Programs

“I dreamed of going to college as a teenager, and PCLC helped me to make my dream a reality.” – Sylvia Beiler

A Human-Centered Approach to Self-Sufficiency

We tackle poverty and financial dependence on government assistance as its roots. We know that there are many barriers on an individual’s journey to self-sufficiency. We believe in a holistically guided approach to education and financial independence for our neighbors in Perry County, helping them tackle the barriers that hold them back. Our human-centered approach includes, social services, healthcare, cash assistance, and adult education so that every motivated individual is empowered to attain self-sufficiency.

Essential Programs & Services

Empowering Adult Learners

PCLC can provide a one-to-one tutoring environment for Adult Learners looking to continue or further their education. 

Adult Basic Education

PCLC provides a one-to-one tutoring program for students looking to improve basic life skills (i.e. reading, writing, and math). We will develop a learning plan tailored to your needs based on an assessment of your skill levels; we will then match you with a volunteer tutor with whom you will agree on a time and place to meet for three hours every week. Your tutor, meanwhile, will assess your progress and help you set personal goals. We also help students with high school equivalency tests (GED®), driver’s permits, CDLs, ASVAB, and college entrance exams. We firmly believe that EVERY student deserves the chance to succeed, and we will help you obtain whatever accommodations may be necessary in order for you to achieve your goals.

Services offered under this program include:

  • High school equivalency test (GED®) Preparation
  • English as a Second Language and Citizenship Preparation
  • PCLC Community Reentry Program
  • NRF® Customer Service Preparation Class (onsite)
  • Teknimedia™ Microsoft Office Proficiency Training (onsite)
  • Pearson VUE GED® Computer-based Testing—onsite
  • NRF® Computer-based Testing—onsite
  • College and Career Readiness Testing – onsite
  • Digital Literacy Course
GED® and HISET® Exams

In order to be eligible for high school equivalency training (GED®) with PCLC, a student must:

  • be 18 years of age or older (information on exceptions is available on request),
  • not be enrolled in HS, and
  • not have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.

PCLC is more than happy to help prepare test takers for either the GED® or the HiSET® exam. PCLC teachers and volunteer tutors prepare students to succeed on these tests and also teach them skills that will help them become better test-takers.

As of January 2016, the official GED® test has been revised, with the passing score lowered from 150 to 145.

The GED® test lasts approximately 7.5 hours and consists of the following subjects: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies.

The HiSET® exam—a Pennsylvania state-approved high school equivalency test that may serve as a less expensive, more accessible exam than the GED® test but still provides the same credential—consists of five test subjects: Language Arts (Reading), Language Arts (Writing), Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Support for Individuals & Families

Catalog of Resources

There are many barriers to learning and achievement and ultimately self-sufficiency today. We know that providing workforce training and adult education programs alone is not enough. We are always looking for ways to support our learners and their families – helping them remove barriers to their success. Perry County residents have access to a wide range of services through our office in Newport, PA.

Become an Adult Education Tutor!

Our volunteer tutors assist students in meeting their educational goals. The volunteer commitment is three hours per week. Volunteers interested in working as a tutor must have a bachelor’s degree. Free training is provide for eligible volunteers.

Agency PartnershipPerry County Family Center

Established in 1992 through a partnership with Capital Area Headstart, the West Perry School District, and various local community agencies, the Perry County Family Center strives to promote the positive development, health, and well-being of young children throughout Perry County. The Center seeks to strengthen family life and provide a place for families to find information and support that will help them make important decisions about their families. Some of the services provided by the Center include parenting classes, financial literacy classes and car seat loans—as well as the UWCR Prosperity Center, which offers help to those applying for various state and federal benefits for their families, such as food stamps, cash assistance and health care coverage.

Agency PartnershipPCLC Community Reentry Project

PCLC collaborates with the Perry County Prison and the faith-based community to offer a Community Reentry Program to inmates who voluntarily commit to the program. PCLC is committed to a mission that extends to all Perry County residents, including the incarcerated. The Perry County Prison has been an outstanding partner, supporting adult education with GED® classes for inmates. In addition, a case management model addresses individual reentry needs and barriers. A faith-based support group follows each class, promoting values and personal commitment to rehabilitation. Each inmate pairs with a mentor from the faith-based community who will act as a sponsor as the inmate reenters the community. Private funding from the faith-based community and foundations supports this project. Community Reentry Project participants will have access to various PCLC community programs as they reenter.

Agency PartnershipPerry Housing Partnership (Transitional Housing Services)

The Perry County Housing Partnership develops affordable housing opportunities for Perry County residents, including low-income, disabled, elderly and/or homeless individuals and families.

Agency PartnershipPerry Human Services

Perry Human Services provides weekly counseling sessions (by appointment) for Perry County residents recovering from addiction. In addition, they offer cash assistance, food stamps, medical assistance and emergency fuel for lower-income families, as well as referrals for training, education and jobs.

