Welcome to the Community Literacy Center

Where communities of writers listen, write, and SpeakOut! to make every story count

I love creative writing and never have a chance to do it as a Bachelor of Science major. I always appreciate when writers share experiences and background from their personal lives that infuence their writing.

Student intern, Natural Resources

This learning process is not one-sided. I am encouraging the writers to explore various parts of themselves, and they are teaching me so much in the process. They put my in-class studies to practical use, and give me new, clearer lenses through which to see the world, our languages, and ourselves.

Student volunteer, English

We all have a story and everyone's scars are different. We sometimes don't have anyone to listen to our stories or writing, so it's nice to be heard and have programs like this for people who are incarcerated, so that we can voice our story, and others can listen.

Writer, Larimer County Jail (Men)

I love those moments when the room is completely silent, aside from the scratch of lead on paper. Silence enough to think clearly in here is uncommonly precious.

Writer, Larimer County Work Release

How we help

Studies show that literacy activities for confined populations help to address the hopelessness and powerlessness that may follow a person from before confinement, into their time inside, and after return to their community. Through writing, readings, and discussion, SpeakOut! facilitators write, listen, and grow with hundreds of confined writers each year, encouraging individual growth and civic engagement.

More about workshops

Some numbers

We made it through COVID with remote workshops and reduced numbers. We are hopeful that it won't be long until we are back at our pre-COVID numbers of:

12 workshops annually

20 student and community volunteers

Up to 250 writers each year

400 published pages of writing and art

Meet our site partners

What we need

We rely on donors and community partners to support and fund our work. We welcome those who share a commitment to creating space for the writing and circulating of stories that enrich our collective undrstanding of justice, joy, and change in the world.


CLC Featured Work

2023/2024 SpeakOut! journal arrives!

By Mary Ellen Sanger | May 16, 2024

Get yours by writing clc@colostate.edu. Features writing from Aspen Ridge Recovery, Community Corrections and Work Release, and Harvest Farms PLUS our newest creative satellite group and Larimer County Probation!  

Story Exchange Wall

By Mary Ellen Sanger | April 26, 2024

Pop-up Story Exchange Wall at the FoCo Cafe sponsored by Braden, one of interns in the Community Literacy Center. Scroll through photos to see a close up!

Spring 2024 Newsletter

By Mary Ellen Sanger | April 26, 2024

CLC in the community — Pop-ups around town — Spring Professional Development — Intern Insights (What Makes a Writer; Harmony in Words; Writing Across Difference) — Writing from Community Corrections — Opportunities to Volunteer/Intern See full online newsletter by clicking here.

Fall/Winter 2023 Newsletter

By Mary Ellen Sanger | April 26, 2024

SpeakOut! by numbers, Fall 2023 — Insight from Interns (Reimagining Masculinity; Weaving Together the Words of Women; Creating a Space Where Writing Can Be Valuable) — Book Recommendation See full online newsletter by clicking here.

Fall 2023 Newsletter

By Mary Ellen Sanger | April 26, 2024

Welcoming new interns — Fort Collins Water Stories at 1883 Waterworks — Conference on Community Writing See online newsletter by clicking here!