Posted by Christy Monroe on October 24, 2011
As published in The Herald Gazette: http://knox.villagesoup.com/place/story/rsu-13-adult-education-receives-grant-from-barbara-bush-foundation/413269
Biddeford — Former first lady Barbara Bush announced recently that the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s Maine Family Literacy Initiative has awarded $25,000 to Regional School Unit 13 Adult and Community Education.
Beth A. Gifford, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine accepted the award from Bush at a ceremony held at the J. Richard Martin Community Center in Biddeford on June 15. The grant will be used to implement the Know and Grow program. This program is a partnership between RSU 13 Adult & Community Education and Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine that seeks to expand a thriving adult literacy program to include intergenerational learning in the areas of health, technology and literacy. The project will focus on parental literacy as well as key developmental stages of early childhood. Know and Grow will combine home- and community-based activities to assist adults in earning a credential while helping transition youth to school and beyond.
“The abilities to read, write and comprehend enable people to create brighter and more prosperous futures for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Bush in a news release. “The staff and volunteers with the MEFLI programs are making a wonderful difference in many lives, and I am proud of their work to make Maine a more literate state.”
A total of 10 grants of $25,000 were awarded this year from applications submitted by libraries, adult education and public schools across the state. Programs receiving support provide family literacy services including adult and early childhood instruction, and time for parents and children to read together. An additional two planning grants of $5,000 each will help communities develop the partnerships and resources needed to implement a family literacy program in 2011.
Five “Lighthouse Model Programs” grants of $25,000 have also been awarded to well-established, model family literacy programs that have proposed outreach activities to support the promotion and expansion of family literacy services in Maine. Applicants were selected based on their ability to demonstrate experience and success in providing family literacy programming, the creativity of their outreach activities, and the diversity of their partnerships and target audiences.
Since 1996, The Maine Family Literacy Initiative has awarded 243 grants totaling $4,341,991. To learn more, visit mainefamilyliteracy.com.
Posted by Shannon Parker on June 28, 2011
as published in the Bangor Daily News (Midcoast Beacon) http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/20/news/adult-ed-diploma-program-offers-a-way-forward/
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff
June 20, 2011, Posted 4:46 p.m. at
ROCKLAND, Maine — Everyone sitting in the GED and adult high school diploma programs in Rockland has a different story — a different reason for leaving high school early and a different reason for coming back.
Some of them now have children of their own and couldn’t help them with their homework. Some found the perfect job, but weren’t qualified because they didn’t finish high school.
“Even McDonald’s and Burger King ask for a GED or high school diploma,” said GED preparatory teacher Beth Gifford.
Earlier this month Regional School Unit 13 graduated 25 adult students who all earned either their GED or high school diploma. Some of those students have already been accepted to college or have gotten jobs.
The program is completely free and volunteer-run.
For people who left high school with only a few credits to go, the adult ed program allows them to take their remaining high school classes at night at Rockland District High School. These courses take three hours per week for 15 weeks. For people who didn’t get as far in high school, the adult ed program helps them get their GED.
Students are assessed by trained volunteers in the learning center at the McLain School on Lincoln Street. There are five areas of study, including math, English and social studies. To get a GED, a person must pass a test in each subject area. People who are already knowledgeable in some areas can take those tests and study for the others. According to Gifford, the adult students don’t have to do it all at once. If he or she wanted to, a student could study for one test at a time. Because of this, the time it takes each person to earn a GED varies.
“It’s an open-ended thing. It depends where their skills are now. If you went through April your senior year of high school, it won’t take you more than a few weeks,” Gifford said. “The ones who went through eighth grade, started their freshman year and didn’t make it and are 45 and haven’t done anything since — those people should plan to be here a while.”
From the beginning of the GED and high school diploma courses, volunteers try to get the students into a bigger-picture mindset. This, Gifford said, is why so many of this year’s graduates already have offers from colleges and employers.
“We get them in that mindset before they start,” she said. “As we work on the GED we also work on what career they are looking at and what training it will take them to get there. We ask, what do you want to do? Do you want to be a nurse? A commercial driver? Do you want to be a physicist? In their minds they often have things in their head they didn’t think were possible. We try to show them they are possible.”
The learning center is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. People interested in getting their GED or high school diploma should walk in or call 594-5154.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to tutor GED students also may call 594-5154.
RSU 13’s adult ed program also offers Coast Guard Captain’s License, Computers for the Very Beginner, Mixed Media Painting and Office Skills courses. Most are free or cost about $25. For more information, visit http://rsu13.maineadulted.org.
Posted by Shannon Parker on June 28, 2011
Published in Village Soup on December 16, 2010
On December 16, 2010, Representative Edward Mazurek joined the Adult Learning Center located at RSU13’s McLain School. There, he spoke with adult students about educational goals, the local economy and health literacy. Representative Mazurek, a retired teacher and coach, has been a long-time supporter of adult education. “Education is essential at any age. We never stop learning,” Mazurek stated.
