The year in review 2018-19

Dec 31, 2019Articles

A dynamic, forward-thinking organization committed to student success—that is the Literacy Pittsburgh you have created through your generosity. During the past year, we have expanded our reach, increased impact and developed plans to ensure our students are ready and relevant for high-demand positions.

Last summer, Literacy Pittsburgh received the largest Pennsylvania Department of Education grant for adult and family literacy services in Allegheny County and the only grant in Beaver County. This meant an expanded footprint into an additional county and a new partnership as the subcontract organization for Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s adult literacy program. 

Enrollment in our core programs of College and Career Readiness and English Language Learning grew by 51%. 

Thanks to your support, this enrollment growth was coupled with increased student gains:

  • The number of students attaining employment outcomes increased by 32%
  • 89 students attained their high school equivalency diploma (a 305% increase over the previous year)
  • 30 students entered postsecondary education (a 30% increase), and
  • 68% of students gained educational skills roughly equivalent to two years of K-12 schooling.

Our programs for children and families also had an exciting year. The Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program, which provides reading help to students in grades K-4, expanded from two to five school districts. We moved our Family Literacy program into a beautiful new space, which has led to growing enrollment and expanded programming.

Two of our newest area offices, Parkway West and Jefferson, have experienced incredible growth, due in part to partnerships with Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs and CCAC South as well as citizenship preparation classes.  We appreciate the leadership support of BNY Mellon and the Jefferson Regional Foundation for investing in these areas.

Behind the scenes, we reorganized our staff and promoted nine members to leadership roles to improve communication, staff coaching and strategic focus. We also welcomed nine new team members, including CEO Carey Harris. We elected a new board president, Kathy Sullivan of Clark Hill, and thanked President Emeritus Gary Singery for leading the organization through a period of tremendous growth and change.

Setting the stage for our future, we launched Ready & Relevant—a new vision for increasing our impact on the region. We are working to ensure that Literacy Pittsburgh prepares students to be ready and relevant for the region’s economic growth by tailoring our courses to student career goals and workforce needs, and by embedding college and career planning into our service delivery. We set a goal to raise $1 million to invest in these initiatives and have already secured half of this funding from local foundations, including a three-year investment from the Heinz Endowments.

We are proud of the progress we have made thanks to our wonderful donors, volunteers and partners, and we look forward to building upon this success in the coming year. 


Literacy Pittsburgh (formerly Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council) helps create better lives through learning. Recognized as a national leader in adult and family literacy, Literacy Pittsburgh is the largest provider of adult basic education in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Last year, Literacy Pittsburgh helped more than 4,000 individuals acquire the skills needed to reach their fullest potential in life and participate productively in their communities. Literacy Pittsburgh provides free, personalized instruction in workforce readiness, high school diploma test preparation, digital literacy, English language learning, math, reading, and family literacy through one-to-one and small class instruction. Founded in 1982, it serves local adults through numerous neighborhood locations and its Downtown Pittsburgh Learning Center.       

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