Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council


Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council is a national leader in adult education and family literacy. We provide educational programs to 4,600 adults and families each year in the Pittsburgh area.  Our students become better parents, workers, and citizens as a result of these programs.

GPLC also provides training and assistance to dozens of other literacy programs.

GPLC is a highly respected organization which has been recognized locally and nationally for the quality of its programs and for its management practices.


In 1965, in Florida, Mary Yardumian heard a speech by Frank Laubach, the well-known literacy educator. She was inspired to become a literacy volunteer and soon afterwards began teaching near her home.

In 1971, after moving to Pittsburgh, she found no volunteer literacy program in Allegheny County or in nearby counties. She began training volunteers in the region and helped at least twelve new programs get started.

In 1976 Mrs. Yardumian founded Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council with a group of volunteers from the Pittsburgh area. She ran the organization from her home.

By 1981 the demand for instruction was too great for Mrs. Yardumian and her volunteers to handle. A long-range planning committee recommended that the Council become a non-profit corporation and that it establish a Board of Directors, an office, and a professional staff.

In 1982 GPLC was incorporated and moved into an office in the East Liberty branch of the Carnegie Library. The first two staff members were hired in 1984, and the following year the first area site was established on the North Side of the city.

Since that time the organization has grown rapidly. The Council’s professional staff has grown to forty full-time employees. Neighborhood-based programming has continued to develop, and today there are twelve area offices in community centers, churches, and social agencies. GPLC’s services have greatly expanded and now include all of the programs listed under Our Programs.

In 2012 GPLC’s staff and volunteers provided services to 8,000 students in the Pittsburgh area. Six hundred volunteers participated in GPLC programs last year.


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