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Adult Basic and Family Literacy Education

Adult basic and family literacy education programs are funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Adult Education, to provide a full range of instructional services that prepare Pennsylvanians looking to develop the basic skills necessary to participate fully in the education of their children, find and keep family-sustaining employment, or obtain a secondary school 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
  • Altoona Area School District
  • Blueprints
  • Chester Co. OIC
  • Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies
  • Huntingdon County Child & Adult Development Corporation
  • Indochinese American Council
  • Intermediate Unit 1
  • Jefferson-Clarion Head Start, Inc.
  • Keystone Opportunity Center
  • Literacy Pittsburgh
  • Luzerne County Community College
  • Marywood University
  • New World Association
  • Norristown Area School District
  • Pathways PA, Inc.
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus
  • Project of Easton, Inc.
  • Reading Area Community College
  • Somerset County Technology Center
  • Titusville Regional Literacy Council   
  • United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • York City School District
  • YWCA Tri-County Area

Christine Houck

  • Center for Literacy, Inc.
  • Community Learning Center
  • Delaware County Literacy Council
  • District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
  • Employment Skills Center
  • Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Northampton Community College
  • Temple University
  • Statewide Distance Learning Project (Tuscarora IU 11)
  • VITA Education Services


  • Statewide Leadership Activities/Professional Development System Coordinator

Mary Kay Peters

  • ARIN IU 28
  • Bradford Co Action, Inc.
  • Butler County Community College
  • Central IU 10
  • Central Susquehanna IU 16
  • Lincoln IU 12
  • Northwest Tri-County IU 5
  • Seneca Highlands IU 9
  • Tri County OIC


  • Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma/High School Equivalency Program Administrator  

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

For more information on high school equivalency testing in Pennsylvania, please email