As of January 1, our name, our logo, our look—in fact, our entire brand—has changed! To reflect our growth in programs and in geographical outreach beyond the Roanoke Valley, Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley has become BLUE RIDGE LITERACY.
According to Russ Merritt, Executive Director of the newly-named Blue Ridge Literacy (BRL for short), “This has always been an outstanding organization, doing very special work for a lot of people who need our services. Now, our new name and new image capture the exciting spirit of what we are all about, and should help us tell the literacy story better than we ever have before.”
Molly Bell, President of the Board of Directors for Blue Ridge Literacy, noted that “since early last year, our Board and staff have been considering how we can best communicate who we are and the extent of what we do. Then, in September 2011, we had the opportunity to work with close to a dozen of the best marketing and branding professionals in the area. They took our thoughts and ideas and created a whole new brand for us.”
Bell noted the strong foundation and continuity of the group over the past 26 years. “The well-trained and deeply committed volunteer tutors have always been critical to our operation,” she said. “We continue to rely on those volunteers to deliver much of our tutoring services, but we now also have an expanding number of group classes and literacy computer lab opportunities. As the community has changed, the needs of those seeking to learn to read and write have changed, and we’re changing to meet those new realities.”
Merritt said that today, around 70% of learners served by Blue Ridge Literacy are immigrants, and that those numbers are increasing every year, since Roanoke is a major immigration resettlement center. Blue Ridge Literacy serves close to 400 adult students every year, helping with basic literacy skills, citizenship, GED training, preparation for community college admissions, employment application, job training, and much more.
The new name and brand also reflect the organization’s new services in areas outside the Roanoke Valley. “We will soon be providing non-profit, low cost or no-cost literacy programming in several surrounding counties,” Merritt said. “As the literacy needs of the surrounding Blue Ridge region have come into focus, we have shaped what we do and how we do it, so that we can serve as many who need us as is possible.”
However, with all the changes, the core mission of the organization stays the same, Bell pointed out. “Our mission is to teach English literacy skills to adults and to raise literacy awareness, still in the Roanoke Valley, but now through the Blue Ridge region as well.”
For more information on Blue Ridge Literacy, its new brand, or its name change and new logo, or to find out how you can help bring literacy into the lives of others, contact Russ Merritt at 265-9339.