LSW Guiding Principles

 LSW's New Guiding Principles

Literacy Services has done much internal reflection on who we are and who we want to be as an organization. We spent time listening and learning in response to the feedback we received from the entire LSW community. As an educational organization, we know that learning cannot happen in a vacuum and that is why we aimed for a transparent and inclusive process throughout. While we know that we still have a lot more work to do, we are excited to have this opportunity to share our refreshed and revised guiding principles with you. These four principles reflect our agency-wide priorities and provide a consistent language for our teams and programs to use.

Student First

We believe that every decision should start with student success in mind. We foster student empowerment in the educational process and commit to recognizing students as individuals while prioritizing their distinct needs, interests, and goals over all other factors.


  • Having mission impact and student needs front and center of everything we do
  • Helping students to the best of our/your ability
  • Focusing on activities that add value to our students
  • Ensuring mutual clarity and alignment when discussing goals with LSW students, colleagues, partners, volunteers, and tutors
Student First

Purposeful Connection

We commit to deliberate collaboration and thoughtful connection with partners, donors, colleagues, volunteers, and students. Through common purpose and partnership, we seek to honor our mission, expand access to resources, and amplify our community impact.


  • Intentionally partnering for a purpose bigger than oneself
  • Collaborating with other organizations to increase mission impact
  • Being aware of others’ strengths and weaknesses to effectively work toward a common goal


Honor Diversity & Foster Inclusion

We believe in excellence! True excellence requires that every individual be able to work and learn in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, and acceptance.We commit to creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and appreciated.This includes embracing and demonstrating distinct value for diverse identities, cultural perspectives, and differences in all people.


  • Intentionally involving and providing equal voice to all
  • Proactively seeking ways to help reduce inequity within LSW and our community
  • Seeking the input of those that may think differently or have a different background than yourself
Courageous Thinking

Courageous Thinking

We think courageously in order to create an environment of openness, progress, and growth in every aspect of our work. We encourage the drive to express ideas, perspectives, and solutions without being limited by conventions, complacency, or fear.


  • Ensuring that work is relevant and consistently evolving for the betterment of our students
  • Encourage and contribute ideas/resources to achieve a desired result
  • Creating a safe space for “No Bad Answers”
  • Looking beyond the norm to consider more effective and innovative solutions