Representative Edward Mazurek, of Rockland, is serving his fourth term in the Legislature. “As we look toward economic growth and expansion in the midcoast, our adult workforce is greatest resource. The RSU13 learning center values that resource, and works tirelessly to provide adults with learning opportunities,” Mazurek added.
For more information on RSU13’s Learning Center and the free services available for adults, contact Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine’s Executive Director, Beth A. Gifford: 594-5154.
Photo Caption: Ed Mazurek speaks with Beth A. Gifford and adult students.
Posted by Shannon Parker on January 13, 2011
December 15, 2010
Senator Chris Rector joined adult learners at RSU13’s Adult Learning Center to discuss literacy, local employment and health literacy. Senator Rector is serving his second term in the Maine Senate, having served three terms in the House of Representatives. Senator Rector toured the facility, located at McLain School in Rockland, to better understand the depth and breadth of adult education offerings in the area. “I have always been a supporter of adult education and know its vital role in strengthening the fabric of our economic, familial and social community. Today was a chance for me to hear the individual stories of adults who benefit from this important community resource,” Senator Rector said.
Students at the Learning Center range in age from 16 to 70 and work on a variety of skill building including, GED preparation; literacy, health, beginning computers; English as a Second Language, and college preparation. R SU13 collaborates with Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine to provide direct instruction for students. Due to this partnership, students can work one-on-one with tutors in their area of academic need, and at their own pace. All services at the center are free and confidential. Senator Rector has a deep personal tie to this agency as his father, Fred Rector, was an active literacy volunteer for several years.
Senator Rector met with RSU13 Adult Education Director, Shannon M. Parker, to discuss the future of adult education and its role in the Many Flags initiative. “When we consider the future of economic development, adult education is a key factor in helping our adult citizens build skills and job readiness. Adult Education is where we get the biggest bang for our buck,” Rector added. Many of the 200 students served annually at the RSU13 site are returning to school after a long period of time in the workforce. Some are looking to enter college or change careers, while others attend the center to improve reading skills in order to more successfully engage in a child’s homework. “Adults who struggle with illiteracy and low skills often do not have a voice so it is vital that our state leaders speak for them,” says Parker.
The reasons behind Learning Center attendance are personal and powerful. For instance, Debbie, a local woman who struggled to read at the sixth grade level, sought the help of Adult Education when she realized her nine-year-old son was a more fluent reader. She’d dropped out of school in 10th grade, but now realizes how important a credential is for employment and for her family. She attends the center faithfully everyday and took her first official GED test yesterday in Language Arts. Stories of adult academic success are common throughout Maine, due in large part to the coordinated local programs offered throughout the state.
For more information on RSU13’s Learning Center, contact Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine’s Executive Director, Beth A. Gifford: 594-5154.
Posted by Shannon Parker on December 15, 2010 | Read more in: News
The RSU13 Adult Education Spring Brochure will be mailed by January 1, 2011.
Check your mailboxes for the printed version, or http://rsu13.maineadulted.org/ for online course listings.
Posted by Shannon Parker on December 8, 2010 | Read more in: News
RSU13 recently hosted Heartwood Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Nearly 700 students from Cushing Community School, South School, Lura Libby, Gilford Butler and Owl’s sat in awe as actors brought the famed fairy tale to life. Reactions to the experience were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Second grader Katherine Freeman said, “My favorite part was when Belle FINALLY gave up and decided to marry the Beast and lived happily ever after with her husband!” Her classmate, Connor Bannow, focused on the moral of this fable: “I've noticed that all fairy tales teach a lesson. This lesson is that you shouldn't look at the outside for the true person, you should look on the inside.”
RSU13 Adult and Community Education sponsored the events in collaboration with Heartwood Theatre of Damariscotta. Heartwood Goes to School is an educational outreach program bringing theater arts education and programming to midcoast schools in Lincoln, Knox, Waldo and Sagadahoc counties. The program is designed to allow K-12 students to experience many forms of performing arts including theater, mime, dancing, storytelling and puppetry. Heartwood Goes to School programming includes performances by professional Maine artists and theater arts workshops for students and teachers.
John Sommo, Principal of Owl’s Head School, was particularly impressed with the level of engagement the production afforded. “The performance was outstanding with students truly mesmerized by the acting, set and multimedia effects. It was especially rewarding to see the entire school warming up with the actors. The workshops offered an opportunity for all students to work on expression in a small group setting with professional guidance,” said Sommo.
