About Literacy United
Who We Are
Literacy United was created as a 501c3 entity in December of 2011, due to an ever-growing need for high quality educational support services offered through an entity outside of the public school system. Based on a shared understanding that Fort Worth area public schools have become increasingly burdened due to current economic pressures, teacher lay-offs, increasing class size, and incredibly high levels of teacher turn-over due to unmanageable working conditions, the Literacy United Board of Directors (Kary Johnson, President and Private Services representative; Sheryle Kuehl, Vice-President Public Education representative and Ana Cervera, Secretary and Community Representative) came together to form a much-needed new nonprofit entity. Thus, our desire as a board is to grow an entity that will provide much needed services that so often are not provided by schools.
Who We Serve
The mission of Literacy United is to serve economically disadvantaged children and adults with complex and significant reading needs to improve literacy thereby increasing self-sufficiency and access to work opportunities, yielding enhanced economic outcomes for individuals, their caregivers, and the north Texas community.
Statement of Faith:
Reading skills are required not only to be successful academically and professionally but also to actively understand God’s truth and follow His revelation through the Bible. We know that the best way to “live” God’s word is to be “in” God’s word.
Literacy United strives to equip economically disadvantaged children in the Fort Worth area not only with the reading tools for success in school, but also with their thinking abilities - each needed for later life successes as leaders in their communities and as Christian stewards of God’s will in an increasingly secular world.
Literacy United’s discipleship is to educate children, who have greatness needs with the least means. "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime." The unwavering belief of the Literacy United board of directors is we are teaching the foundation to learning….how to read correctly. These children without the correct reading skills can create a difficult predicament for them, their families and eventually society as a whole. Learning without having a strong moral grounding can lead children down dangerous paths.
Our Board of Directors
Dr. Kary A. Johnson
Kary A. Johnson is the founder and president of the board of Literacy United. She is also director of The Reading Connection that she opened for business in 2003. She manages a staff of 43 employees and supervises services at five locations in Tarrant County.
Dr. Johnson has an extensive background in education; she received her Doctorate in Education in 2013 from Texas Wesleyan University. She also has a Master’s in education from Texas Wesleyan and a Bachelor of Arts in political science, international relations, and Spanish from Texas Christian University. She has published numerous papers in on various topics in the field of education including educational testing, children with ADHD, dyslexia, and special considerations for boys and literacy.
Dr. Carlos A. Martinez
Carlos Martinez has been on the board of Literacy United since 2014. Currently, Dr. Martinez is the Dean of the School of Education and Director of the ESL/Bilingual programs at Texas Wesleyan University.
Dr. Martinez holds a Doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Bilingual Education from Texas A&M University, a Master’s degree in education (secondary and ESL) from Stephen F. Austin State University and Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies and Linguistics from the University of Puerto Rico.
Dr. Martinez’s many degrees, combined with his passion for service, indicate his love of education and desire to have an impact on underprivileged youth. He has been involved in many organizations in the Fort Worth area including Sister Cities, Leadership Fort Worth, Kids Impact Council of the United Way and the Racial Justice Advisory Committee of the YWCA.
Dr. Celia M. Scott
Celia Scott has been an external program evaluator and Literacy United board member since 2013. She is an associate professor of education at Tarleton State University in Fort Worth where she teaches courses in research methods and statistics. Prior to joining the faculty at Tarleton, Dr. Scott served as the Doctor of Education Program director and associate professor of education at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Dr. Scott earned her Ph.D. in educational research from the University of North Texas in Denton and her master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Her research interests include the impact of score reliability on general linear model statistics and construct validity issues in instrument development.
Patty Sparks was selected as a board member of Literacy United in 2019. After graduating from Sam Houston State University, she worked as a probation officer and later became a certified schoolteacher. Patty served 3 years on a private school board; she was elected to serve on a public-school board. She has also served as President of the Lions Club. She is currently a member of the Monticello Book Club, the Women's Club of Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Camera Club, which named her the 2017 Photographer of the Year. Patty is married with two children and three grandchildren.
