The Literacy Imperative®

The Literacy Imperative®


201 Harriet Tubman St.

Knoxville, TN 37915


Center of Literacy & Enterprise™

A Center of Literacy in Every Community

According to the Humboldt Literacy project and others, 40 million Americans older than 16 have significant literacy needs. Forty three percent of those with the lowest literacy rates live in poverty (underserved communities).

The Center of Literacy & Enterprise™ (CLE) is a social cause/social enterprise network concept developed to address the lack of books and other tools of literacy in underserved communities across the nation. The lack of access to tools of literacy in these communities is a national problem and contributes to low literacy.

MBA Program Recommends Nationwide Expansion of CLE

CLE-Knoxville is the prototype for this nationwide network (see Interactive Floor Plan). It is a 12,000 square foot, indoor, mall-type warehouse facility. Officially opened on November 13, 2003, the facility features a book resource center and bookstore; reading/listening/meeting spaces; a stage; exhibit space; and office/storefronts. It was recommended for nationwide expansion in a study by the University of Tennessee College of Business MBA program. CLE-Knoxville featured in Harvard Divinity School 2007 SLI Newsletter.

Center of Literacy

Under a recent agreement with a non-profit consulting corporation, the prototype will feature a Starbucks sponsored café/coffee shop which provides job-training and leadership development programs for at-risk youth. Agreement for a corporate sponsored bookstore under discussion.

“By opening a CLE, partners can provide value to underserved communities by putting books in the homes in their communities and by providing centers that promote learning and literacy.”
-University of Tennessee MBA Study

sponsor a Center of LiteracySponsor a Center of Literacy & Enterprise™ (CLE) in an underserved community

The Literacy Imperative® Design/Build Group:
Bullock Smith Partners Merit Construction Smartec, LLC

The Literacy Imperative®, Inc. is a national faith-based nonprofit 501 (c) 3 tax exempt literacy and social enterprise organization. The Center of Literacy & Enterprise™ and Family Library™ are trademarks of The Literacy Imperative®, Inc. The Literacy Imperative® is an Outreach Ministry of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Literacy Imperative®

201 Harriet Tubman St.

Knoxville, TN 37915


Get Social

865.673.8988 Local

© 2013 The Literacy Imperative®. All Rights Reserved.

Web Design Knoxville TN