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Release date: December 18, 2006

Community Classroom seeks volunteers for new programs

PLAINVIEW – The Community Classroom at Wayland Baptist University is seeking volunteer tutors for two new programs to begin in 2007.

              Tutorial services for U.S. citizenship and pre-GED/GED tests will be offered in February, and tutor training for the programs is slated for the early part of the year. Training for the citizenship tutoring will be held Saturday, Jan. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, and the GED tutor training will be held Saturday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon. Both sessions will include breakfast and will be held at the Community Classroom, located at 708 Yonkers.

              According to Debbie Stennett, classroom director, the programs are a natural extension of the current offerings and the partnership with the Hale County Literacy Council, formed when the council moved into the classroom facility in April 2006.

              “This dovetails from the literacy program and our English for Speakers of Other Languages program, and these folks have expressed an interest in continuing their learning,” Stennett said. “These are door-opening programs for people in our community. The citizenship program will allow them to vote and become involved, and the GED willl allow them to do so many more things.”

              The tutorial services for U.S. citizenship will involve one-on-one assistance in the areas of reading, writing and basic civics to individuals preparing for the citizenship test and interview. Students and tutors will meet weekly according to their schedules and work on the areas they feel are needed for the testing. The sessions will not cover the legal aspects of the naturalization process nor any paperwork but are only intended to prepare for the test and interview. Students will be responsible for the cost of instructional materials.

              Tutors for the program should be at least 18, able to meet for at least 90 minutes weekly with a student and attend the tutor training session. Stennett said tutors should also be able to provide a warm, fun and relaxed learning experience in a Christian environment and should be able to work with adults from diverse backgrounds.

              The pre-GED/GED tutoring will involve one-on-one tutoring with students as they prepare to take the test for the General Equivalency Diploma. Students must be English-speaking and at least age 18. Basic instruction will be provided in reading, language and math. Sessions will be set by the tutor and student and recommended meetings will be at least two hours each week. Students will be responsible for the cost of instructional materials.

              The actual GED testing will not be done at Wayland but is already offered at other entities in Plainview. The tutoring program is intended for those who need extra individual assistance before attempting one of the computer-based instruction programs in the city.

              Tutors for the program should be at least 18, willing to invest in another person’s growth and learn how to do that, able to make a 3-6 month commitment to a student and provide a warm, relaxed learning experience in a Christian environment where students can be encouraged to persevere and better their lives.

              The time commitment for each student in these programs will depend on the student’s needs, Stennett noted.

              “Both will be driven by the student’s pace and learning needs. This kind of learning can’t be rushed, and these students already have lots of demands on them,” she said, adding that flexibility and sensitivity to the life demands of these adult students is essential for tutors.

              Registration for the tutor training is currently underway. Those interested may contact Stennett at 291-3650 for more information or to register for training.