Regional Commission Success Stories: Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP)

Georgia’s 12 regional commissions are public agencies created and established by the Georgia Planning Act (O.C.G.A. 50-8-32) to assist local governments on a regional basis and to develop, promote, and assist in establishing coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state. The Department of Community Affairs contracts annually with the Regional Commissions to primarily foster effective local and regional planning and implementation of those plans. Our Regional Commission's “Success Story” series highlights these regions by sharing their incredible achievements. You can view all of the communities on our Story Map

A regional activity was included within the 1997 Regional Agenda of the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission (RC) which led to the Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP) being formed as an initiative of the Regional Partners Network (RPN), Inc. 

With the RPN being a regional Commission’s nonprofit arm whose mission is to collaborate and utilize resources more effectively, a regional CLCP of 14 counties was formed and became the first in Georgia. 

The goal of CLCP was to combat low literacy rates in which Family Connection and the Adult Education Centers played vital roles in the program’s development and continuation. In addition, the Office of Adult Education at the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) implemented the program. 

To qualify as a participant in the program, a community must set a goal of reducing its functional illiteracy rate by 50% within 10 years. The Regional CLCP’s results were certified by the State CLCP Review Team on February 5, 2020, and the activity was successful in involving all 14 counties within the region. 

With the help of many faithful partners, more than 31,000 students have increased their level or earned a GED. Furthermore, nearly half a million dollars have been raised for literacy projects. The regional high school graduation rate has jumped from 62% to 86%, and countless children and families have received books, dictionaries, and thesauruses.