In 1997, the Congregation of St. Joseph honored its 125 years of service to the Diocese of Cleveland by providing start-up funds to an organization that incorporated its ministry: Seeds of Literacy. Seeds was designed to be a free and easily accessible adult literacy program offered to residents of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Seeds recruited volunteers to tutor students, and developed volunteer tutor-training sessions, materials and supplies. The one-to-one, individualized curriculum developed by Seeds helped build relationships of trust between tutors and students, and accommodated students at all levels of academic achievement.
In 2005, Seeds underwent significant organizational changes. In addition to receiving national accreditation from ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy organization in the world, we also became a separate 501(c)3 organization, changing the board of directors structure from an advisory to a governing board.
Today, Seeds is serving over 1,000 active students with the help of approximately 200 volunteer tutors. We offer open enrollment, year-round classes, and a customized digital literacy curriculum. In addition, we provide students supplementary opportunities such as job fairs, career planning, book club, and assistance with exploring options for higher education.