In 1997, the Congregation of St. Joseph honored its 125 years of service to the Diocese of Cleveland by providing start-up funds to an organization that incorporated its ministry: Seeds of Literacy. Specializing in GED preparation, Seeds was designed to be a free and easily accessible adult literacy program offered to residents of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Seeds recruited volunteers to tutor students, and developed volunteer tutor-training sessions, materials and supplies. The one-to-one, individualized curriculum developed by Seeds helped build relationships of trust between tutors and students, and accommodated students at all levels of academic achievement.

In 2005, Seeds underwent significant organizational changes. In addition to receiving national accreditation from ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy organization in the world, we also became a separate 501(c)3 organization, changing the board of directors structure from an advisory to a governing board.

In 2014, Seeds expanded its reach to Cleveland’s east side by opening a Kinsman Avenue location. Attendance and new enrollments quickly grew as word of the program spread.

In 2018, the State of Ohio announced that HiSET and TASC would be offered as high school equivalency test options, in addition to the GED. Seeds was the first to implement curriculum for both of these offerings.

In March 2020, Seeds underwent an unplanned expansion. When COVID-19 closed on-site classrooms, the organization launched a Virtual Classroom — offering free tutoring services by telephone and video.

Today, Seeds serves an average of 1,000 active students annually with the help of approximately 250 volunteer tutors.

We offer open enrollment, year-round classes. We also provide students supplementary opportunities such as job fairs, career planning, and assistance with exploring options for higher education.