top of page


See where Blue Ridge Literacy is in the community with recent press coverage, events, and announcements!


May 2022

BRL Board President Recognized

Congratulations to BRL Board President, Elvir Berbic, for receiving Virginia Western Community College's 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award!


February 2022

BRL Featured in Cardinal News

Thank you Michael Hemphill and Cardinal News for showcasing BRL in your recent story Learning How To Write Love Letters (Or Deal With The DMV).

Office of The New Americans Jan2021_edited_edited.jpg

January 2021

Office of the New Americans

Ahoo Salem, Executive Director, has been selected to serve on the Governor's Office of the New Americans Advisory Board 


June 2, 2019

Salem is New BRL Director

That's right! Blue Ridge Literacy has a new Executive Director. Ahoo Salem is originally from Iran and has been involved with BRL since 2016 as a volunteer teacher. Read more here!

Screen Shot 2019-02-15 at 3.53.29 PM.png

February 15, 2019

14th Scrabble Tourney

Growing Up in the Valley Magazine hosts BRL on morning show Living Local to talk about how we help adults learn English and our upcoming 14th Annual Scrabble Tournament


November 27, 2018

FFCU Awards $5,000 Grant

Blue Ridge Literacy receives Freedom First Credit Union's Community Investment Grant. These funds will go towards supporting BRL's citizenship program.


September 13, 2018

RPL and BRL Team Up 

Blue Ridge Literacy talks with Natalie Founce on Daytime Blue Ridge about upcoming Welcoming Week and Literacy Month events in partnership with the Roanoke Public Libraries.


July 5, 2018

BRL is a Safe Space for All

BRL spoke with Lezla Gooden of WSLS10 about the effect that ongoing immigration policy changes has had on BRL and some of our refugee and immigrant literacy learners.


March 22, 2018

Another Scrabble Success

BRL's 13th Annual Scrabble Tournament, presented by HomeTrust Bank, included over 35 teams and raised over $8,000 for literacy efforts in the Roanoke Valley.


March 2022

Remembering George Kegley

The staff, volunteers, and board of BRL offer our sympathies to George's children, Andy, Sissy, Robert, Richard, and their extended family.  George was BRL's longest board member and a true ambassador to the cause of literacy.


December 2021

BRL Receives Grant

We are honored to receive the Freedom First Community Investment Grant.  See the media coverage:  WDBJ7, WSLS-10, Roanoker Magazine, Opera News


June 2020

BRL Recipient of National Book Fund

Thanks to this generous donation, we have updated our resource library for ESOL and citizenship preparation classes and added new curricula to our programs.


May/June 2019

Immigrants in Roanoke 

The Roanoker's May/June 2019 edition features three stories on the influence that immigrants and refugees have in our region, featuring a BRL Board Member. Check out the stories here!


February 8, 2019

Fundraiser for Literacy!

Did you see JoAnne Poindexter's article in the Roanoke Times about BRL's 2019 Scrabble Tourney Fundraiser? New location, catered meal, and lots of fun--all for literacy!


November 20, 2018

Clothing Drive a Success

Thanks to the generosity of Northminster Presbyterian Church and community members, BRL distributed warm clothes to learners who needed them at the "BRL Boutique!"


September 5, 2018


BRL went on WFXR's morning show, Living Local, with community partner Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley to promote Literacy Month events throughout September.

Contemporary Boardroom

July 1, 2018

New Board Members

BRL brought on 7 new Directors, including Shelia Umberger, Alicha Grubb, Sissy Kegley, Evelyne Nzikobanyanka, Elvir Berbic, Kat Pascal, and Baraka Kasongo.


March 14, 2018

RVGives Day Exceeds Goal

You raised $2,795 for BRL during Roanoke Valley Gives Day 2018, an initiative of the Foundation for Roanoke Valley! Funds will be used to purchase new ESOL textbooks.


February 2022

BRL Featured in Cardinal News

During the month of February:  when you purchase this bracelet, BRL receives $10.00!  Thank you to our friends at Southwest Native for selecting BRL as their February Cause+Effect non-profit.

little library 1_June2021.jpg

June 2021

The Little Library

Our thanks to The Roanoke Times, The Roanoke Star News, and WSLS-10 for their coverage of our latest project!  The box is located outside of Center in the Square, where anyone may take a book or share a book.


April 2020

Freedom First Community Investment Grant

BRL is honored to be the recipient of a 2019 Community Investment Grant provided by Freedom First.  

Screen Shot 2019-03-08 at 12.29.50

March 8, 2019

Support Literacy Learners

We joined our friends from Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley to talk about our upcoming Scrabble fundraisers on Daytime Blue Ridge. Get in on the fun March 21 and April 4!


December 12, 2018

DBR Highlights Literacy

Executive Director, Stephanie Holladay, talks with Daytime Blue Ridge about the impact literacy services have on adults in the Roanoke Valley.

SBA Not for Profit_edited.jpg

November 1, 2018

Small Business of the Year

BRL was honored to receive the 2018 Small Business Award in the Not For Profit: Micro category from the Chamber of Commerce. This award is given annually in several categories.


August 8, 2018

Macy's Grants BRL $2,500

Macy's awards Blue Ridge Literacy $2,500 in support of their ESOL Classes that happen twice weekly for Pre-Beginning, Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced learners.

Rke City Sheriff 3.JPG

May 16, 2018

Community Partners Week

Another successful Community Partners Week included the Roanoke Sheriff's office teaching a Women's Self Defense class to our newcomer job readiness ESOL class.

bottom of page