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Adult Basic and Family Literacy Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Adult Education administers federal and state adult basic and family literacy funds. Adult basic and family literacy education programs funded by the Division of Adult Education provide a full range of services that support Pennsylvanians to develop the basic skills necessary to participate fully in the education of their children, find and keep family-sustaining employment, or obtain a high school equivalency credential. The Division of Adult Education also oversees high school equivalency testing in Pennsylvania and provides professional development for adult education and family literacy program staff, including training for volunteer tutors of adult education.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education awards grants under Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, 29 USC § 3301 et seq, and under the Pennsylvania Adult and Family Literacy Education Act, 24 P.S. §§ 6402-6409 for adult and family literacy education programs in the Commonwealth. These awards include federal funds for integrated English literacy and civics education (IELCE) programs.

Activities to be conducted under these grants create partnerships among the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and local entities to provide, on a voluntary basis, adult education and family literacy services. The intent of adult education and family literacy services is to assist adults to become literate; to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency; to become full partners in the education and development of their children; to achieve sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their families; to attain a secondary school diploma; and to transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways. Services also assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners to improve their reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills in English; to improve their math skills; and to acquire an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Advisor Assignments

Advisors are responsible for overseeing all programming in the agencies assigned to them, including adult education, integrated English literacy and civics education, and family literacy. All questions should be addressed to the assigned advisor.

Sonya Harris Saunders


  • Allegheny IU 3
  • Blueprints
  • Huntingdon County Child & Adult Development Corporation
  • Indochinese American Council
  • Jefferson-Clarion Head Start, Inc
  • Literacy Pittsburgh
  • Luzerne County Community College
  • New World Association
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus
  • Project of Easton, Inc.
  • Titusville Regional Literacy Council
  • United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • York City School District

Alice Kenney


  • ARIN IU 28
  • Butler County Community College
  • Chester County OIC
  • Delaware County Literacy Council
  • District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
  • Employment Skills Center
  • Keystone Opportunity Center
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Marywood University
  • Pathways PA, Inc.
  • Reading Area Community College
  • YWCA Tri-County Area
  • Vita Education Services

Cheryl Parker


  • Altoona Area School District
  • Bradford Co Action, Inc.
  • Center for Literacy, Inc.
  • Central IU 10
  • Central Susquehanna IU 16
  • Community Learning Center
  • Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies
  • Intermediate Unit 1
  • Lincoln IU 12
  • Somerset County Technology Center
  • Statewide Distance Learning Project (Tuscarora IU 11)
  • Temple University
  • Tri County OIC

Christine Houck


  • Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13
  • Northampton Community College


  • Statewide Leadership Activities/Professional Development System Coordinator

Mary Kay Peters


  • Northwest Tri-County IU 5
  • Seneca Highlands IU 9


  • Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma/High School Equivalency Program Administrator

For more information on adult basic and family literacy education services, please email