TANF Literacy Initiative

Tulsa TANF

Lisa adds her certificate to the bulletin board after earning 500 points by meeting her daily and weekly goals.—Ruth G Hardman Adult Literacy Service in Tulsa.

Almost 50 percent of adults on welfare do not have a high school diploma or GED. Welfare recipients with low education skills stay on welfare the longest; those with stronger educational skills become self-sufficient more quickly.
– National Institute for Literacy.


About the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Initiative

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ TANF Literacy Initiative was established in 1998. Through this unique collaboration between the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), library and community-based literacy programs offer basic literacy instruction to TANF clients.

Poteau Literacy Council

Instructor, Erica Hawkins offers assistance at the Literacy Council of LeFlore County in Poteau.

Local sites provide up to 30 hours of instruction each week in reading, math, writing, and life skills instruction. Clients are referred to local programs after initial assessments by DHS staff. Clients remain in the program until they are employed or reach a sixth grade proficiency level and are referred to other DHS education partners.

The TANF Literacy Initiative is supported by funds provided to ODL by DHS. Participating programs receive resources, support, and funding to assist them in providing expanded literacy services. Programs currently participating in this initiative are:


For more information, contact Literacy Programs on the Department Contact Form.

Pottawatomie County TANF

The instructor facilitates a group discussion on current events. —Pottawatomie County TANF Literacy program in Shawnee.

Delaware County - April TANF

April and Stephanie enjoyed reading The Way It Works as part of a statewide reading initiative.—Delaware County Literacy Program in Jay.

Oklahoma Industrialization Center

Members of the TANF class check out the library at Oklahoma Industrialization Center (OIC) in Oklahoma City.