Anastasia “Stas” Taylor
Anastasia Taylor is Executive Director/Founder & Licensed Clinical Social Worker – Supervisor of Alliance Child & Family Solutions. Anastasia is bilingual in Spanish/English and passionate about providing services to meet clients where they are in their journey. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker – Supervisor (LCSW-S) meaning she has been involved in the Social Work field more than 5 years and completed additional training to supervise Licensed Master Social Workers during their two-year clinical supervision process. Anastasia is extensively trained in a variety of therapeutic models including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Anastasia works with ages 3 - 103 and specializes in working with foster care and adoption, blended families, life transitions in late adulthood, social emotional learning, and trauma for individuals of all ages. Stas joined the Literacy United Board in 2020.
Joanne Campbell resides in west Fort Worth where she and her husband, David raised three children, Zachary, Kennedy, and Alyssa. Education is her second career, joining the field after being an accountant and then a stay-at-home-mom. Joanne quickly saw the need of literacy intervention at the school where she worked and pursued a Master’s degree in Literacy. Her work led her to The Reading Connection as well as a reading specialist in a local public school. She has since pursued educational leadership and now serves as the Assistant Principal at The Academy at Nola Dunn in Burleson, Texas.
Dr. Theresa Kauffman
Dr. Kauffman is the founder and CEO/Superintendent of Kauffman Leadership Academy, a small private school in Cleburne, Texas. She opened the school to students in 2011 and continues to offer home school support programs as well as community use of the building in the evenings and on weekends.
Dr. Kauffman earned her doctorate in Administrative Leadership in 2013 from Walden University, her master's degree in the art of teaching from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, and her Bachelor's degree in elementary education from Oregon College of Education. She is a national facilitator for All Kinds of Minds and the Courage to Teach programs. She has presented locally, statewide, and nationally on civics education, literacy and differentiation. She has published articles and book chapters on various topics related to teaching and learning. Her work in the classroom has focused on accommodating different learners.
Jane Cooper is currently an adjunct instructor in the School of Education at Texas Wesleyan University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Texas Lutheran University, her educational methodology course work from Texas Wesleyan University, and her Masters of Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University. In addition to over thirty years' experience in public, private, and university classrooms, she has served as a reading and curriculum specialist at a private reading clinic, conducted staff development for various local private schools, and has been an assistant adjunct professor in the College of Education at the University of Texas in Arlington for several years. She holds Texas certifications in Pre-K - 6, ESL, and Gifted/Talented. Mrs. Cooper was named as one of Fort Worth's Top Teachers by Fort Worth Magazine in 2012.
I was born and raised in South Dakota, have lived in Texas since 1972 and Ft. Worth for 42 years. I have four children and five grandchildren, and I attend South Hills Christian Church. I am a member of the Ft. Worth Woman’s Club, serve on the Reporting Board, as well as maintain membership and offices in four of the clubs.
Jon Eric (Rick) Moore
Jon served as a director in the nonprofit world for over 28 years serving youth in neighborhoods of need. During that time he raised generations of youth leaders, successful teams of staff and important community partnerships. In the Fall of 2021 Jon left to seek out other lifelong passions. In a semi-retired state, he is spending more time with family while working on new ventures in online sales, green initiatives through recycling, small business leadership, board membership and in ministry. Jon is a graduate of Midwestern State University with his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree.
Martha Letbetter joined the Literacy United Board in 2022. She graduated in 1987 with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She is a retired Lockheed Martin Engineer and a long time Forth Worth resident. Martha brought her 2nd grade daughter, an undiagnosed dyslexic, to the Reading Connection in 2010 due to difficulties in learning to read. As a parent, she greatly appreciated her daughter’s tutor and the support they both received from the Reading Connection and the Reading Connection’s intentional process of teaching a child to read, to spell, and to write. In 2016, her daughter left the Reading Connection as a rising 8th grader reading above grade level for the first time, able to spell, and able to write. Martha is grateful to the Reading Connection and very supportive of the efforts of Literacy United in their efforts to help other children like her daughter get the help they need in learning to read as early as possible.
Dr. Cheryl McDonald