Learn About Common Place

Since 1967, Common Place Family Learning Center has worked on the center south side of Peoria, Illinois, to eliminate the root causes of poverty, racism, and injustice through education.  

Currently, over 16,000 English speaking adults in Peoria are unable to read or write at a high enough level to allow them to function in today’s society. When children have parents who have low reading levels, these young people are five to six times more likely to drop out of school themselves prior to reaching a functional level.  Being unable to read or write effectively creates isolation, and has proven to be a direct cause of poverty and social injustice that degrades lives and affects our entire community.

Adult Programs

  • Common Place offered the first adult literacy programs in Peoria in 1979.
  • The average adult learner who enters Common Place’s literacy program has completed 8th grade but has attained a 4th grade reading level.
  • Over 6,000 adults have received help at Common Place through one-on-one tutoring and small group classes for reading, writing, math and life skills.


Youth Programs

  • When children have parents with low reading levels, they are 5 to 6 times as likely to drop out of school before reaching a level that will enable them to function effectively in society.
  • Over 3,800 children have received after school homework help and participated in enrichment programs provided by Common Place staff and volunteers in our Monday through Friday After School Youth Program and Teen Reach initiatives.
  • Annually our Youth Summer Camp serves 95-100 low-income and educationally at-risk children and young people ages 7 – 15 years.
  • In addition, After School and Youth Summer Camp participants benefit from “specialty camps” providing STEAM, STEM, or cultural/theatrical opportunities.
  • Every Saturday during the school year, Saturday Free Tutoring is provided by volunteers from HSS to students in grades Kindergarten-12th grade to bolster weekly learning and achievement.


Community Programs

Hunger is not a good partner in learning. For that reason, Common Place provides a weekly Emergency Food Pantry. We strive to offer healthy, whole food options, as well non-perishables and canned goods to families in need.

  • Emergency Food Pantry – Over 6,000 individuals are served meals annually. We value collaboration with Midwest Food Bank, GITM, PCCEO, individual donors, and others who help provide nutritional options for our weekly pantry.
  • After School Youth Program and Summer Youth Program  Nutrition –

Through a partnership with United Way and Neighborhood House, Common Place provides a hot dinner meal to our students through the school year and breakfast and hot lunch during the summer.  Good nutrition is our goal.

We make certain no child is hungry through a weekend by providing Snack Packs each Thursday or Friday to carry them through the weekend.


Mission Statement

The mission of Common Place is to embrace diversity and improve lives through education and family support.

Vision Statement

To provide programs and services leading to a strong, caring community where all people are valued and have opportunity to succeed.

Core Values





Lifelong learning