C.A.L.L. was founded in 1985 by S. Electa Armstrong, a Catholic sister on the faculty of St. Jude High School, to help people in the socio-economically disadvantaged west side of Montgomery.
A board decision in 2014 changed the organization's name to Capital Area Adult Literacy Council (CAALC)
CAALC is a registered 501(c)3 organization whose mission is committed to individual empowerment and community improvement through literacy by providing free literacy services to adult learners.
For many men and women throughout Montgomery and neighboring counties, literacy is a luxury that they have never been able to enjoy. Statistics illustrate how illiteracy lies at the heart of so many of society's ills proliferating in our communities. It's often a catalyst for poverty, criminality, and lack of socio-economic advancement. At CAALC, we strive to address these issues by providing free accessible literacy programs to local adults.
The one-on-one literacy lessons are provided by volunteer tutors recruited from the community and trained by CAALC. Tutors come from all walks of life and from all age brackets, beginning with trained tutors at the minimum age of eighteen and continuing through the eighties.
Students, eighteen years through eighty plus, are attracted by the promise of improved job prospects and and self improvement. Often their confidence soars through the improvement of their reading and writing skills with encouragement from their supportive tutors.
Students are assessed to determine their reading comfort level. They are paired with certified tutors and meet twice weekly at the Troy University Rosa Parks Library & Museum or at a library of their choice, including the public libraries in Millbrook, Wetumpka and Prattville.
CAALC's training capability has also helped start and maintain a prison literacy program. Beginning with Tutwiler in 1988 through the recent introduction of a program at Elmore Correctional Facility in 2016. CAALC has trained inmate tutors to tutor fellow inmates, providing all the materials with support from local churches, foundations and supporters,
The students' goals are paramount in the sights of both tutors and students. Along the way some wonderful relationships evolve, rewarding both tutors and students with insights into the learning process, the importance of communication and the intricacies of human development.
In conclusion, the overall health and well-being of our country relies upon a literate society. When a person cannot read, they struggle to know their rights, to vote, to work, to pay bills and to secure housing. Illiteracy has enormous implications for the individual, future generations and society at large.