CMCA awarded United Way grant to establish Callaway adult education program

Central Missouri Community Action was awarded a $1,000 community enhancement grant to Central Missouri Community Action during the United Way Victory Celebration May 29 at 2013 honorary United Way campaign chairs Barney and Jane Forsythe's home. Back row, from left: Barney Forsythe, Tad Dobyns, Cliff Nevins, Sharon Lynch, Anne Johnson. Front row: Jane Forsythe, Lois Nevins, Darin Preis and Glenn Harris.

Central Missouri Community Action was awarded a $1,000 community enhancement grant to Central Missouri Community Action during the United Way Victory Celebration May 29 at 2013 honorary United Way campaign chairs Barney and Jane Forsythe's home. Back row, from left: Barney Forsythe, Tad Dobyns, Cliff Nevins, Sharon Lynch, Anne Johnson. Front row: Jane Forsythe, Lois Nevins, Darin Preis and Glenn Harris.

A community enhancement grant from the Callaway County United Way will be put to use by Central Missouri Community Action helping adults further their basic education.

The $1,000 grant will help CMCA establish an adult basic education program here, in which volunteers will work with clients to help them earn their GED diplomas.

The fact is, employers are looking for a high school diploma or GED as a base for hiring,” CMCA Executive Director Darin Preis said in a press release. “The GED opens doors for numerous job opportunities as well as additional opportunities to earn a vocational degree, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree."

The 12-week program will be offered to adults for free, and will offer a more hands-on GED preparation to help adults achieve their high school graduation equivalency.

Preis said in the release that the funds will be used to buy books, practice tests and support materials, and that SERVE, Inc., the Fulton Housing Authority and the Callaway County Senior Center were "active partners" on the project.

Tad Dobyns, CMCA's Callaway community organizer, said CMCA's mission relies on community support.

"We appreciate the opportunity that United Way has given us to do something the community is lacking," Dobyns told the Fulton Sun. "It took a collaborative effort to even get this far and take it forward. We're looking forward to being able to provide these classes for Callaway County."

Dobyns said there is no final date or location for where the program will be held, but CMCA wants to start by finding volunteers to help teach the program. Since the program is not through the Department of Elementary or Secondary Education, he said volunteers don't need to be certified, though past teaching experience is a plus.

Interested volunteers can contact Dobyns at (573) 642-3316 or Nancy Foster with SERVE at (573) 642-6388.

According to data from the U.S. Census for 2008-2012 available at quickfacts.census.gov, 13.8 percent of Callaway County residents 25 or older are not high school graduates. This is higher than the statewide average of 12.8 percent.

It's a need Dobyns said CMCA wanted to step up and address, adding that this was the first such program the anti-poverty organization has implemented in its eight-county coverage area since he joined.

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