Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council

Rating: 4.88 stars   96 reviews

Issues:

Location: 411 Seventh Ave., Ste. 550 Pittsburgh PA 15219 USA

Mission: The mission of Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council is to ensure that adults and families acquire reading, writing, math, English language, workforce skills and computer skills so they may reach their fullest potential in life and participate productively in their community. 
Direct beneficiaries per year: GPLC provided services to approximately 4,600 students in 2012.
Geographic areas served: Allegheny County
Programs:    More than 135,000 adults in our area lack the reading, writing or math skills needed to read a utility bill, complete a job application, read a note from a child’s teacher or understand the instructions on a prescription bottle.   Through GPLC’s Adult Basic Education programs, men and women receive free instruction in reading, writing, math, GED preparation, health literacy, computers and workforce skills.  Some students work one-on-one with volunteer tutors and others are enrolled in classroom instruction.   They come to gain the skills they need to move off welfare, obtain jobs that allow them to support their families, make more informed health decisions, encourage their own children in school, and vote for the first time among many other accomplishments. 
Write a Review

See How $25 Can Help

More Info

EIN 25-1392652
412-393-7600
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

GPLC has linked me with many great mentees to work with. I have helped students learn English to excel at their day jobs and future goals. I totally support GPLC in growing to be an even stronger organization, with my support.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing my students succeed.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More classroom space

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a tutor for GPLC for 2 years, teaching English as a second language to small groups of foreign professionals. This volunteer job is extremely rewarding because of the language skills I can teach my students, the cultural experiences we share as a group, the field trips we take, and the friendships that develop. The GPLC administration is supportive by giving the materials I ask for and by facilitating useful workshops both for tutors and for students.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the my own professional workplace, where GPLC offered an ESL training course to interested teachers so we would be better equipped to meet the learning needs of our international students. I was so impressed by the training session that I decided to become a GPLC volunteer in the greater Pittsburgh community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide more meeting spaces for tutoring sessions in Oakland.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I feel like the volunteer work I do for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council is valued and supported. The tutor training provides a thorough and sound foundation which is flexible enough for me to create my own learning tools for my students' specific needs. A variety of learning activities are provided for GPLC students and tutors outside of class, and the achievement of goals is celebrated appropriately. I enjoy tutoring and helping my students realize their life objectives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the ways in which one of my students placed at a much higher level after we'd been working together for 6-9 months.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage others to be tutors.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When I retired from many years of public school teaching in 2004, I started to volunteer in the ESL program for the GPLC. It has been a very rewarding experience because I was able to use the training provided to help 1 Palestinian and 5 Chinese immigrants learn to make their way in their new life. Two students have become citizens, and three more are preparing to do that. Several have obtained better jobs. I, myself, have found that I learn as much from them as they learn from me. Of course, all of us find the truths about human nature.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

GPLC has provided not only initial training, but also continued support personalized for each student, appropriate materials to use to meet the student's goals, and continued training for the tutors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Perhaps more publicity for the organization would help. Many people in Pittsburgh have never heard of it.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a Literacy*AmeriCorps member serving at the Downtown Center teaching a low beginner ESL class. Since starting to teach classes to immigrant and refugees in September, the difference I have seen in my students is amazing. More so than improved test scores and better performances in class (which I have definitely seen), I am impressed by their ever-expanding capacity to communicate with me person-to-person, tell me stories and jokes, and interact with me and other foreign students as friends.

GPLC has been supportive of me and my fellow AmeriCorps members as teachers-- from training us to providing us with materials to giving us guidance from experienced professionals when we need advice on learning differences or creating good lesson plans. This organization is full of wonderful people who really care about helping students and clients.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the abilities of my students to speak, understand, and be understood. They are improving every day and hopefully so are their prospects of getting jobs and their opportunities for growth in this country.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change the requirements for VESL classes or add a class with a similar curriculum for students who are not TANF recipients-- many students would benefit from this additional instruction. Our afternoon Foundations class is steadily growing... and outgrowing our classroom because there are many students at this level who want English instruction.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a Compass AmeriCorps member through GPLC. At my service site we refer many of our refugee clients to GPLC for family literacy, general ESL, and Vocational ESL classes. Our clients enjoy going to ESL classes at GPLC and learn very fast, especially in the Vocation English class.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I meet my refugee clients once when they first arrive and then one month later after they have been attending ESL classes at GPLC. I am constantly amazed at the improvement in my clients communication after just a month of ESL.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Offer more classes for longer. Only the VESL class is offered for 20 hours a week, and that is only open to TANF recipients. If there was an option for non-TANF clients to recieve 20 hours of ESL a week it would greatly improve their ability to get higher paying jobs.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked with GPLC as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Beginning with Books. I saw so many children get a good start, and I learned so much. Now, as a children's librarian, I put that experience to good use. GPLC is the type of program that helps everybody!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing day care providers learn to provide a more enriching experience for children.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give it more money!

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I assisted in teaching recent immigrants understand our culture and to feel accepted and to help teach them our English language. I was overwhelmed with the amount of eagerness and the way they attended classes and was always prepared. Most of the immigrants went through a lot to get to this country and to speak even a little of our language and I was very humbled. I also was very impressed that some of them could speak many languages and already had jobs. I was very proud to help further attain their goals as a newly arrived immigrant.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping with immigrants try to find jobs and easing their way into society.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I like it the way it is.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

In August 2009 until February 2010 I lived in Pittsburgh with my nephew that work there. This time I got a studant in ELS for 6 months and in GPLC for the last week I stay in Pittsburgh. I would like to stay for more time but I need to came back to my country because the imagration gave me only 6 months to stay in USA. Now I'm going to Pittsburgh in March 28, 2011. I'll visit my nephew and I'll study English again but I would like to get a volunteer work too because I think, How long time I spend together with American people more easy I learn and speak English.
In my country(Brazil) I'm an economist. I worked in traffic department but now I'm retired. I have a free time and I get a freedom.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My experienced in that organization only studant

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

l would like to get a volunteer for enyone work

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Being a volunteer at GPLC has been one of the best experiences of my adult life because the opportunities co-evolve so that both students and volunteers get more out of the programs over the years. Whether I have time to give two hours twice a week to 1-4 students or only have time to spend 1/2 hour once a week on the phone with another, GPLC provides ongoing training, support and encouragement. Staff is energetic and creative and always takes time to improve an individual's learning experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen a high school drop out and runaway get her GED, helped refugees learn enough English to work in this country, helped someone who thinks he's "stupid" to build on his many strengths and assisted a foreign woman learn enough English to volunteer at her children's school. GPLC, despite decreased state funding, never gives up on any student who is committed to opening up his/her life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more money

Was this review helpful?