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Reentry Month Member Profile: Community Learning Center

Community Learning Center is an adult education provider that focuses on helping individuals pursue their high school diploma and gain workplace development and career preparation training.

Community Learning Center (CLC) intentionally locates themselves in marginalized communities, that by nature, includes students impacted by the criminal justice system.

In fact, roughly 30-40% of students have had some interaction with the criminal justice system. Given that Philadelphia has consistently struggled to revitalize its public school system, CLC works to teach literacy and numeracy skills in its attempts to reduce the level of generational poverty that manifests in the city.

When speaking with Marcus Hall, one of the teachers of CLC, he said that CLC is not oblivious to the community that they serve, and the classes and programs available are meant to address gaps and fundamental failures of formal education.

Marcus shared that bringing people out of poverty relies on the development of specific skills and attainment of a knowledge that overcomes an academic barrier that impacts so many students.

“We have students that could be working with CLC for years, but with determination, persistence, and encouragement, never give up," Hall said.

Interestingly, those participating in CLC from the reentry community are often coming in at a higher education level, as some have options to participate in educational programs while in prison, and thus, may be more acclimated to the classroom setting.

All in all, CLC is a welcoming and accepting environment that receives both students and teachers from various backgrounds and identities.

Having recently celebrated their 30th anniversary last year, CLC is working towards reorganizing their programming, creating additional relationships with partner organizations, and enhancing their workforce development programs.

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