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FAQs

  1. How much do classes cost?
    All programs at GPLC are free to the students.  Students may make a donation to GPLC to cover the cost of their books and materials.
  2. Where are classes held?
    We teach in public facilities such as libraries, community centers, and churches. We also have classes at our Downtown Center (411 Seventh Avenue) and the Wightman School Community Building in Squirrel Hill.
  3. Who do I call to become a volunteer or student?
    You may call our main office at 412-393-7600 or go to the Sign Up Online section of this site.
  4. Do you have to have teaching experience to be a volunteer?
    No teaching experience is required. We will train you.  However, volunteer tutors volunteering for state funded adult education programs are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to have a college degree or currently working toward a college degree.
  5. To teach English as a second language, do you have to speak a foreign language?
    The classes are conducted entirely in English, so no foreign language experience is required.
  6. I’m looking for tutoring in reading for my child. Can GPLC help?
    Most schools have tutoring programs of their own, and we ask you to use those resources. GPLC's program for children is the OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring program, and children are recommended for that program by their teachers.  That program is for K-3 children in Pittsburgh Public Schools and Woodland Hills School District.
  7. What is the illiteracy rate in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County?                               
    The National Assessment of Adult Literacy indicates that 13 percent of adults are in the lowest of four literacy levels, called Below Basic.  Those adults struggle with everyday tasks such as understanding the instructions on a medicine bottle or adding up the amounts on a bank deposit slip.  13 percent of the adult population of Allegheny County equates to 135,000 adults.
  8. What is the cause of illiteracy?                                                                                                    There are many causes.  Over the years our students have shared the following reasons for their low literacy with us: 1) dropping out of school at a young age because a parent had a terminal illness; 2) undiagnosed learning disabilities; 3) belonging to a family that moved from town to town many times, and schooling was inconsistent; 4) vision and/or hearing problems; 5) growing up in a foreign country where school was not universally available; 6) lack of a role model in one's life for education and literacy; 7) low expectations for education in some communities and in some homes.