Literacy educates and elevates.

When you educate kids, you elevate adults.

MY STORY

Mark Conlee, Director

“He would sit next to me at every team meal and never failed to order the exact same food.”

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, I am the oldest child of two wonderful parents, Chris and Karin, and the brother to an outstanding sister, Annika. I am currently a junior at the University of Alabama double majoring in Finance and Accounting.

You may wonder how a finance and accounting major from Memphis ends up with a heart for childhood literacy in Tuscaloosa. Fair question.

Several experiences have developed my passion for childhood literacy. Growing up, football and basketball were my main diet. I was the kid that wanted to play full contact football at age 6 and then added AAU basketball for the majority of my childhood. In retrospect, it would be experiences with my teammates that would shape my life far more than any game I played. Over a decade later, one teammate still impacts how I see the world. He would sit next to me at every team meal and never failed to order the exact same food. I always found this perplexing. One day I finally asked him why, only to learn he ordered the same meal because he struggled to read the menu. As a middle school student, I was stunned. This really opened my eyes to the level of support and quality education I had received as well as the literacy crisis that is crippling those without the basic skills I had taken for granted.

From kindergarten to 3rd grade, children learn to read. From 3rd grade on, we read to learn. One’s future truly does hinge on the ability to read. Literacy is an invaluable life skill that we must ensure is properly taught. It is so indicative of long term success that state governments use 3rd-grade literacy tests to forecast the size of future correctional facilities. The goal of Literacy2Work is to come alongside the educational system to assist with improving childhood literacy in those critical formative years between kindergarten and third grade. We want to provide hands-on tutoring as well as literacy resources children can use to prepare for life. 

If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a meal. If you teach a man how to fish, he will eat forever.

WHO WE ARE

Leadership doesn’t work when it’s about us; it works when it’s about others.

Most people view leadership as a reward instead of a responsibility. Not us, it is our privilege and responsibility to define success by:

Loving Instead of Being Loved

Serving Instead of Being Served

Blessing Instead of Being Blessed

OUR APPROACH

We educate and elevate by doing three things:

  • We serve by providing literacy tutoring.
  • We raise awareness and dollars with our Literacy2Work events.
  • We partner with the University of Alabama and Coaching for Literacy for students to give back to students.

Our Vision

When literacy works, people work.

Our Mission

We equip people in literacy, employ people for life, and empower people in leadership.

Our Values

Equip People in Literacy. 
Employ People for Life.

PARTNER WITH US

Explore ways to truly invest in others through Literacy2Work.