Adult Learning Alliance (ALA) is the statewide non-profit that provides structure and support to county-level literacy councils serving adults in over 50 Arkansas counties. These councils offer instructional tutoring to adults who want to learn to read, write or speak English better. All services are free.
ALA was founded in 1971 as a statewide non-profit organization to provide a network of training, professional development, and other forms of support to the growing number of literacy councils in the state.
In 1991, the Arkansas Legislature recognized the valuable contribution of the work of volunteers in adult literacy by granting it state funding. This funding supports a staff and a state office, and the remaining funds are sub-granted to community based literacy councils.
ALA started the very popular Arkansas Literary Festival in 2004 and held that festival each year until 2008, when it outgrew the organization and staff’s capabilities and was transferred to the Central AR Library System.
ALA also operates an AmeriCorps program, Arkansas Reads, which places service volunteers at literacy councils throughout the state. These members provide tutoring and recruit volunteer tutors and students in order to promote sustainability within literacy councils after their service term has expired.