On March 1, 2016, adult educators, community leaders, elected officials, and adult learners joined Mayor Jim Kenney, the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy and myPLACE℠ program representatives to celebrate the grand opening of The Commission’s fifth myPLACE℠ campus at Center for Literacy. The ribbon-cutting ceremony coincided with the second anniversary of the initiative’s inception in 2014.
myPLACE℠, which stands for Philadelphia Literacy and Adult Career Education, is The City’s one-stop for adult education and career preparation. myPLACE℠ campuses meet the needs of Philadelphia’s adult learners by providing convenient access to high-quality education and a pathway to family-sustaining employment. myPLACE℠ facilitates access to English as a Second Language, basic literacy, high school equivalency, and post-secondary training. Each campus is accessible to a wide variety of adult learners in Philadelphia: myPLACE℠ @ Philadelphia Prison Systems, 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. Center for Literacy, the newest myPLACE℠ Campus, is both the oldest and largest adult literacy agency in Philadelphia.
“We are delighted to become a myPLACE℠ campus. By partnering with the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, we are able to provide our learners with the opportunity to gain basic computer skills and start on their paths to college, a new job, or a better career,” said Michael Westover, President and CEO of Center for Literacy. “In our first month as a myPLACE℠ campus, we are already seeing positive results.”
According to Jennifer Kobrin, Associate Director of The Commission, myPLACE℠ has served over 9,000 people from 89 countries, who speak 29 languages to date. A full two-thirds are women, and 65% of participants have a child in a Philadelphia school. Half of the learners enter the program at a 6th-grade reading level or below.
“We are one of the poorest big cities in America and a lot of it has to do with education and literacy,” Kenney said. “Adult education is absolutely critical to building a stronger city and I am proud to support the work of The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy.”
Omar Diaz immigrated to the United States from Honduras in 2010. He began his journey to improve his education through myPLACE℠ at Center for Literacy one month ago.
“When I first came to the United States, I thought that I would find a good job right away. But that didn’t happen because I didn’t speak English at all and had no work experience,”said Diaz. “We need to educate ourselves to become someone. Since going through myPLACE℠, I have learned how to write and send e-mails. I enjoy it.”
myPLACE℠ Campuses serve adults seeking to improve literacy and job skills by providing intake, standardized assessments, case management, digital skills training, career counselling, and enrollment into face-to-face and online adult education classes. All adult learners who return to education via the myPLACE℠ Campuses will be immediately enrolled in an online course with no wait list called, “Introduction to Adult Learning and Careers.”
“As a result of our new myPLACE℠, we build our capacity to serve adults who are seeking adult education,” said Diane C. Inverso, Executive Director at The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy.
To enroll in a class, adults can visit any of the myPLACE℠ campuses or call the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy at (215) 686-5250.