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
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
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.
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
Georgeanne Davis of the Free Press wrote a terrific article on our pilot programs, Meet Your Chefs and Sharing the Table. Click here to see the article online!
We still have six available slots for this class. Call 596-2018 to register.
Posted by Vanessa Richards on November 19, 2009 | Read more in: News
MSAD#5 hosted its 2009 Adult Education graduation on Friday, June 12th, presenting 12 Diplomas. Graduates attending the ceremony include Jaynie Butler of Rockland, Crystal Davey of Thomaston, Jennifer Eastman of Rockland, Amber Grant of Rockland, Krista Murphy of Thomaston, Caleb O'Brien of Thomaston, Shane Preston of Rockland, Amy Rackliff of Rockland, Casey Robinson of Union, Meghan Runius of Rockland, Joy Skarka of Thomaston and Sheldon Woodcock of Rockland. In total, MSAD#5 awarded 29 GEDs and 6 Adult Education Diplomas during the 2008-2009 school year.
Crystal Davey of Thomaston, graduate and mother of two, was the student speaker for the ceremony. Her poignant words spoke of how important it is to have outside support, both from younger and older generations: "Children are an inspiration to all young parents. They make you want to do the very best in everything that you do. The support of friends and family is what helped me finish this great accomplishment. I know now my children can look up to the person I am today, and the person I will be in the future." Crystal has been working toward her GED while raising two young children. Her five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter joined her in celebrating, along with her fiancé-also a GED graduate-and family. Crystal plans to continue her formal education.
Dr. Judith Lucarelli, MSAD#5 Superintendent of Schools, proudly handed out diplomas. Her speech 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. You have chosen the harder path: not for you, the simple task of earning a diploma by going to school every day through twelfth grade. You, for a whole range of reasons known best by you, stepped aside from that path and made the choice as adults to complete your first degree, the diploma to be awarded tonight. My challenge to you is that this not be the end of your learning. You know better than ANY of the members of the class of 2009 at RDHS who received their diplomas on Tuesday. You know better than them that learning is something that adults do and thrive on. You know that you will continue for the rest of your life. For your whole life, BE A STUDENT."
Edward Mazurek, Maine State Representative from Rockland, was scheduled to be the guest speaker, however he was unable to make the graduation ceremony as he is co-chair of the Transportation Committee in Augusta and they were trying to pass their budget on Friday. Shannon Parker, MSAD#5 Director of Adult Education, read Mazurek's speech to the graduates and their guests. Mazurek remarks included wisdom for all attendees: "If you learn anything from this experience, remember that it is never too late to accomplish something you set your heart and mind to doing. It is never too late to dream your highest dream, and never too late to think the ‘impossible' and to achieve it. Enjoy this night, for today you have attained yesterday's dream."
Students earning their GED (General Education Development) Diplomas worked within MSAD#5'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. "Each graduate has worked hard to overcome obstacles and attain their academic goal. It is an incredible achievement for which they should be very proud," says Beth A. Gifford, GED instructor and Director of Literacy Volunteers of Midcoast Maine.
Posted by Shannon Parker on June 17, 2009 | Read more in: News