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.