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COVID-19 Updates: DLC Programs Are Operating Remotely

Updated: Dec 4, 2020


Effective November 2020:

The Durham Literacy Center continues to operate all programs remotely due to the significant risk of COVID-19 coronavirus in our community. Our facility will remain closed to students and volunteers in the 2021 winter-spring term and all tutoring, teaching, and learning will continue remotely. This decision is based on high levels of COVID-19 cases in Durham County, CDC guidelines, and input from various stakeholders.

The following variables make us reluctant to provide face-to-face instruction during the pandemic:

  • Many DLC students and volunteers are in a high-risk category for COVID-19

  • In-person tutoring requires close interaction between students and tutors which makes social distancing unrealistic

  • The cost for sanitization, COVID-19 testing, and other related expenses would be burdensome for a small nonprofit like the DLC

  • Our facility lacks adequate air circulation and filtration to protect visitors from airborne diseases

We will continue to monitor the risk of COVID-19 in Durham and surrounding counties and follow Durham City and Durham County Stay-at-Home Order regulations. Due to the reasons listed above, it is unlikely that we will open for face-to-face instruction until a vaccine for COVID-19 is made widely available or other public health recommendations emerge.

It is our goal to continue providing high quality instruction remotely to as many students as possible during the pandemic. Given the circumstances of our student body, many of our students lack the resources and digital literacy skills necessary for an easy and effective transition to online learning. However, thanks to the generous support of Duke University, the United Way of the Greater Triangle, Made In Durham, Triangle eCycling, and individual donors, we have established a technology lending library of Chromebooks, refurbished laptops, and tablets (some with built-in wifi hotspots) so our students can continue learning and meeting their goals safely from home.

Through a partnership with Duke University and the NC Literacy Corps AmeriCorps program, we have an AmeriCorps member focused on digital literacy instruction and providing technology assistance to students, volunteers and staff. We also offer wifi in our parking lot and curbside assistance for students and volunteers at our main office Tuesday-Thursday.

Parking Lot Wifi & Help Hours:

  • Monday: CLOSED

  • Tuesday: 9am-12pm

  • Wednesday: 9am-12pm

  • Thursday: 9am-12pm

  • Friday: CLOSED

We are ever grateful to our volunteers, supporters, and partners for their help during this uncertain time. Most importantly, we are inspired by the resiliency and determination of our students, who persist working towards their goals while experiencing food, housing, and employment insecurity, working on the front lines, and taking care of their families during this pandemic. To learn more about how our programs are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our website or contact us at or 919-489-8383.


Effective August 2020:

The Durham Literacy Center's facilities remain closed to the public. All of our programs are offering remote learning opportunities for students to continue their studies.

Our Adult Literacy, Youth Achievement, and ESOL programs are all offering remote instruction for Fall 2020. To learn more about how to enroll in our remote programs as a student, click here.

At this time, we are not training new volunteer tutors. Rather, we are focusing our efforts on training existing volunteer tutors to deliver instruction remotely.

Our headquarters at 1905 Chapel Hill Road remain closed. Starting September 8th,

assistance and wifi will be available in the parking lot Monday-Friday for DLC students and volunteers.

Parking Lot Wifi & Help Hours:

  • Monday: 9am-12pm, 5-8pm

  • Tuesday: 9am-12pm, 5-8pm

  • Wednesday: 9am-12pm, 5-8pm

  • Thursday: 9am-12pm, 5-8pm

  • Friday: 9am-12pm

We are available by telephone and email if you have any questions. Please contact us at (919) 489-8383 or email us at if you have any questions. For additional contact information, visit

We hope that all members of our community are able to stay home, stay healthy, and take steps to prevent the spread of illness during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you at the DLC whenever we are able to safely reopen our facilities.


Lizzie Ellis-Furlong

Executive Director


Effective Thursday, May 7th:

The Durham Literacy Center will remain closed to the public until August. During that time:

  • We will monitor NC’s stay-at-home orders and phases for re-opening and periodically assess and adapt our plans to re-open.

  • Distance learning activities will continue.

  • It is possible that we may open for staff to work out of the office before we open for instruction.

Several compounding factors have led us to this decision. Many students and volunteers are at greater health risk for the coronavirus due to age, health, insurance status and more. Because of the close interaction between students and volunteers or staff makes face-to-face instruction especially risky. Furthermore, many students are essential workers, are uninsured or underinsured and are at greater risk to contract and spread the virus.

We are available by telephone and email during this closure. Please contact us at (919) 489-8383 or email us at if you have any questions. For additional contact information, visit

Please check our website at or Facebook page at for further updates.

We hope that all members of our community are able to stay home, stay healthy, and take steps to prevent the spread of illness during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you at the DLC when we reopen later this year!


Lizzie Ellis-Furlong

Executive Director


March 10, 2020

Preventing the Spread of Germs and Infectious Disease at the DLC

The Durham Literacy Center is committed to the health & safety of students, volunteers & staff.

To minimize the transmission of infectious diseases here at the DLC, we are keeping up to date on the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), following recommendations coming from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and taking proactive steps to minimize disease transmission.

The following are some specific steps that we are taking to prevent the spread of illness within our community.

We strongly encourage all students, volunteers and staff to do the following:

  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds

  • Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available

  • Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of used tissues carefully and promptly

  • If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces

  • Stay home when you are sick, and remain home until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms

  • Maintain healthy habits

***If you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and feel sick:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work, school or daycare.

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to the doctor’s office, emergency room or urgent care, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Note for Students:

  • Please let your staff member know if you are sick. Sickness is an excused absence and you can come back to the DLC when you feel better.

Note for Volunteers:

  • Please contact your program’s staff representative if you cannot volunteer due to sickness or another COVID-19 related issue.

  • Each program will email you with any specific details around managing student issues or illnesses.

The DLC commits to the following:

  • More thorough and frequent disinfection of facilities.

We are increasing our cleaning protocols with special emphasis placed on disinfection of door handles and other frequently touched areas, as suggested by the CDC.

  • Posters about germ prevention and proper hand washing instructions.

We are putting posters on preventing the spread of germs in every classroom and proper handwashing posters in bathrooms and the kitchen.

  • Business as usual with extra cleaning and awareness!

We are developing a response plan if the situation with the Coronavirus worsens in this area. All building closures are weighed seriously and with an awareness of and sensitivity to the most vulnerable among us. We will follow Durham Public Schools’ closure policy as a guideline.

Our staff can answer any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. Please call us at 919-489-8383 or email Thank you for your efforts to keep our community safe, and please be well.

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​Contact us:​


Phone: (919) 489-8383  




Location: 1905 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707


Mailing address:  PO Box 52209, Durham, NC 27717


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The Durham Literacy Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 56-1479534.