Education Programs and Services

The root cause of poverty is lack of education.

Poverty and School Success

There are nearly 15,000 children age 18 and under living in poverty in Erie County.  In the city of Erie, 39% of children live below the poverty line.

Healthy brain development in these years is determined by experiences children to have – positive or negative. Their brains are shaped by the homes in which they live; their interaction with responsive and dependable parents, and everything in between.

Students living above the poverty line are more prepared than those below it. Parents with low incomes, on average, have less stable home environments. The difference in preparation tends to persist through high school.

GECAC provides the highest quality youth development programs in Erie County.

Poverty and Adult Education

Low literacy adversely affects the employability and earnings of adults throughout Erie County. Adults without a high school diploma are more than twice as likely to be unemployed, work in low-wage jobs, live in poverty, and rely on government aid programs than those with higher levels of education.

The average high school dropout can expect to earn an annual income of approximately $10,000 less than a high school graduate.        

GECAC operates the only GED® test site in Erie County. As Erie County's anti-poverty agency, GECAC understands that obtaining the GED credential is a primary step toward self-sufficiency and a significant pathway out of poverty.