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ASK THE EXPERTS

No hollow victories in learning

POSTED: December 31, 2008 4:00 a.m.

I read with interest the letter in your Dec. 24 edition in which the writer referred to a community becoming a Certified Literate Community Participant as a “hollow victory” and feel compelled to write as this is a very personal thing for me — something very “near and dear to my heart.”

  

Although there is a numerical goal of individuals to be served (in Dawson County’s case, it will be 1,638) there is so much more to being a CLCP. 

  

Throughout the state of Georgia our CLCPs have built adult learning centers and filled them to capacity, provided transportation and child care services for adult learners, as well as materials, equipment, tutors, additional class locations and GED testing scholarships.

  

CLCPs have helped people get their 1st library card, given a child his/her first book, helped someone go from not being able to read to being able to read — to order off of a menu for the first time, taught someone how to be a better parent or how to use a computer, provided GED graduations — and a cap and gown that someone wears for the first time in his/her life, provided post secondary scholarships and helped people get that first job. If these are hollow victories — please, send as many hollow victories as you can my way.

  

The writer stated that if some of those served were level completers and not GED diplomas, it would be a hollow victory for Dawson County.  In order to be a level completer an adult must improve his/her educational levels by years — often within months and usually while raising a family and/or holding down a job and/or caring for elderly parents and/or any number of things adults must do. 

  

It takes courage, dedication, determination and hard work to go back to school. 

  

When you or your neighbor, employee, friend, relative or anyone who may read or comprehend math at a fourth grade level moves to a sixth grade or an eighth grade level, that is a major accomplishment. Referring to that as a hollow victory does all of us, in my opinion, a great disservice.

  

I have been the executive director for the Certified Literate Community Program for the state of Georgia for 11 years. I have seen all of the above and so much more.  Dawson County worked long and hard to complete their application to become a CLCP and was certified as a CLCP by the State Board of Technical and Adult Education on Dec. 4.  There are so many people in Dawson I am honored and humbled to know and I thank them for understanding the power of a community when it decides to become a force for making their community a better place to work and live.

  

Billie Izard

  

Executive Director

  

Certified Literate Community Program

 

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