District 214 Community Education celebrates National Adult Education Week with life-changing offerings for adult learners
District 214 Community Education's Adult Education & Family Literacy program celebrates the National Adult Education Week, Sept 22-28. The nationally event raises public awareness about the need for adult education and family literacy and how the program has the power to improve the lives of so many people.
The Adult Education & Family Literacy program (AEFL) provides free classes to adult learners in the community, including English as a Second Language (ESL) classes; Read to Learn (RTL), a one on one basic literacy tutors' program; citizenship classes; Preventative Initiative (PI), a birth to 3 years old program; The Catherine M. Lee Women's and Children's Center; Reading 101; College and Career Ready, Manufacturing Pathways classes and more.
The goal is to provide basic educational services to adults in the community who are English as a Second Language learners, the undereducated, the unemployed or underemployed, and/or low income. Certain programs also provide childcare so that finding childcare will not be a barrier in their education.
"Our learning does not stop when we graduate from high school or college because it is a lifelong journey," said Ewa Crowe, citizenship program coordinator.
Last year, AEFL exceeded the Illinois Community College Board goal of 45 percent student level gains with 47.2 percent in student level gains and achieved 77.43 percent in post testing.
Also in fiscal year 2019, the number of naturalized citizens increased to 122 students, 58 adults and 69 children attended the Family Literacy Program, 1,133 students attended Adult Education & Family Literacy programs, 318 volunteer tutors instructed Read to Learn students and 86 new tutors were trained.
Crowe said that by giving the immigrant community members opportunities to learn English or providing classes for adult students to become United States citizens, they are helping change and improve the quality of life for many families.
"They would not be able to do it on their own," said Crowe. "That's when we come in with our various programs. To help, encourage, educate and direct our adult students to achieve their goals and to make their dreams come true."
A new AEFL program is the Manufacturing Career Pathway. It offers Introduction to Manufacturing and Quality Control classes teaching adult learners basic manufacturing skills that will lead them to successful careers in the manufacturing field, which is in need of quality workers.
The AEFL program is dedicated to providing adults with a high-quality education that will change the trajectory for many individuals and families. To learn more about AEFL's offerings, visit ce.d214.org.