Agency PartnershipTri County Community Action

Tri-County Community Action offers various services toinformation and referral services, family self-sufficiency, case management

Agency PartnershipCommunity Engagment

The work we do at PCLC would not be possible without support from the community in which we live and work. Therefore, we make it a point to contribute to that community by getting involved with numerous initiatives that, like us, are working to improve the lives of Perry County residents.

PCLC’s community engagements include:

Member—Perry County Family Service Partnership Board
Board Member—Perry County Chamber of Commerce
Member—Perry County 2015 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee
Member—South Central Workforce Investment Board Local Management Committee
Member—Perry County Human Services Office Direct Service Team
Member—Perry County Health Coalition
Member—Perry Empowerment Task Force
Board Member—Tutors of Literacy in the Commonwealth
Advisor for Adult Education, Workforce Development and Rural Access
Community Referral Agency with hundreds of contacts
1,000+ supporters/donor

Agency PartnershipEDSI (Educational Data Systems)

EDSI EARN—Welfare program that provides clients with cash and food stamps.

EDSI Career Advisor—EDSI receives state and federal funding used to pay for both on-the-job and classroom training for PCLC students. In order to be eligible for training, a client either must be low-income or have been dislocated due to a closing, firing or downsizing.

Youth Program

EDSI Workforce Innovations Opportunities Act (WIOA)

Participants enroll in WIOA to obtain training and/or employment. All WIOA services are provided onsite.

EDSI Jobs Connections

EDSI Job Club – Job Club is held two times every month (usually the first and third Thursdays of each month) and is a requirement for on-the-job training. The club offers various workshops that help students explore and navigate the world of employment.

EDSI Employment Consultant/Job Developer – These consultants talk with potential employers about openings for job-seeking students, which are subsequently posted on the CareerLink website.

Tests of Adult Basic Education – Onsite

ACT WorkKeys® Testing – Onsite

Pearson VUE Authorized Test Center – Career Certification Testing

CareerLink® and CWDS support

Agency PartnershipOVR

The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is a state agency that helps individuals with disabilities help themselves to prepare for, begin, and maintain successful careers. OVR case managers are available by appointment at PCLC.

Grant PartnershipDollar General Literacy Foundation

Established in 1993 in honor of Dollar General co-founder J.L. Turner (who was functionally illiterate) the Dollar General Literacy Foundation commits itself to assisting individuals of all ages receive the education they need to access post-secondary education and steady employment. The foundation has awarded over $110 million in grants to nonprofits and schools that have helped more than 6.8 million people learn to read, learn English, or prepare for high school equivalency testing.

Grant PartnershipPNC Foundation

A partner of PCLC since 2013, the PNC Foundation is committed to the enrichment and growth of the communities it serves as well as empowering people in those markets to maximize their human potential. The foundation recognizes that communities thrive and flourish through creative problem-solving and seeks to contribute the funds needed to seed the ideas, support the initiatives and encourage the leadership of those organizations where imagination and determination are at work enhancing the lives of the people they serve. As part of its partnership with PCLC, the PNC Foundation backs the initiative that supports our computer-based testing site, which provides Perry County residents with sustainable local access to GED testing. PNC’s support also extends to financial literacy classes with local PNC employees, who provide volunteer instruction on topics such as budgeting, savings and financial education. PNC provides these services in collaboration with the United Way of the Capital Region Prosperity Center in Perry County.

Grant PartnershipHighmark

The Highmark initiative was created to recognize organizations that demonstrate the proven ability to make an impact in diverse rural and urban neighborhoods where there may be minority populations, individuals with a disability, veterans or displaced workers seeking career opportunities and advancements.

Highmark recognizes the significant barriers to self-sufficiency faced by undereducated and unemployed youth and young adults. As a business with interest in improving the conditions in communities in their service areas, Highmark demonstrates their commitment to economic development and quality of life, granting funding to the Perry County Literacy Council for youth and young adult career awareness and development, training and job placement.

Supporting a collaborative delivery of services, Highmark has funded the purchase of a vehicle for Perry Apex Services Unlimited (PASU) and transportation accounts for 20 Perry County youth (ages 18 – 25) to travel to PCLC classes as well as to training and employment interviews and appointments. A Program Coordinator supports students as they obtain workforce credentials and transition to training and/or employment. Highmark recognizes the transportation and access barrier in a rural community and therefore supports this project targeting young people in these areas.

Grant PartnershipPerry County Community Foundation

The Perry County Community Foundation (PCCF), established in 1987, is a nonprofit public charity and a regional foundation of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC). The PCCF makes grants to nonprofit organizations that serve residents of Perry County. PCCF also serves as a vehicle for individuals, companies, foundations and charitable organizations to establish funds that will support the civic, social, educational and cultural well-being of Perry County residents. The Foundation ensures that all gifts, ranging from a few dollars to a few thousand, will work to improve the quality of life of Perry County residents both now and in the future. The Community Foundation has been a generous supporter of PCLC; their support funds innovative programs that address growing and changing needs within our rural community, and their funding model provides guidance and support for new programs aimed at building the service capacity of our nonprofit organization. 