RSU13 Adult and Community Education is dedicated to enhancing arts experiences for children in grades K-12. Last year, RSU13 students were exposed to a variety of artistic initiatives including Prince Ivan and the Grey Wolf; Sleepy Hollow by The Frogtown Puppeteers; Atlantic Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker; performances by Old Grey Goose International, and a visit by local children’s author and illustrator, Chris VanDusen. In addition, RSU13 Adult and Community Education sponsors after-school arts clubs at Thomaston Grammar School, Rockland Middle School, and South School.
The RASA winter catalog is here! Programs begin January 10th and continue through February 18th. To enroll in clubs, please call 594-2221. You can download the catalog here: www.youthlinksonline.org/RASA
Posted by Shannon Parker on December 8, 2010 | Read more in: News
RSU 13 hosted its 2010 Adult Education graduation on Friday, June 9th, a ceremony to celebrate the 46 adults who earned their high school diploma or GED this year. Graduates attending the ceremony include Kaitlyn Arsenault, Becky Chavanne, Krystal Dodge, Christopher Grout, Jessica Isakson, Joshua Keating, Annette Merrifield, Shawna Perreault, Morria Plant, Amelia Sukeforth, Jessica Tyler, and Michelle Young. Ms. Isakson was the student speaker and congratulated her peers in a touching speech. Mr. Grout and Mrs. Merrifield also addressed the audience, thanking those individuals who helped them along the way. In total, RSU 13 awarded 31 GEDs and 15 Adult Education Diplomas during the 2009-2010 school year.
Speaker of the House, Hannah Pingree, addressed graduates with an inspirational address that focused on the connection between individual successes and healthy, prosperous Maine communities. Ms. Pingree said that “having a diploma will open up more doors in your lives, present more opportunities.” She went on to acknowledge: “You all took a risk in coming back to school. None of this was easy or convenient, yet you did it. When you decided that going back to school was important to you, you took control of your future and you took a positive step forward. It may have seemed daunting at the time, but today you showed yourself that you were up to the task, and your life in the community, and your family will all be better for it. And that’s good for our entire community. Consider your success here today as a beginning, not an end.”
Ms. Pingree took a moment to honor Adult Education Director, Shannon M. Parker, for her recent recognition as a “tireless advocate and grant writer” for RSU 13. She also thanked the families of graduates, noting that support, effort and sacrifices furnished in the home were essential ingredients in student success. Ms. Pingree is the 99th Speaker of the House of Representatives and is a native of North Haven, Maine. Her speech concluded by telling graduates, “Today is about celebrating and you should feel great. But I hope tomorrow that you will feel bolstered by this success and start thinking about what your next challenge will be. I wish for each of you to take on things that you didn’t think you were capable of, and I know it will make all the difference.”
Dr. Judith Lucarelli, RSU 13 Superintendent of Schools, proudly handed out diplomas. Her remarks challenged graduates to work toward their next degree, making lifelong learning part of their personal goals: “This is an amazing group of dedicated, determined people that we honor tonight. My challenge to you tonight is that this not be the end of your learning. I urge you to continue your education in a formal way. And when you move on to your next degree, please let us know how you are doing. You prove tonight that as an adult you can be successful at school. For your whole life, be a student!”
Students earning their GED (General Education Development) Diplomas worked within RSU 13’s full time Adult Learning Center located at the McLain School, while Adult Education High School Diploma students took credit bearing classes in the evenings at Rockland District High School. Nearly 150 family members and friends of the graduates joined in the celebration. “The graduates have worked hard to overcome incredible obstacles and I hope they feel inspired by their achievement and continue their education. Earning a diploma is an incredible accomplishment, one which has the capacity to bring endless opportunities,” says Shannon M. Parker, Director of RSU 13 Adult and Community Education.
Author: Shannon Parker
Posted by Vanessa Richards on July 12, 2010 | Read more in: News
Need a Biology or Chemistry lab credit for your college program? Want to explore the spectacular Midcoast at the same time? This summer, sign up for "Science by the Sea"!
We have heard much feedback that adult education college preparation courses are not offered in many locations in Maine during the summertime. For example, last summer, a Chemistry student was commuting from Westbrook to Rockland (170 miles round trip) two times a week because there were no other offerings closer to home!
So, we are offering a unique opportunity this summer: one-week high school credit science classes, or “camps.” Local residents can take a short time out from their busy summer schedules to complete their academic requirements in six days; rather than attend a class that meets for a few hours, once or twice a week, which seems to drag on and on over the entire summer.
In addition, this condensed schedule will make it possible for students from distant locations to stay in the Rockland area while completing their college prerequisites. Partners or families may want to come to the Midcoast together: while one studies during the day, the other(s) can play! Upon request, we will assist students “from away” in finding affordable accommodations: this includes budget motels, roommate possibilities, and campgrounds.
See course listings for more details. Call 596-2018 to register!