Our History

Columbus Literate Community Program, Inc. (doing business as Literacy Alliance) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to increase literacy levels in the Chattahoochee Valley. Literacy Alliance has played an integral part in improving literacy since its inception in 1990. Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP) is a state-wide initiative created in 1990 at the request of then Governor Zell Miller, to make literacy a community-wide effort to reach adults needing literacy instruction. Thanks to the diligent work of many community members and Literacy Alliance volunteers, Columbus was the first community to meet the state’s criteria to be certified as a “Literate Community”. The fall of 2021, Literacy Alliance was recertified by the Technical College System of Georgia under the direction of Brandy Tolbert.

For years Literacy Alliance’s outreach efforts focused on adult literacy and early literacy. The Adult Literacy program is designed to assist under-educated adults to become self-sufficient, primarily through improving reading and math skills. We connect participants to community resources to alleviate barriers hindering them to excel in the program and to develop and achieve their personal goals. Our early literacy programs include Kindergarten Readiness, Let’s Read Muscogee, and community outreach efforts to build vocabulary awareness and grade level reading. In recent years, we have developed ways to incorporate family literacy. This began with the expansion of the Kindergarten Readiness program; to offer the parents of participates childhood development information, workshops, and as well as literacy support for them. In 2022, we launched the Community Book Nook program to increase access to quality materials. We are also offering family workshops throughout the year.

The mission of Literacy Alliance is to address the literacy gaps in the Chattahoochee Valley. Literacy Alliance provides access to an array of services that address adult, family, and early literacy.

Board of Directors 2024-2025

Our board of directors includes ten community members. The application for new members will open in Spring of 2025.

Lanita Lucas

Past Chair

Lanita currently serves as the Development Program Administrator as well as lead administrator for the Educational Scholarship Programs at Aflac.

Wanda Etienne

Board Member

Wanda is employed at Troy University and serves in several capacities. Her favorite role is the PASS Coordinator. She speaks to people from all over the country about fulfilling their desires with an Associate’s Degree in General Education.

Towanda McCray

Board Member

Nekia Roberts

Board Member

As the English Language Arts Content Specialist for Kindergarten- 5th grade here in Muscogee County School District I have an opportunity to collaborate and support our schools in resource allocation, training, building local community partnerships, and working alongside teachers in curriculum, instruction, and classroom literacy practices.

Eric Holt

Board Chair

Carla Godwin


Carla is the Moving to Work & Resident Services Administrator for the Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia.

Gwenetta Sullivan – Echols, MSW


Mrs. Sullivan Echols is a School Social Worker serving multiple schools within the Muscogee County School District.

Sherri Masterson

Board Member

Sherri is the Adult Education Program Director at Columbus Technical College.

Breana Jones

Board Member

Breana is the Assistant Director of Client Experience and Business Development for the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University.

Kimberly E. McRae, MSW

Board Member

Samantha Gurski

Board Co-Chair

Sam is the director of Continuing and Professional Education at Columbus State University. She identifies leads and ideas for new classes and certificate programs; conducts research and performs needs assessments/environmental scanning.


Our staff oversee the daily operations of Literacy Alliance and fulfill the programs and services to assist adults, children, and families to gain the skills they need to have literacy success.

Brandy Tolbert

Executive Director

Brandy began with the organization as a volunteer Reading Buddy at Brewer Elementary in 2011. Since then she has volunteered with other organizations support youth in Columbus. She was promoted to Executive Director of Literacy Alliance July of 2023.

Suzanne Taylor

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Suzanne also began as a volunteer with Literacy Alliance. She mentored a small group of adult learners before becoming the Administrative Assistant in 2015.

David Boyce

Adult Literacy Instructor

Mr. Boyce is a retired military veteran with over 27 years of service. He is also the author of a book entitled The Tutor. This book reflects his experience of teaching non-readers to read, write, and improve their life skills since 1986.

Contact Us

Are you looking to get involved with one of our programs or have some questions pertaining to education for someone you love?

Contact us by phone at ‪(706) 223-0650‬ or email (info@theliteracyalliance.org) to receive answers to your questions or schedule a consultation. We would love to hear from you and assist where possible!

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