professional wisdom, based on educators’ individual experiences are also sources of evidence.

The National Research Council has identified that adult education teachers help to advance learner goals when they:

  • Explicitly address foundation of reading and writing

  • Combine teaching and extensive practice using diverse and differentiated materials and approaches well-suited to learner

  • Develop leaners’ skills to ensure transference to highly valued tasks external to the classroom

  • Adjust instruction through frequent monitoring of and feedback on student progress.

An overview of studies on evidence-based research also suggests that effective instruction includes:

  • Designing learner-centered instruction

  • Developing standards-based instructional units and lesson plans

  • Using instructional techniques based in adult learning theory

  • Designing instruction to build on learners’ technology and media skills.

 

What does research tell us about adults learning to read? Unlike normally progressing young readers who have even reading profiles, 95% of ABE readers tend to have very uneven reading profiles. Standardized reading assessments are not sufficient. The TABE (Tests of Adult Basic Education) only measures text comprehension and does not provide any information about learners’ alphabetic, vocabulary and fluency skills. Educators find that it is helpful to use diagnostic assessments to pinpoint the individual needs of their learners and plan instruction that accelerates their reading acquisition. We determined that there is a need to provide our students with diagnostic testing. The answer came when we were invited to participate in STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) Trainings.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has developed STAR to provide states with the resources and training needed to improve the quality of reading instruction in adult education. STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) was created to improve the reading achievement of intermediate-level adult learners (GLE 4.0-8.9) in ABE. STAR provides teachers and administrators with web-based tools that translate reading research into practice, and high-quality training and technical assistance to build capacity for reading reform. The research produced findings that together form the basis of evidence-based practices. Among them:

There are four key component areas of reading: alphabetics (phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding), fluency (the ability to read accurately, at an appropriate rate, and with prosody), vocabulary, and comprehension. Learners’ strengths and weaknesses need to be assessed in each of the four components. Instruction should be based on assessment results. Instruction should be systematic, sequenced, direct, and explicit. Instruction and materials need to be engaging and relevant to learners’ needs. Instruction must be continuously monitored, by teacher and learners, to gauge its effectiveness. Those are exactly the practices that we use in education classes.

Our History

Created in 1986 by a group of individuals who saw a need in the community to teach English to Hmong refugees, the organization was first called Literacy Volunteers of America Chippewa Valley.  In 1988 Family Literacy program was added.

In 2007 the name was shortened to Literacy Volunteers Chippewa Valley (LVCV).

During our strategic planning sessions in 2015 the Board of Directors decided to update our name to Literacy Chippewa Valley (LCV).  Of  the 77 Wisconsin Literacy member agencies, only one other agency includes the word volunteer in its organizational title. Of the over 200 non profits in the Chippewa Valley, nearly all agencies utilize volunteers.  None of them include the word volunteers in their title.  We heard from many stakeholders and funders that they thought we were all volunteers.  Although we depend on volunteer tutors, we have a small paid highly educated staff to assess students, match them with the appropriate tutor and train and support tutors.

Over the years we have been recognized nationally, regionally and at the state level as an exemplary literacy program. Past awards include:

  • Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Adult Education and Literacy Programs, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. (1998)

  • Literacy Volunteers of America Exemplary Practices Award (2000);

  • Governor’s Workforce Innovation Award (2000);

  • First Lady Jessica Doyle Award for Family Literacy (2005);

  • Advocacy Champion Award from the National Center for Family Literacy (2006); and

  • ProLiteracy Accreditation – highest national standards for volunteer literacy programs. (2009)