Collaboration Builds Strength
In addition to teaching its own students, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (GPLC) is interested in improving the system of adult education programs in the entire region. Over its 33-year history GPLC has provided many other literacy programs with training and advice. As a large and experienced provider of services, GPLC has much to offer to other agencies.
Recently GPLC provided assistance to the new director of Adult Literacy Action Penn State Beaver (ALA) in Beaver County, GPLC’s sister agency. Mary Leitao, the director, has been a classroom aide, teacher, and professional development specialist at ALA for four years but is new to administration. GPLC’s director was able to share policies and procedures that can help the Beaver County program improve and succeed.
Each adult education program that receives state funding is required to have a volunteer component. GPLC was able to train the ALA staff in volunteer management procedures. In addition, GPLC advised the ALA staff on student eligibility and testing processes.
During this time of tight resources and a very late state budget, it’s crucial for nonprofits to cooperate and collaborate. Each nonprofit can ask where the best expertise in their field is to be found and then find a way to tap that expertise through a collaboration. As a result, the quality of all services will be improved.