IU13 Community Education is excited to announce a partnership with Church World Service (CWS) Lancaster for a new grant CWS received titled "Good Job, Happy Family". IU13 will provide education navigation services through this four-year grant. The Education Navigator, under the umbrella of the Refugee Center at Reynolds Middle School, operated by the IU13, will assist refugee children and adults in successfully integrating into education in the U.S. This service is similar to current services provided by navigators; however, the Education Navigator's primary focus will be on TANF-eligible children and adults referred by the CWS Extended Case Manager based on the family's service plan and goals.
Maria Acevedo is one of Community Education’s most recent high school equivalency graduates. A dedicated student of over two years who walked to class each day no matter the weather, she was known in the One Cumberland Street building for her smile and fierce determination. Even a pandemic and transition to fully remote learning couldn’t stop her from achieving her dream!
Topics: HSE | GED | HiSET
Technology coaching--a role Community Education put into place after switching to online learning--is one of Marilyn Lydic's most rewarding and challenging positions of her 21-year career. Primarily an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, Marilyn was tapped to assist students as they acclimated to a new way of learning.
Topics: Staff Spotlight
Tuji, originally from Ethiopia and a former resident of Johannesburg, South Africa, was astonished when he came to America. He thought he would see beautiful green scenery, but as he arrived in New York, he was surprised to find old houses and highways. However, something impacted him more--the way people behaved. He could not believe how much people respected one another and how safe he felt.
In Ethiopia, Tuji was a business owner, but it was a dangerous place to live. He explains, “There are a lot of political problems; if you don’t support the government, they put you in jail. All the family suffers.” Seeking a better life for him and his family, he decided to move to South Africa. Little did he know, living there was not an improvement. Tuji describes his experience: “There are no rights for human beings. There is a lot of violence, people kill you, torture you… lots of robberies. South Africa looks like a democracy, but it is not.”
Topics: Adult Education
IU13’s Community Education program has been awarded a mini-grant from the Lancaster STEM Alliance to provide professional development and ongoing professional learning community support for the 2020-21 program year. The project, called “Leveling the Field: STEM Skills for Adult Learners” (LTF), will be facilitated by IU13’s own Teaching and Learning Collaborative.
The goal of LTF is to help ensure that adult learners in Lancaster County are fully equipped to pursue technical and other high-demand jobs, whatever the future may bring. Many adults have not had the same STEM-education opportunities as students who have recently graduated from high school or college, which puts those adults at a disadvantage when seeking jobs that require STEM skills and/or mindsets.
Topics: Adult Education
A Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Out-of-School Youth (OSY) participant since October 2019, Donna is a resilient youth who has overcome many challenges and is now standing victorious at her new job.
Donna’s obstacles in high school included a learning disability and an eviction that resulted in being separated from her immediate family. Fortunately, Donna learned to adapt and had the opportunity to live with her grandmother.
Arzu moved to Lancaster with her husband and two sons from Turkey in August 2019. She was amazed by life here: “It is not very crowded, so I like living here. Also, the weather is similar to Turkey; a lot of rain and there are a lot of trees.” Her biggest adjustment has been getting used to the speed of life, but she has met people who are very friendly and helpful. Arzu thinks that living in the U.S. will give her “bigger opportunities for a better life, especially a better future for my children’s education.”
My name is Mark. I enjoy sports; I’m all Philly all the time. I also play sports and live a fitness lifestyle (like diet and exercise). I believe climate change is real, and this planet is in a lot of trouble. I love animals; cats are my favorite, but dogs are cool too. One day I will own a big cat like a bobcat, puma, etc. From 2016 to 2018, I lived in Colorado Springs. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I had a good time out there, but unfortunately, I became homesick and moved back to spend quality time with my sick mother.
Mark’s Background: What Brought Him to Look for an HSE Class
I had a rough childhood with behavioral issues, which doomed my schooling years. I dropped out in 11th grade but was still taking 9th and 10th-grade classes. As I look back to those years, it’s hard to believe that one can make so many poor choices and mistakes, and still have opportunities to make it right some years later.
I became interested in getting my GED primarily to stay relevant in the workforce. Now I have discovered that it’s so much more than that. The way I feel about myself has changed. I have the confidence to stand and face the things that scare me; this is so much better than the fear that has had me running for years.
Iris Mitchell joined the Milagro House GED classroom in August 2019, making it her third attempt at earning her GED in the past few years. Despite her motivation, life had gotten in the way in her previous attempts, but she was determined that her third time was going to be a charm. Iris has great strength in writing, and that was the first test that she passed back in 2017. When she entered the class in 2019, she had four more tests to take. As she got closer to passing all of the tests, we were worried that she wouldn’t have enough HiSET points to graduate (total of 45 is needed), so she re-took her writing test three times to gain more points. She made it a goal to earn at least a three on her essay (2 is a passing score), and she accomplished that goal in November 2019. With one more test to pass, she received her passing Reading test score during our tutor holiday celebration, making our celebration all the sweeter. Iris was a joyful student. She was always eager to learn, happy to see her tutors and a true motivator of other students. Milagro House wishes her the best in her future endeavors.
Here is Iris’s story in her own words:
What happened in your life that you weren’t able to graduate from high school?
Growing up for me was never easy; my childhood was so different from others. I saw things as a child that I should’ve have seen when I was that young, and as I got older, I had no choice but to grow up. The childhood that I should have been living, like going to parks with my friends, going skating, bowling, was something I never experienced. I finished my elementary and middle school days and some of my high school days, but it had just gotten to be too much for me to handle. I always thought of high school as a zoo, a bunch of animals just running loose with absolutely no control, but that’s because I struggle with anxiety also.
As millions of students across the country are finishing up their school year online, IU13 students are no exception. Learning from home during a pandemic is not an easy task, but many students accepted the challenge. One of those students is Gabriel Restrepo, a High School Equivalency (HSE) student in Lebanon.
Gabriel started in Deb Smith’s HSE class in January of this year. Just as he was beginning to think about taking his first HiSet test, the IU13 buildings closed and all classes moved online. Undeterred, Gabriel has been a faithful student and has participated in almost 35 hours of online instruction via Zoom since mid-March. He has also completed learning activities on websites and apps such as Readworks, Quizlet, Kahoot, Khan Academy, and the HiSet preparation course offered through New Readers Press.