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Maine Adult Education Association

RSU #13 Adult and Community Education

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28 Lincoln Street • Rockland, ME 04841 • 207-594-9764

News & Events

Archive: June 2011

RSU 13 adult education receives grant from Barbara Bush Foundation

As published in The Herald Gazette:



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



Posted by Shannon Parker  on June 28, 2011

Adult Ed Diploma Program Offers a Way Forward

as published in the Bangor Daily News (Midcoast Beacon)

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


Posted by Shannon Parker  on June 28, 2011