In 1990, under the leadership of Governor Zell Miller, the state launched the Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP) as a means of combating the problems of low literacy. The new program was placed in the Office of Adult Education at the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).
CLCP takes a local, grass-roots approach to making literacy improvement a community-wide commitment. Each one is a nonprofit collaborative that raises the visibility of literacy and provides support to local literacy providers and individuals in need of services. A network is formed to coordinate business, church, volunteer, social service, local government and schools, media and other efforts locally, to reach, influence and support those who want to improve their education.
This flexible, community-based approach gives each CLCP a unique organization and set of connections. All are governed by volunteer boards that work to fund and promote literacy efforts. An executive director manages the day to day operations and directs activities designed to meet the goals of the CLCP. Funding sources vary and include individual donations, annual giving campaigns, fund-raisers (such as spelling bees and charity auctions), grants, corporate contributions as well as in-kind resources.
To qualify as a participant in the program, a community must set the goal of reducing its functional illiteracy rate by 50 percent within 10 years. Road signs accompany Participant certification. When a CLCP reaches its stated goal, it may apply for the second level of certification as a Certified Literate Community.