Celebration was in order on Monday, June 23, 2014, at the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy’s end-of-year celebration at the Free Library of Philadelphia. More than 100 adult learners, community leaders, educational partners, funders, and legislators joined the Commission to recognize the accomplishments of adults who successfully participated in The Commission’s pathbreaking new education initiative called myPLACE℠.
Three myPLACE℠ Campuses (which stand for Philadelphia Literacy and Adult Career Education) were established earlier this year at high-performing literacy agencies: myPLACE℠ @ Community Learning Center in West Philadelphia, myPLACE℠ @ Congreso de Latinos Unidos in North Philadelphia, and myPLACE℠ @ District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund in Center City. The campuses combine face-to-face adult basic education, GED® preparation, and English as a Second Language courses with groundbreaking online courses for low-literate adults striving to improve their digital and work-ready skills.
An additional 12 community-based organizations joined the myPLACE℠ system to offer seats in their face-to-face classes. The Commission created and piloted the first formal adult education system in the City’s history and the first accelerated, online courses for low-literate adults in the nation.
In celebration, Leah Harvey and Susanne Svizeny of Wells Fargo presented a $10,000 check in support of myPLACE℠ Online. Attendees also heard from myPLACE℠ learners like Audrey Adams who recently completed her first online reading and writing class. “myPLACE℠ gave me confidence in my ability to learn,” Adams said. “I can now add computer literacy to my resume and the skills I acquired in this class will be of great value to me in the future.”
Dr. Judith Rényi, Executive Director of The Commission, shared several key indicators of myPLACE℠ success during the pilot phase:
Over the next program year, The Commission will enter into a demonstration that the system both works and is scalable. We also seek to engage 25 adult literacy providers in the myPLACE℠ system. Lastly, we plan to create a campus within Philadelphia Prisons System so individuals can improve their digital and workforce literacy skills while incarcerated, and continue their educational pursuits at any of the partner sites or online, upon reentry.
Sincere appreciation to Wells Fargo for their generous contribution, all who attended the event, and the myPLACE℠ students!