Common Place Family Learning Center

Common Place

To embrace diversity and improve lives through education and family support.

To provide programs and services leading to a strong, caring community where all people are valued and have every opportunity to succeed. Core Values: Commitment, Compassion, Integrity, Lifelong Learning and Respect.

For over 50 years, Common Place Family Learning Center has promoted academic success and supported individuals and families by advancing literacy. An anchor in our South Peoria community, Common Place provides educational instruction for all ages through its adult literacy program, GED education programs, after-school youth program, grade-level tutoring, summer educational youth activities, Teen Reach and Teens Empowering Community Success (TECS).

Next Steps and Jobs for Life are “life-changers” for Common Place adults. Next Steps provides a 12-week session leading to further education and employment opportunities. Jobs for Life is a nationally-accredited 16-session combination of classroom instruction, individual and group activities which focus on job training. We believe that by training, equipping and connecting churches, ministries and businesses throughout the city, individuals will be prepared for meaningful work. No fees are charged for Common Place programs.

Recognizing that good health contributes to academic success, Common Place provides healthy snacks, after-school meals, and a weekly food pantry focused on healthy options and fresh produce.

Common Place provides trained community volunteers, educators, and diverse outreach and service opportunities. The one-city/one-book annual project, The Big Read: Peoria Reads!, is a 17-year collaboration of Common Place and the Peoria Public Library.
At Common Place, literacy is the heart of our mission to eliminate poverty through education.

How to Help
Volunteer: One-to-one adult tutors and classroom instructors are needed for the adult literacy program. Tutor training is available online and throuagh quarterly programs at Common Place. Share your skill (computer expertise, art, music, dance, etc.) with youth and adults in our programs. To become a donor or volunteer, email or

Share: Generous financial gifts from our community sustain Common Place. Individual and corporate giving are essential to our mission of supporting literacy.

Recruit: Encourage volunteerism. Engage your organization or group to contribute non-perishable food items or paper goods to our pantry, adopt a classroom, or contribute admission tickets enabling adult and youth to engage in community events and activities.

Common Place Family Learning Center
514 S. Shelley Street
Peoria, IL 61605
(309) 674-3315
(309) 258-5212
Fax: (309) 674-0627

Facebook: Common Place Family Learning

Pamela Rumba, Executive Director
Carey Applegate, PhD, Adult Literacy Director
Betsy Bladel, Academic Organizational Advisor