Created in 1989, Winnebago Area Literacy Council began as a non-profit organization dedicated to improving literacy among residents of the Winnebago area under the name “Winnebago County Literacy Council.”  We have now expanded to assist refugees with learning the English language, providing education and assistance for obtaining employment through vocational literacy training, and conducting one-on-one tutoring sessions to help improve literacy, all free of charge.

Before the Winnebago Area Literacy Council was founded, the Altrusa Club of Oshkosh (created in 1949) and its Labach Literacy Committees were already conducting classes to train tutors and match them with respective students, providing tutoring sessions to help improve literacy in the Winnebago area. Deciding that there needed to be a dedicated organization to the cause, the Altrusa Club of Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Area Public Library conducted a meeting on April 10th, 1989, where the Winnebago County Literacy Council was officially created. In the birth of the non-profit, Advocap and the Fox Valley Technical College graciously assisted with providing a volunteer who helped with the WALC community efforts, and a part-time coordinator assigned to the non-profit organization. A committee board was also created in 1989 to help the organization, with Joe Halter as the first nominated president.

In 2018, the organization renamed itself to the Winnebago Area Literacy Council, to prevent confusion regarding its association with Winnebago County. In 2024 the agency expanded to two locations, opening the WALC Learning Center at 111 N. Main Street, Suite 202, Oshkosh WI to allow more space for classrooms, tutoring, and employees. Winnebago Area Literacy Council takes pride in our ability to transform as necessary to meet the needs of our diverse community.