There is a literacy crisis in Philadelphia. With over half the adult population—an estimated 550,000 individuals—considered low literate, meaning they would struggle to fill out a form such as a job or college application or follow written instructions and over 200,000 adults without a high school diploma, our city is demonstrably in need of literacy programs and services. It is the mission of the Center for Literacy (CFL) to do just that—to unleash the power of literacy to improve lives, therefore transforming families, and promoting economic development. Low literacy affects our local economy in lost wage taxes, decreased earning potential and weak purchasing power, and leaves our community prone to high unemployment and crime rates and substantial reliance on public assistance programs. The more learners who achieve their literacy goals, the more self-sufficient they become, which translates into direct community and economic development benefits for the city. In order to meet the diverse literacy needs of our adult learners, the Center for Literacy has created a number of specialized programs, including a wide range of community classes and volunteer tutoring. CFL conducts community classes at over 35 locations in Philadelphia at schools, public libraries and community sites. Classes range from multi-level adult basic education to GED exam preparation, to English as a second language instruction.
CFL community classes are designed to accommodate adult schedules and are offered in morning, afternoon and evening sessions. They are generally open entry/open exit, and are offered on a year-round basis. The curricula and materials are individually tailored to help learners meet both their long and short-term goals. Learners interested in enrolling in community classes are asked to attend an orientation. Orientations are conducted in various convenient locations throughout the area.
CFL also offers programs for young adults, ages 16-21. More programs for young adults are currently in development.
We invite you to take a few moments and explore our individual programs in greater detail.