Why adult literacy in Philly is getting much deserved attention - Generocity Philly


Jul. 8, 2015 11:00 am

Why adult literacy in Philly is getting much deserved attention

The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy was recognized for its efforts and awarded a $10,000 grant

In 2011, Mayor Michael Nutter charged the Commission on Literacy to help the estimated 550,000 adults in the city who were functioning below basic adult education levels. Right now, over 80 percent of job seekers that are tested in PA CareerLink® employment centers are at 5th-8th grade levels of reading, writing and math.

In addition, an estimated 200,000 people with criminal records live in the city, with even more returning from correctional institutions testing even lower than average citizens on reading, writing, and math, most often at 0 to 3rd grade levels. As many as 65 percent of working adults lack the crucial and basic technology skills expected in nearly all jobs, and 43 percent of Philadelphians lack access to the Internet at home.

Addressing adult literacy is a huge part of creating a Philadelphia where its residents can viably work. The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy serves adult, out-of-school Philadelphians, age 16 and up, whose literacy skills are too low to pass employment or college entrance tests.

“We can directly enroll adult learners in classes at more than 30 literacy organizations and reduce enrollment wait times. In addition, the Commission’s online courses are helping thousands of individuals acquire the basic work ready skills required of our 21st century, technology-based economy,” Nutter said.

Mayor recognized for efforts

Recently, Nutter received the Literacy Leadership Award from the National Coalition for Literacy in recognition of the Commission’s efforts.

Jeff Carter, president of the National Coalition for Literacy said, “The diversity of this year’s awardees are a good representation of the different kinds of leadership you see involved in adult education across the U.S. It’s going to take all of us-political leaders, journalists, educators, and others-to build a greater understanding of the adverse impact that low skills has on families across the country and on our economy overall.”

Dollar General funding for myPLACE℠

To further these efforts, The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy was separately awarded a $10,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support its myPLACE℠ Online program. myPLACE℠ Online offers the a completely online, cohort-based classes in reading, writing and math for low literate; this program is the first of its kind in the nation.

From our Partners

“It is exciting to see the impact grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation make throughout the country, especially as we cross the $100 million threshold in overall donations and the difference it has made to nearly six million people,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s Chairman and CEO.

Image via the City of Philadelphia / Kait Privera


From our Partners

Education Law Center: Philadelphia’s pregnant and parenting students are ‘falling through the cracks’

These three young African immigrants are changing the game for girls in Liberia

The real college scandal is squandered talent


Generocity Philly

PA Humanities Council helps communities reclaim their stories

Washington, DC

Opportunity Finance Network

Associate, Development

Apply Now
Southampton, PA

HealthLink Dental Clinic

Major Gift Officer

Apply Now
1424 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19102

Community Legal Services

Major Gifts & Development Officer

Apply Now

The importance of Black male educators and role models

Money Moves: These 29 Philly nonprofits received holiday donations totaling $918K

Check out Generocity’s 2019 editorial calendar


Generocity Philly

Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards

Philadelphia, PA

Liberty Resources Inc.

ODP Program Manager

Apply Now

Knight Foundation

Part-time Assistant/Community and National Initiatives

Apply Now
Center City Philadelphia

CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia

Chief Commons Director

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity