Literacy Volunteers of Southern Connecticut (LVSCT) has named Suzanne Solensky of Stratford as its next Executive Director. The nonprofit provides free tutoring to adult English language learners in the greater Milford and Stratford communities.
Solensky is an educator, writer, and administrator with a long-standing commitment to mission-driven institutions. After working as a writer, researcher, and editor specializing in science and health, she made a career in higher education and most recently pivoted into consulting and volunteering with nonprofit organizations.
“In some ways being at Literacy Volunteers is like a homecoming,” said Solensky. “After being trained by LVSCT as an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor in the mid-1990s, I helped a woman from Afghanistan learn English as her children were learning it in school. Seeing the transformation in her life as she became more comfortable with her new country was deeply moving for me.”
Along with experience as a college instructor and academic advisor, Solensky has expertise in team leadership, strategic planning, and project management. She is also an accomplished public speaker who has presented at state, regional, and national conferences in higher education.
Rose Rodrigues, interim President of the Board of Directors, noted, “We are thrilled that Suzanne is here to lead Literacy Volunteers in its next chapter. Tami Jackson, our former director, made Literacy Volunteers a well-respected organization in Milford and extended its reach to neighboring communities. We are now eager for Suzanne to build on that foundation.”
For more than 25 years, Literacy Volunteers has promoted literacy for children and especially for immigrant adults, who seek to learn English to contribute to their new communities. Despite the limitations posed by the pandemic, volunteer tutors spent close to 3,000 hours in 2020 – much of it online – to help students achieve their goals. Last year alone, of the 88 students in tutoring, 15 improved their employability skills, 10 participated more in community activities, 10 became more involved in their children’s education, and three obtained U.S. citizenship – among other accomplishments.
More information about Literacy Volunteers of Southern Connecticut, as well as applications to become a tutor or to receive tutoring, can be found at lvsct.org.