Monday, October 24, 2016

ABE Students Take Prepared Voter Challenge 
By: Kelly Fox, Director of Adult Basic Education

ABE student, Jerome, analyzes voting resources
to help him prepare to participate in democracy. 
The 2016 General Election is growing near and candidates are in the home stretch of the campaign season. The political climate has been tense, to say the least, and although the electorate may seem highly polarized, there are plenty of citizens who feel entirely left out of the political process. Polling data indicate that educational attainment may play a role for voters, possibly influencing whether or not they will vote.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Your support has changed 403 lives so far this year!
By: Ginger Duiven, Executive Director

I came into work this morning needing a second cup of coffee. I had so many thoughts whirring through my mind as I pondered writing you today. Here’s some of them…Sherman Park, elections, education, Jessica, systems, racism, privilege, my dad, unearned disadvantage, Jerome, history, opportunity, change, hope, Richard, recognition, kindness, power…

Adult Basic Education student, Leroy, studies
diligently to improve his reading skills with the
patient guidance of volunteer tutor, Mary Kachoyeanos.
When I made my way back to the coffee pot I noticed how all the classrooms were nearly filled with students and tutors at work and I thought YOU did this! You provided the resources for our small but mighty organization to fill these rooms with people who want to learn, want to succeed, and want to give back themselves. You fill the rooms with volunteers (like you!?) who want to help and have the knowledge, time, know-how, kindness, and patience to do just that. In our fall edition of our newsletter you will see just what I am talking about. Julie Clark interviewed one of our students, Alejandra, about her experience, her motivations, her hard work, and her drive to give back. This is just ONE of the 403 stories so far this year. But I am getting ahead of myself. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

GED Graduation
By: Sara Risley, GED Tutor

One of the greatest perks of being a tutor in LSW/GED is when a student passes his/her last test. There are often screams, usually hugs, and most always, tears of joy on the faces of both tutor and student. These emotions are even more intense at the citywide GED Commencement at MATC, which I experienced on June 1st.

As a retired professional portrait photographer, I am always excited to photograph the cap and gown portraits of our LSW grads which have now been added to the wall of honor in our GED area of Literacy Services. The students take this portrait most seriously, arranging hair around the cap, straightening ties, and untangling tassels. It moves me to tears seeing the smiles on those faces. I don’t even have to work to get a good expression because the sheer elation and relief shine through on this happy day. Often their children are present and their faces beam with pride at the happiness of their parents.

After pictures, LSW Executive Director Ginger Duiven took the opportunity to congratulate the graduates on their success. GED Program Director David Peters also expressed the pride that everyone in the agency including staff, tutors, and other students feel for the Class of 2016 and their accomplishments.