About Us

Our Mission

The mission of the Perry County Literacy Council (PCLC) is to provide educational programs for Perry County residents and their families that will enable them to better function as productive, responsible citizens. All of our programs are 100% free; we tailor our instruction to the individual’s needs and deliver it via one-to-one tutoring and small classes.

A Safe Learning Experience

How We Advocate For Our Students

Empowering learners by helping them remove obstacles on their path to financial independence.


Representation and support for those unable to advocate for themselves


OVR, Social Security and MHIDD contact for disabled residents


Literacy Advocacy for those unable to complete literacy tasks independently


UWCR Money In Your Pocket Campaign – onsite tax preparation for low income residents


Access to a community Emergency Needs Fund


Contact for holiday meal programs, personal care kits, quilts, school supplies and gifts


Free book distribution – adults and children

Overcoming Barriers

Our Guiding Principles

We use a holistically-guided approach to education and financial independence for our Perry County neighbors.


We provide residents of Perry County with high quality adult education programs in alignment with state and federal standards, ranging from adult basic literacy to high school equivalency and including instructional models that address each of our students’ unique needs at no cost to them.


We are committed to the ongoing development of programs aligned with state and Federal Standards that offer sustainable, portable credentials and skills that support career pathways for students living below the poverty line.


We maintain ongoing program improvement and professional development for programs that align with state and federal standards and support community needs.


We value and address every Perry County resident’s request for services aligned with literacy at the appropriate level of need with a high-quality participant-service model that supports the desired outcome.


We respond to the need for local access to programs and services in a rural community by maintaining a capacity-building model that supports the unique needs of rural residents.


We support leadership that pairs adult education with workforce development programs that help students attain goals – including (but not limited to) family-sustaining wages and benefits supporting self-sufficiency.


We support collaboration without competition, as well as the alignment of partnerships with common goals.


We support resource-sharing projects that maximize the use of money allocated to Perry County and support future funding with outcomes aligned with a reduction in unemployment and reliance on public assistance.


We maintain working relationships with numerous communities within Perry County, including social service, business, Pre K – 12 education, childcare, healthcare, and faith-based/nonprofit organizations.

FAQs for Students

How Much Do Classes Cost?
At PCLC, we provide all of our services at no cost to the student. The only required payment is one-half of the fee for the GED® or HiSET® exam; the other half is covered by PCLC’s Scholarship Fund. If you are age 17-24 and are enrolled in EDSI’s Youth Program, EDSI will pay for the second half, which will allow you to take the entire exam free of charge.

Where Are Classes Held?
Classes are usually held at the PCLC’s offices, though tutor-student pairs can arrange to meet onsite and offsite.

Can PCLC Find Me Employment?
Absolutely! PCLC offers a variety of job training courses and can put you in contact with potential employers and other career resources that will help lead you to new employment opportunities.

Who Does PCLC Serve?
PCLC serves Perry County, PA residents or those residents of neighboring counties who live closer to PCLC than any other adult education provider. 

Contact Us

FAQs for Volunteers

How Do I Become a Tutor to a Student?
Feel free to contact PCLC if you are interested in working with us. 717-567-7323

Do You Require Teaching Experience to Become a Tutor?
All volunteer tutors must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to work with PCLC. Aside from this, no prior teaching experience is required.

To Teach English As a Second Language, Do You Have to Speak a Foreign Language?
No foreign language experience is necessary; all of PCLC’s classes are held in English.

Volunteer Today

Your Donation At Work

Adult learners become high school graduates, skilled workers, taxpayers, and consumers. They decrease their reliance on government support and contribute to a stronger Perry County!

Our Team

Meet Our Staff

The PCLC staff is committed to understanding every individual’s needs & challenges and providing the appropriate services to set them up for success.

Leslie Heimbaugh

Executive Director
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Gwen Soult

GED Instructor and Student-Tutor Coordinator
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Robert Isenberg

Fingerprinting Tech
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Emma Groff

Student Support Coordinator
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Jamey Deiter

Assistant Office Manager
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Christie Caswell

Director of Operations
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Renee Derr

Prison GED Instructor
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Volunteer Leadership

Board of Directors

Our Directors bring a wealth of experience and expertise to PCLC, united by their passion for our mission.

Kevin Fitzpatrick - President 2018

Perry County Chamber of Commerce
New Bloomfield Lions Club
President, New Bloomfield Borough Council
Historical Society of Perry County

David Kutz - Vice President 2020

Retired Director of Human Resources, PA Supreme Court
Board Member/Committee member, TFEC
Festival Co-Chair/volunteer, Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
Volunteer, PCCA

Laura Campbell - Secretary 2015

Regulatory Analyst, Independent Regulatory Review Commission
Friends of Little Buffalo State Park Board of Directors
HACC Board of Trustees
Newport Revitalization and Preservation Society Board of Directors
Perry County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
WITF Community Advisory Board Moderator

Michael Smith - Treasurer 2021

Principal, Newport Elementary School
Board Director, Historical Society of Perry County
Former Borough Councilman, Bloomfield Borough
Numerous masonic leadership positions including Zembo Shrine

Lane Partner - Life Member

Perry County Community Foundation

Andrew Bender - 2016

41st Judicial District Judge-Court of Common Pleas
Former Perry County District Attorney
Boy Scouts of America

F. Clay Merris - 2019

Perry County District Attorney
President Emeritus Perry County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Jeff Probasco - 2016

PCLC Volunteer Tutor
Fox Field Airport
Historical Society of Perry County
Perry County Bicentennial Committee

Megan Gantt - 2021

Guidance Counselor Newport Elementary School

Angela Barlup - 2021

Financial Education Program Manager
Belco Community Credit Union

Jeff Kuhns - 2023

Superintendent, West Perry School District
Member, New Bloomfield Lions Club

Tricia Fleisher Willhide - 2023

Director of Education and Events, Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers 
Operator, The Barn at Little Buffalo
Member, Perry County Chamber of Commerce