Free ESL Classes for South Orange County, CA

About the Literacy Council


Contact Us

Major Donors



Board of Directors




Our Mission

We are an all-volunteer educational and charitable non-profit organization serving south Orange County, California. Our principal mission is to assist adults to:

  • acquire the English language skills they need for daily living;
  • take advantage of employment opportunities; and
  • integrate fully into society.

Contact Us

Contact the South Coast Literacy Council by:


Donations are extremely important for subsidizing purchases of English language workbooks, ESL newspapers, and other reading materials for those of our over 800 students who can’t afford them. Although we have no paid staff and all our tutors are volunteers, we do have administrative costs that need to be covered. Students pay no registration or tuition fees.

We're a non-profit tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our Tax I.D. number is 95-3446927, and all contributions are 100% tax-deductible.

Membership fees of $10 per year cover some of our costs. Donations cover a larger portion of our costs, and the majority of donations come from individual donors.

If you are reading this, please help! $10 will be a great benefit. A little more is even better!

To mail donations, please make checks payable to “South Coast Literacy Council” and send to P.O. Box 295, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0295.

We are very grateful for our major donors (click
here), who provide financial support for the work of South Coast Literacy Council and provide sites for our tutoring centers.


Click to download our quarterly newsletter.

Board of Directors

Board meetings are held from 10:00 am to noon on the third Saturday of January, March, May, July, September, and November in the El Toro Library, 24672 Raymond Way, Lake Forest.

Executive Officers
Harriet Kelly (
Vice President-Administration:
Barbara Looney (
Vice President-ESL/Tutor Training:
Joan Nadeau ( )
Recording Secretary:
Lesley Bindloss ( )
Corresponding Secretary:
Sandra Malone (
Treasurer: Aparna Venkateswaran (


Administrative Officers
Karen Dvorman (
Barbara Amato (
Public Relations:
Barbara Amato (
Vicki Sommer ( )
Fund Development: (open)  


Past President
Barbara Looney (


Members-at-Large (2-5)
Carolyn Williams Micky Hoegh
Peggy McAllister Beata Wilson


Center Directors Representative
Tony Maganini (


Standing Committee Chairmen
Tutor Training:
Joan Nadeau (
Materials (Books/Newspapers):
Linda Ito (
Center Records:
Pat McLaughlin ( )
Judy Aleta (
Membership: (open) Database Maintenance/Directory:
Jan Lindbloom (
Graphics: Carol Wilmington (  


Other Functions
Webmaster: Jack Landau (


Center Directors
Barbara Amato Peter Knapp Mario Soria
Barbara Looney John Gleason Connie O'Leary
Harriet Kelly Lynn Osth Sandra Williams
Linda Ito Peggy McAllister Jeanne Williams
Perry Hamilton Jack Landau Virginia Boureston
Carol Penn/Jan Miles Pat Heilig Jim Gustafson
Paul Walker Vicki Sommer Joe Weatherstone
Diane Meadow Teri Kelsall Margie Buster


The South Coast Literacy Council began in 1970 when the first tutor training was held and the first tutoring center was established at St. Edwards Church in Capistrano Beach. In 1978 we incorporated as an educational and charitable non-profit educational corporation operating under the guidelines of Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

The Council received materials and guidelines for training from Laubach Literacy Action in Syracuse, New York until August 2002, when they merged with Literacy Volunteers of America to form ProLiteracy. We then became an affiliate of ProLiteracy. California Literacy, Inc. in Pasadena advised and aided us with funding possibilities and further education until that organization disbanded in 2007. South Coast Literacy Council now relies on donations and small grants plus the services of its volunteers, which enable us to continue providing classes in our local communities.

In 2018 we are celebrating 48 years of service. Now we have classes at 24 tutoring sites, with over 1000 students and more than 200 active volunteers. Every year we hold workshops for tutor education and motivation, and we present service awards at an annual tutor recognition event every spring.


  • We are a member of ProLiteracy, a nonprofit international literacy organization based in Syracuse, NY.
  • We are a recognized nonprofit organization in the Nonprofit Central database of ConnectOC, an initiative of the Orange County Community Foundation.
  • OneOC in Santa Ana, CA helps us track our volunteers. They encourage people to become personally involved in making our community a good and welcoming place to live, work, and raise families.
  • VolunteerMatch is a national organization that helps us recruit volunteers to teach English. Their popular service welcomes millions of visitors a year and has become the preferred Internet recruiting tool for morethan 75,000 nonprofit organizations.



Website, photography, and online tutor training by Jack Landau