Mayor Raymond Flynn in 1988 with BALF supporters

Created in 1988 as the Boston Adult Literacy Fund (BALF) by a group of corporate and community leaders, including Mayor Raymond Flynn and Boston Globe publisher William O. Taylor, we became First Literacy on our 20th anniversary.

The name First Literacy expresses our broader geographical presence, our support of family literacy, and the greater sphere of our activities. We have deep community roots that allow us to improve family literacy and English skills, help adults obtain their high school credentials, and support graduates who want to attend college.

Since First Literacy was established, we have

  • helped 50,000+ adults improve their lives and their families’ futures by achieving their educational goals;
  • invested over $5,800,000 of private funds in literacy efforts;
  • given thousands of hours of free technical assistance to literacy programs; and
  • raised awareness about the pivotal role of literacy in our society.