perry county literacy council

Perry County Literacy Council


Overcoming Barriers to Career Pathways through Adult Education

The mission of the Perry County Literacy Council (PCLC) is to provide educational programs for Perry County residents and their families that will enable them to better function as productive, responsible citizens. All of our programs are 100% free; we tailor our instruction to the individual’s needs and deliver it via one-to-one tutoring and small classes.

We at PCLC recognize that, with frequent advancements in technology, the American job market is changing rapidly, and having a formal education is more crucial a requirement now than ever in the employment process. We know that the people who walk through our doors are experiencing various barriers to learning and achievement—ranging from histories of substance or physical abuse to minor infractions of the law—which they wish to overcome.

PCLC firmly believes in solving problems and helping people overcome obstacles on the path to success; therefore, we provide our students with both the resources and the personal attention they need to both attain their career certifications and put them to practical, real-world use. Our vision statement – “Overcoming Barriers to Career Pathways through Adult Education” – serves as a summation of this philosophy.




133 S. 5th Street
Newport, PA 17074


717-567-READ (7323)
Toll Free 866-781-7323

When I first walked into the Perry County Literacy Council, I never thought that it would become a turning point in my life. I can’t say enough about the staff. They care about you as a person and about your story.
— Rodney Horst, 2019 GED Graduate
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Saranne Miller is PCLC Student Support Coordinator

Saranne Miller is PCLC Student Support Coordinator


PCLC opens a new Social Work Office

PCLC has opened a full time Social Work Office in partnership with the Perry County Commissioners, which is operated by Saranne Miller, PCLC’s Student Support Coordinator. The office helps Perry County residents overcome their barriers to goals ranging from daily living needs to employment and postsecondary training.

Every PCLC client is referred to our Social Work Office for case management services. Saranne performs a deep barrier assessment to identify and address not only current barriers associated with program participation, but also to evaluate and address existing and imminent threats to successful employment.

Our case management model starts by assuring that each client has all of their identity documentation in order including a valid photo ID or PA Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, High School Diploma (graduates only), proof of health insurance, proof of income, proof of Selective Service registration (males only) and Docket Sheets (ex-offenders only). This step provides Saranne with a snapshot of the individual’s needs and guides the path to self-sufficiency.

PCLC has gathered resources to help with immediate and ongoing needs for transportation and phones and minutes; referrals to agencies that address specific needs; applications to programs that support income, childcare, food and healthcare; referrals for testing fees and for costs associated with acquiring documents.

Saranne enrolls participants and provides the level of support needed to address short-term, long-term and ongoing needs. The level of intensity ranges from monthly follow up to regularly scheduled meetings and extends a lifeline into the workplace for up to two years.

Supportive services resources are available to all PCLC partnering agency participants and to community residents seeking assistance from the PCLC Social Work Office.

Lauren Kerlin, PCLC Early Childhood Outreach Specialist

Lauren Kerlin, PCLC Early Childhood Outreach Specialist


Early Childhood Outreach Center returns to PCLC

 “One of the reasons I’m so happy to work at PCLC is that everyone on staff here is just so passionate about their work. I love that I’ll have the opportunity to really help people,” said Lauren Kerlin, PCLC Early Childhood Outreach Specialist. In her new position, which is funded by The Greater Harrisburg Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, Lauren will lead and facilitate the PCLC “Ready, Set, Kindergarten!” program, which supports the Perry County early childhood community, including parents with preschoolers; childcare and preschool providers; early childhood educators; and early learning support providers.

As a lifelong Perry County resident, Lauren feels a responsibility to assist local families in need. “One of my goals is to make sure that our children are ready to learn when they start school,” she says. “PCLC is a resource center with an interest in supporting the parent’s role as their child’s first teacher and connecting parents to high quality childcare and preschool providers as well as providing parents with tools that support Kindergarten readiness.”

Another priority for Lauren is to connect with Perry County early education providers and day care centers. “We want to engage with the providers, identify their needs and help to provide training opportunities and tools that help them to address barriers that parents and families face getting their children ready for Kindergarten.”

Eventually, Lauren hopes to offer limited childcare for PCLC students, too. “We’re working on a partnership with Perry County high schools to provide short term childcare in 2- or 3-hour blocks for our students working on their GED,” she says. “It’s a win-win for everyone involved. The high school students gain valuable childcare experience and our GED students can come to class and concentrate on learning, knowing that their children are in good hands.”

Upcoming Events

We at PCLC offer a variety of fundraising events throughout the year. These are excellent and fun opportunities to show your support for PCLC and to help us continue to provide our services to the people of Perry County.

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16th Annual Chili Cook-off

PCLC participates every year in the Perry County Fair’s Chili Cook-Off, a fun and creative competition held from 3:00-6:30 PM on August 17, 2019. PCLC Development Officer, Leslie Heimbaugh coordinates the event, which features as many as 17 different cooks and various types of hot, sweet and spicy chili, as well as games and prizes for the entire family.

Chili enthusiasts can sample each competitor’s chili for a 25-cent donation and vote for their favorites. Prizes are awarded for Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice for Best Chili, as well as for Best Chili Cook-Off Booth.

NEW THIS YEAR: A trophy will also be given for the Chili Competitor that raises the most money before the Chili Cook-Off begins.

WQLV Radio broadcasts live from the Cook-Off and provides commentary on the festivities. All proceeds from sales directly benefit the Perry County Literacy Council.

If you’d like to enter your own recipe for competition — and we dearly hope you will — please contact Leslie Heimbaugh at literacy@pa.net.

november 2019-20
annual giving campaign

PCLC invests time, talent and your treasure in Perry County residents. Our students people become high school graduates, skilled workers, taxpayers and consumers. They gain skills and credentials that last a lifetime. As they advance, their families advance. A win, win for Perry County.

The Perry County Literacy Council encourages local community members to show their support for their efforts through its annual Fall Giving Campaign.

May 2, 2020
Race for reading

Little Buffalo State Park, 5pm

The Race for Reading is the Literacy Council’s major annual fundraiser, coinciding each year with the running of the Kentucky Derby. The event begins with the Mint Julep Party, where the traditional Derby beverage is provided for PCLC’s top donors along with hors d’oeuvres. PCLC organizes and holds the Race at the Little Buffalo State Park Recreation Hall in Newport. The Derby itself is broadcast on widescreen TV while food, drinks and hors d’oeuvres are served to guests. The evening includes both a silent and a live auction, which feature gift certificates, handcrafted artworks, food items and other offerings from local businesses and Perry County residents. All proceeds from the Race directly benefit PCLC and go toward the purchase of instructional materials, gas cards, classes, and other necessities for PCLC and its students.