The BeLit Bulletin, January 2023
дякую/Thank You!

To everyone who followed the story of Valentyna and contributed to our year-end campaign, we send our deepest gratitude. Your donations help directly support hundreds of striving adults like Valentyna and improve lives for generations to come through the power of literacy. Whether in Ukrainian or in English, we share Valentyna's message of heartfelt thanks to you and each one of our donors...
You're Never Too Old to Learn Computer Tricks
BeLit is expanding our digital literacy classes in 2023 with specialized workshops for older adults. Beginning in February, we are excited to offer our cost-free technology assistance at even more community spaces throughout the city -- including senior centers, libraries, and new recreation centers in Philly's Northwest and Northeast neighborhoods.

Classes are open to adults of all ages. In partnership with the City's Office of Children and Families, we are finalizing the full schedule of locations, days, times and workshop topics in the coming weeks so stay tuned! In the meantime, anyone interested in basic computer skills support may contact for more information. No internet? No problem! Call us at 215-474-1235 to schedule an appointment with our Digital Navigation Specialist who can assist with access to high-speed, low- or no-cost home internet.
Honor MLK Day with Beyond Literacy
"We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education." ~ Dr. King, 1947

You're invited to join BeLit at the annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. The national King Day of Service started in Philadelphia as a small project in 1996 with 1,000 volunteers. It has fast become a nationwide movement to break down barriers, form ongoing partnerships, and foster understanding about the legacy of Dr. King. On Monday, January 16th from 9AM-2PM, BeLit will be one of dozens of participating community organizations at Girard College offering resources and information about our volunteer opportunities. Hope to see you there!
BeLit Learner Spotlight:
Aarie Lee, 44, BeLit Graduate & Harcum College Learner
Aarie Lee, 44, has a lot on her plate. By day, she works a full-time job as a Philadelphia Police Dispatcher. By night, she helps care for her daughter and 8-month-old granddaughter. Having already earned her High School Equivalency at BeLit, Aarie is also an experienced adult learner. When she came across a post on BeLit’s social media page about furthering her postsecondary education, she decided to make room in her already busy schedule to enroll in BeLit's Harcum College partner program to earn her Associate Degree in Human Services.

Thanks to our partnership, Harcum College provides BeLit grads with special scholarships and reduced tuition to their Associate’s Degree programs. In return, BeLit's Student Support Team assist our grads with their Harcum applications and serve as on-call guidance counselors throughout the two-year degree program. BeLit Student Support Coach, Kieran Farrell, was by Aarie's side during her entire postsecondary experience serving as an encouraging advocate for her success. “Kieran is amazing. She actually cares,” Aarie says. "I love that she still checks in on me and that I’m not just a number."

Likewise, Kieran has enjoyed watching Aarie advance in her studies. She explains, “Aarie is an exemplary student in our Harcum College partner program. She's maintained a positive, engaged presence since her initial application. Not only do her excellent grades and class performance demonstrate her strengths as a student, but earning those grades while maintaining a demanding job and managing life's many challenges shows her overall strengths as a person."

Aarie completed her first semester on the President’s List with a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) and earned a $2,000 grant for maintaining her excellent GPA throughout the Fall semester. When she graduates next year, Aarie hopes that by furthering her education, she can pay these opportunities forward to other women struggling to afford higher education.

With her daughter as inspiration, Aarie’s goal after earning her degree in Human Services is to champion pregnant teens in Philadelphia's underserved communities by opening her own facility for those who lack access to financial, emotional, or educational support. “There are a lot of girls who don’t have a village,” Aarie says. “At first it was overwhelming, but I had to learn to prioritize so I can be my best and give my best. This program and its people are a godsend.”
Want to learn more about our partnership with Harcum College? Contact Kieran at for more information.
Beyond Literacy's mission is to expand opportunities and improve lives by unleashing the power of literacy through free, high-quality adult education and career readiness.