Board & Staff

Literacy Action Staff

Marci Bynum Robertson

Marci Bynum Robertson

Executive Director

Marci Bynum Robertson joined Literacy Action as Executive Director in November 2018 after working as a freelance grantwriter and museum consultant. She previously served as the Curator/Historian/Grantwriter for the Museum of Discovery and the Associate Director of Foundation Relations at the Arkansas Arts Center. Marci curated traveling, permanent, and temporary exhibits at the Museum of Discovery, and considers the “Get to the Basement” tornado exhibit her legacy after 15 years at the Museum. She also enjoyed developing and presenting educational programs such as “Wiggle Worm Tales.” An avid reader and informal education advocate, she is committed to helping provide literacy opportunities for the residents of central Arkansas.

Marci holds a B.A. in History and English from Arkansas State University and a Master’s Degree in Public History from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She lives in North Little Rock with her daughter and Thor, a rescue pup who is not nearly as large as his name suggests.

Laura Latch

Laura Latch

Program Director

Laura was born and raised in central Arkansas, and now lives in Conway. She began working as a volunteer ESL tutor with Literacy Action in 2018 when she led our St. Joe’s ESL class, and tutored individual students. She has a degree from the University of Central Arkansas in English & TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages).  

Laura divides her time as Program Director between the Little Rock and Conway offices, and can assist students and tutors in both areas. She is very passionate about helping students with their literacy needs.

In her free time, Laura loves spending time with her husband Adam, their daughter Allie, and the family dog, Pinky. 

Dana Venhaus

Dana Venhaus

Development Director

Dana grew up in Arkansas and attended public schools, graduating from Little Rock Central High School. She did her undergraduate and graduate work at UA Little Rock in Psychology and Public Administration, respectively. Dana has been involved with program development, special events planning and volunteer management throughout her career in both the public and private arenas.  She has held positions at UA-Little Rock, UAMS, and with the Arkansas Extended Learning Center (AELC), a private community enrichment and special events management company she founded in 1999.  She has a daughter, Tyler,  who lives in San Francisco, CA and four legged kids that live with her and husband Randy in Little Rock. Dana loves spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, boating, walks in the woods, and supporting local causes.
Sarah Standridge

Sarah Standridge

Program Coordinator for AmeriCorps and Classes

Sarah grew up in northwest Arkansas and received a B.A. degree in English from the University of Arkansas. After working in the corporate world, she began tutoring at the Ozark Literacy Council in Fayetteville and went on to work there as an English as a second language (ESL) teacher. Following her family’s move to Little Rock, Sarah spent years working and volunteering with children. She received her M.A. degree in teaching from the University of Central Arkansas, with special training in ESL, in 2013. Before joining Literacy Action, Sarah worked as an instructor in the Intensive English Language Program at UA Little Rock. In her free time, Sarah loves to read, hike, and spend time with her family.

Tonya McNair

Tonya McNair

Administrative Assistant

Tonya was raised in Arkansas and loves this state. After a Catholic education, she attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, graduating with a degree in Business Administration. She began working as a claims adjuster before being hired by Merrill Lynch as their first female securities broker in the southeast United States. She trained on Wall Street in New York City with the only two other women, plus 84 men from around the world. 

Tonya has always loved helping people. She worked for many years as a volunteer coordinator for the American Red Cross. Now, she enjoys assisting Literacy Action’s tutors and students, both citizens and immigrants, who are eager to learn or enhance their English language skills. Some true-life miracles happen at “Literacy” because of the awesome, skilled, and kind people and tutors with whom Tonya is honored to work.
Tonya has two grown sons and lives in the leafy village of Hillcrest in Little Rock, where she works as a professional abstract artist.

 

David Banks-Richardson

David Banks-Richardson

AmeriCorps Member - Arkansas Reads Tutor

David grew up just outside of Atlanta. He received his degree in Biology from the University of Colorado – Denver. In the past, he served as a volunteer educator with Catholic Charities of Denver – Samaritan House and at AIDS Partnership Michigan (now UNIFIED HIV Health and Beyond) focusing on health promotion. He has also worked as an instructor at Open World Learning, Front Range Community College, and Colorado Mountain College.  He likes to spend his free time reading, hiking, and cooking.

Kearra Cromwell

Kearra Cromwell

AmeriCorps Member - Arkansas Reads Tutor

Kearra Cromwell joined Literacy Action as an Americorps member in October 2019. Kearra grew up in Little Rock and is currently in school to receive her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  Kearra has had years of experience working with both children and adult learners and has a heart of service for her community. In her free time, Kearra loves to cook, spend time with her family, write leisurely, and binge-watch TV shows and movies.

Irma Jaime

Irma Jaime

AmeriCorps Member - Arkansas Reads Tutor

Irma has been an AmeriCorps member volunteering at Literacy Action for three years. She tutors both ESL and ABL students. She says it is amazing to see learners increase their literacy level, learn to read, or learn English.

Irma spent almost all of her life in San Diego, California. After she retired, she moved to Little Rock to be near her daughter. She loves the small city atmosphere and doesn’t miss the hustle and bustle of the big city.  

Sara Kenney

Sara Kenney

AmeriCorps Member - Arkansas Reads Tutor

Sara has been an Americorps Member at Literacy Action since January 2020. She tutors out of our Conway office and mainly tutors ESL students. She is currently attending UCA earning a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics with a minor in Chinese. She is also studying Japanese at UCA and plans to travel the world teaching the English language to non-English speakers. Sara has a passion for learning about languages and cultures and in her free time self teaches herself other languages like French and Korean, spends time with her kitten, Toby, or plays video games.

Board of Directors 2020-2021

David Monteith | President

Tish DePriest | Vice President

Sherry Owen | Secretary

Bill Foster | Treasurer

Zachary Riley

Caley Hawkins

Daveante Jones

April Phillips-Perry

Rose Merry Kirkpatrick

Elisabeth Owen

Mary Waldo – Past President