LearningWorks is committed to strengthening the communities we serve by providing free community-based education programs for children, adults, and families throughout Southern Maine. Our primary goal is to support academic and personal success for our neighbors who lack resources and/or fall outside traditional educational structures. Our unique blend of academics, youth development, and social and emotional expertise makes it possible for us to transition our students from a place of struggle and hopelessness to a place of possibility and opportunity.

Our Mission

LearningWorks responds to educational needs in the community by providing tutoring, mentoring, and alternative education opportunities designed to ensure the success of learners whose needs are not met by traditional systems.

Our Vision

We envision a world in which every learner has the tools, resources, and confidence they need to realize their full potential.

Our History

More than five decades ago, a coalition of concerned neighbors in Portland’s West End came together to advocate for change for families who were struggling to maintain affordable housing. Officially known as Portland West in 1967, the group initially focused on housing rights. As their work continued, the organization began to realize the significance of education as a pathway out of poverty. In 1999, Portland West’s mission was reoriented to the development and expansion of our education, work-readiness, and behavioral health programs, and ten years later, the organization was officially renamed LearningWorks. In late 2016, our staff and board updated our organizational mission statement with renewed focus on helping Mainers of all ages realize their potential and build thriving communities.

Though we have evolved from a grassroots neighborhood advocacy group to an innovative education nonprofit, we continue to earnestly offer transformational education opportunities that ensure the success of diverse learners across southern Maine.


1,000+ people

served annually

20 local schools


19 towns

strengthened in Southern Maine

225 volunteers

sharing time and expertise every year

14,500 hours

of free services delivered to the community


Help us reach more people and have greater impact.