Learn more about all of our FREE services we offer!
Adult Basic Education (ABE):
ABE services provide instruction in reading, writing, and math to low-level literacy adults seeking to improve their skills. As a basic education program for adults, it embraces the “Each One, Teach One” philosophy of individual tutoring to help our students. Whether a student’s goal is to achieve functional literacy, improved job skills, or the ability to help their children with homework, we are prepared to help learners to achieve these objectives. Our services and materials are free to the student.
English as a Second Language (ESL):
We provide free ESL classes to all adults whose first language is not English. High quality teachers, tutors, and classroom materials are free to all students. We are the only agency in Washington County that provides free adult ESL services. Classes are offered weekly at the Fairhill Manor Christian Church in Washington and at Frank Sarris Library in Canonsburg (see homepage for full schedule). Tutors and students meet weekly throughout the county in various libraries and other public locations.
Children’s Literacy (CL):
In 2013, we realized that many of our potential students lacked language skills and/or finances to come to classes because of preschool children in the home. As a result we started the children’s program for these mothers. We now average an annual enrollment of 25 children for both the pre-kindergarten children we have all year long and the grade school children we serve during summer recess.
Baby Book Bags (BBB):
The BBB program has been in existence since 1994 and was founded by then Executive Director, Helen Crunick. The program encourages new mothers to begin reading with their infants soon after birth. Every baby born in Washington Hospital goes home with a book bag containing a suitable baby book, literature on the importance of engaging babies in reading from birth, early childhood literacy intervention information, and local library locations. We have distributed over 26,000 baby book bags since the inception of the program.
General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Preparation & Post-Secondary Scholarship:
The GED program offers students who have not completed high school an opportunity to obtain their high school equivalency diploma. Preparatory classes are available in 4 counties in Southwestern PA. Students are able to attend classes free of charge, and once they have completed them, obtain free vouchers to take the exam. We provide certified tutors who can offer one-on-one support within the classroom.
In addition, students who excel in the classroom may apply for the Literacy Council of Southwestern PA and Intermediate Unit 1 Post-Secondary Scholarship of $500.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Exam Preparatory Class:
For advanced ESL students who are considering taking the TOEFL exam, we offer TOEFL preparatory classes. This class includes intensive work on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, as well as strategies for approaching TOEFL tasks and testing on the computer. Students complete mini-exams and one complete practice exam each cycle.
Young Adult English as a Second Language Summer (ESL) Classes:
During the summer when school is not in session, we provide ESL classes to all teens whose first language is not English. High-quality teachers, tutors, and classroom materials are free to all students. Over the past few years, we have experienced explosive growth in our immigrant population in Washington County and, as a result, in our ESL enrollments. The Literacy Council of Southwestern PA offers teens who speak little to no English a jump-start in their language skills before school starts in the fall.
Citizenship Preparatory Class:
For those who are seeking American citizenship, free preparatory classes are offered. These classes cover the topics present in the United States Naturalization Test as well as intensive speaking and language skills preparation for the oral exam portion. Class, book, flash cards, and all other materials are provided free of charge.