Tag Archives: education

Early death concern for dropouts

Anecdoctal research in England shows that one in six teenagers out of work or education for a long period could be dead within 10 years.

The research looked back at the so-called ‘Neets’ (not in education, employment or training) of 10 years ago, and discovered that 15% of those studied had already died.

Although this is only representative of Northern England, it is a wake up call for everyone.

Read the complete article here.

The Struggling Economy and Its Effect on Education

It’s no secret that the economy is in trouble. The number of job openings is down 31 percent from a year ago. Since December 2007, there have been more than 2.7 million layoffs. Some economists say these are the worst statistics they’ve seen in 25 years.


To make matters worse, in Summit County (Ohio), more than 52,000 adults over the age of 25 lack a high school diploma. A sad, yet true statistic.


In Maryland, it’s estimated that about 30 percent of Baltimore city residents don’t read at a sufficient level or don’t have a high school diploma.


In addition to the Summit County residents without a high school diploma, Project Learn’s enrollment has increased because students realize they need better skills to compete and succeed in the workplace.


More companies are requiring that applicants possess college degrees for employment. Laid off workers are going back to school to earn their GED diplomas, in hope that it will lead to a job. Our students understand the dilemma that is before them. The first step to overcoming this problem is to get their GED diplomas. The next step is to acquire additional career training and higher education. proud-graduate3


Project Learn had 200 GED graduates last year. This year we are expecting close to 300 graduates. But we’re not the only program to see a spike in our graduation statistics.


Middletown City Schools’ Adult Education program saw 505 people earn their GED last year. With three months still left in this academic year, about 400 people have earned their GED so far.


The South Baltimore Learning Center (SBLC) has seen a jump in general interest and enrollment in both its GED and External Diploma classes. SBLC has even increased its classes and offerings by about 20 percent to accommodate interested students.


Pretty amazing, huh?


But what do you to when the number of students is increasing, but the amount of money you have is decreasing? And despite the recent stimulus bill, it’s likely that it won’t help adult students tooking to get their GED diplomas.


Tough call.


Although it will get harder to serve students with a limited budget, it will be even harder to turn them away.


Find out how you can help by visiting www.projectlearnsummit.org or calling 330-434-9461. 


Tis The Season

Yes, I know that the holiday season is over.  Well, mostly depending on what culture you’re from, but at least for me, it is.  This has been my first week back after a 2 1/2 week vacation (Yeah!), and I needed it.  I love my students and teaching, but some times you just need a break from all of it to recharge, to get those creative juices refilled and flowing.  I don’t know how creative I’m being right now, but at least I have a little more creative energy now than I did when I finished up in December.

But, as in every job, you generally pay for any day you take off, and Project Learn is not different.  Not only have I been trying to catch up on work that I missed, but the phone has been ringing off the hook.  This is one of our busiest times: the New Year.  Everyone’s making their New Year’s resolution and trying to get their GED at the same time.  Our orientations are filled until the middle of February, and we’ve already filled up all of our walk-in spots. 

The only thing that has been holding us back is the weather.  Even though people promise to get their GED in 2009, our students seem to be putting it on hold until it gets warmer.  This time of year and the frigidly cold weather generally scares some of our students into cloistering around the heating vents in their houses.  So, there’s a bit of contradiciton:  they want to come to class but Papa Frost keeps them from leaving the house.

This is nothing new but always interesting when it happens.  It’s a usual start to a cold year.  Let’s hope it gets the warmer it gets.

Congresswoman Betty Sutton Reminds Us Why It’s Important to Vote

With the primary elections almost upon us and the presidential elections not too far off, everyone needs a reminder of why voting is important and about how every election can impact our daily lives.  Recently, Project Learn provided our students–GED, Literacy, and ESOL–with the opportunity to meet with and ask quesitons to one of the members of congress that represents them, Congresswoman Betty Sutton. 

During this discussion, Congresswoman Sutton explained the importance of and encouraged the classroom full of students to vote in the presidential primary in March and election this fall.  Project Learn staff and students are extremely grateful for the time that Congresswoman Sutton took out of her busy schedule to come to speak with us and her continued support of our program. 

Don’t forget to vote this upcoming Tuesday!

Thanksgiving at Project Learn

Kolter here!  I’m basically a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to Project Learn duties:  I teach, coordinate the Practice GED test, and even make up most of the family literacy activities when I have the time in between work and school these days.  Both of which like to keep me pretty busy.

Now, normally in my ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) I throw parties.  You name it, I’ll find a reasons to have a party for it:  Halloween, Christmas, heck, even the beginning of summer.  And usually my students bring the best food imaginable:  papaya (a Laotian cabbage salad–not the fruit) guacamole, currie, sticky rice–at the Halloween party this year one of my volunteers even brought in Barberton Chicken.  It’s usually a regular cornucopia of cuisine and delicacies.  I used to tell them to bring whatever they’d like, but now, in regards to all the international food, I usually recommend it.  What can I say?  My students spoil me rotten.  But last night we ended up with a somewhat impromptu soiree.  It all started with some promotional pictures and some pumpkin cookies made by one of our volunteers that I may have discreetly suggested she make–now, I say a lot of things in my classes; I don’t actually expect people to do it.  Anyway, after a rousing speech, a number of students volunteered to “model” for some promotional pictures that we plan to send out to all of the organizations and individuals that supported us this year.  While standing in the sidelines to help my beginning students with Teresa’s, our volunteer graphic designer and photographer, directions, I noticed not only how diverse our student population is–we have students from Laos, Columbia, Myanmar, Mexico, Brazil, and even the good old US of A–but also how truly grateful our students are and appreciative they can be.  Let’s be honest.  How many of us would really want our picture to be on promotional material that will be sent to hundreds of strangers?  Well, except me, but Rick, our executive director, doesn’t usually give me much of a choice. 

 But the point really hit home once I explained the purpose of Thanksgiving in America and asked them to describe the things that they were truly thankful for in their life.  It’s truly humbling to hear the appreciation the students expressed for me as their teacher, my volunteers, and also for our program.  Moments like these help me remember the difficulties that they faced in their own countries and the realities of struggling to live in a country where most people couldn’t even comprehend the suggestion of learning another language.  I’m simply happy that I have the opportunity to provide them with the skills to help them navigate through a overwhelming monoglot society.  The desire to learn English is there, and they, sometimes to my dismay, never cease asking me for more homework. 

Very few people, I think, have the opportunity to go to work and feel like they can make a positive impact in the lives of others .  One of the perks to the jobs!  And while I know I’ll never be at the high-end of the career ladder when it comes to salary, I have the opportunity to head home, knowing that I brought someone the gift of true freedom through education.  Life is fortunate when it is truly rewarding, and days like these keep me smiling when I head into my classroom every single day.