East End Center offers GED hope for dropouts

Every single day in this country, 7,000 students drop out of high school.
Whether that is due to a lack of family support, health issues, learning disabilities, low basic skills or the constant stress of poverty, these drop-outs cost their communities, their states and the country billions of dollars in potential earnings. If the pattern continues, 13 million students will drop out of school in the next decade, at a national cost of $3 trillion.
East End Adult Education Center is determined to put the brakes on that trend. In its 38-year history, the learning center has served more than 7,600 students. Despite these students’ academic and social challenges and the poverty that permeates the East End, around 700 students have received their GED (General Educational Development) certificate through this program.
Requirements to sign up are few. Anyone, of any age, is accepted. The center accepts students who aren’t working, although attaining a job is encouraged. Once they are evaluated and given a learning plan and materials, students can come anytime that the center is open to study and get help from teachers and tutors. Best of all, everything is free, from the evaluations and class time to the books and materials.
The demographics have changed, says Adele Craft, executive director of this private, non-profit organization. “We used to have mostly older adults, but now we see a lot more teens. We had 125 students last year, and 55 were teens.” Perhaps teens who drop out aren’t waiting until adulthood to go back to school, as they realize how valuable a high school diploma is in today’s workforce. “And a lot of it is word of mouth,” Craft adds. “Teens are talking to each other” and encouraging each other to get back to school.
Do Good:
• Donate: Where there once were 40 programs in Cincinnati that offered GED preparation services, now there are fewer than 10 because of funding cuts.
• Volunteer: your time and talents to tutor one of the many East End students.
• Encourage: your business or corporation to support the work of the East End Adult Education Center. By 2018, more than 60 percent of jobs will require some education beyond high school.
By Becky Johnson
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