Grant PartnershipHarold Greaney Charitable Trust

Established to support various nonprofit organizations throughout Perry County, the Harold Greaney Charitable Trust distributes discretionary funds to those nonprofits that demonstrate the greatest level of financial need. The trust has offered a great deal of support to PCLC—particularly via the James and Melinda Marley Emergency Needs Fund, which provides many of our clients and students with emergencies that require financial aid. Such situations might include purchasing a gas card in order to drive to appointments or interviews or paying a car repair bill.

Grant PartnershipTFEC Women's Fund

An initiative by the Foundation for Enhancing Communities, the TFEC Women’s Fund targets low-income women in search of steady work. As a partner of TFEC, we at PCLC offer classes that help these women earn National Retail Federation (NRF) certifications and become proficient in Microsoft Office.

Grant PartnershipDonald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation

Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler established this foundation in their names in 1966 to benefit charitable, religious, scientific, literary, and/or educational ventures, especially those that operate in central or eastern Pennsylvania. The Stabler Foundation provides grants for educational institutions, parochial schools and nonprofit hospitals and medical facilities. The Foundation also makes grants to private organizations and institutions that provide services and assistance to the mentally, physically or developmentally impaired or disabled; people suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse; and the elderly and financially disadvantaged. 

Grant PartnershipCommunity Aid

PCLC is a proud partner of Community Aid, a charitable organization whose nonprofit partners agree to allow Community Aid to place one of their clothing collection bins—recognizable by their tan color and three helping hands on the side—on their property or other public locations. The donated clothing placed in the bins is removed several times each week and sold in Community Aid thrift stores. Based on the weight of the clothing in each bin, a particular nonprofit is awarded with a quarterly cash donation per pound; PCLC uses this donation to support our scholarship fund. In addition, partners receive Care Cards (clothing vouchers) for the needy in their area; these cards can be used in any one of Community Aid’s thrift stores. Following an introductory period of partnership, a nonprofit partner becomes eligible to apply for grants during announced application periods. Community Aid’s partnerships with local nonprofits has helped these organizations continue to improve the quality of life for local individuals and families.

Grant PartnershipLawrence And Julia Hoverter Charitable Foundation

The Lawrence and Julia Hoverter Charitable Foundation, with roots in Perry County, has been a generous longtime supporter of PCLC. Their funding has allowed our agency to maximize the numbers of residents it serves; it supports programs that have allowed countless students to obtain GED and workforce credentials, as well as to overcome transportation and employment barriers.

Meet Our StaffRuss Huislander

Customer Service

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Meet Our StaffLinda Stawser

Office Manager

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Meet Our StaffJamey Deiter

Office Manager

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Meet Our StaffJerry Barrett

Workforce Instructor

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Meet Our StaffRobert Eisenberg

Fingerprinting Tech

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Meet Our StaffEmma Groff

Student Support Specialist

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Meet Our StaffLauren Kerlin

EC Outreach

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Meet Our StaffLeslie Heimbaugh

Development Officer

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Meet Our StaffKathleen Bentley

Executive Director

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The Stories of RedemptionLives Changed

High school was difficult for John Banks. Though never bullied, he couldn’t stand how fellow students treated each other and felt like he simply didn’t fit in. Anxious and frustrated, John spoke with his family about his concerns. This led to trying charter school and then traditional schooling once more, until the pandemic hit.

“We were right back to the same Zoom sessions that didn’t work with the charter school,” said Jeanette. “That was the clincher, so I thought, ‘Okay – here’s what we’re going to do.”

John’s parents recommended that he go to Perry County Literacy Council (PCLC) for classes to earn his high school equivalency diploma.

“My parents thought that I should try it out,” said John. “My mom was worried because she knew that I didn’t always get all my work done in school, but she knew that I cared about getting my diploma – and she had faith in me.”

John loves coming to PCLC. Since entering the program last September, he has completed three of the four tests required to earn his high school equivalency diploma.

Other Ways to GiveDonate by Mail

At PCLC, we work to provide educational programs for Perry County residents and families that enable them to better function as productive and responsible citizens. Within this process, your donations and gifts help us continue to provide these classes and resources to each resident. Overall, your gift can help change a life forever.

PCLC offers many options for donating, but if you prefer to make your gift by check through mail, please send it to:

Perry County Literacy Council
P.O. Box 37, Newport, PA 17074

We look forward to continuing our work with your help!

The Value of Your DonationWhy Give to PCLC?

A donation to PCLC means more than just money; it means a changed life in Perry County and in some cases, the changed life of an entire family. Your donation keeps our mission going and helps us continue to educate those looking to improve their skill level in order to pursue a better future. 

Here's how your donation can help: 

Your donation stays in Perry County and solves problems. It helps reduce the county's reliance on unemployment, public assistance, and housing subsidies by heightening the education levels of residents. 

Even more, your donation pays it forward and helps create new pathways to jobs that pay. Specifically, every adult who earns a GED contributes an additional $60,000 in tax revenue over a lifetime. 

To see specifically how your donation impacts a life, check out our info graph below.