Our Center


The Literacy Center was established in 1977 by a small group of Allentown residents concerned with the plight of area residents who were being held back in life due to illiteracy.  Originally funded with seed monies from the Lutheran Synod, TLC established itself as an independent non-profit organization in 1984 and has gone on to provide free, community-based literacy instruction to more than 27,500 local adults from almost every country in the world. (Click here to read more about The Literacy Center’s history.)


The Literacy Center’s Mission is education for work, family, and life.  TLC is dedicated to helping the people of the Lehigh Valley achieve the literacy and English language skills needed not only to succeed in today’s competitive world, but to live a happier, more fulfilled life.


  • The belief that everyone, regardless of age, has the capacity to learn
  • The conviction that literacy is not simply a privilege, but a right for all people, whether young or old
  • Respect for different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives
  • Honesty, integrity, high professional and ethical standards, and responsible stewardship of funds and other resources available for the purpose of education


The Literacy Center is one of the highest performers in the state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 53 literacy centers funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, we were ranked #1 for student academic outcomes in the 2016-2017 school year. This performance measure speaks volumes not only about the quality of our educational programs and our instructors, but our dedication to our organization’s mission and values.