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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Heroes of the Week: Adult Learning Center Volunteers

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The Adult Learning Center (1916 N. Fourth St.) was founded in 1979 as part of the Community Social Outreach Program of St. Gall Catholic Parish in Milwaukee, and provides general education classes to adults seeking to earn their GED/High School Equivalency Diploma. Adults interested in attending classes take an initial test for $1 to gauge their skill level; tuition is $20 per semester or $5 a month. Semesters are 16 weeks long and the classes, which can be one-on-one or in small groups, focus on building students’ foundational skills in reading/writing (literacy arts), science, social studies and math. The organization works hard to accommodate various schedules and holds morning and evening classes Monday-Thursday. ALC is not a testing location, but does help students get signed up to take the GED/High School Equivalency exam at a testing site. The nonprofit currently has six instructors and more than 100 active volunteers that are the organization’s backbone.

“There is a very strong community at ALC,” says Cara Ball, transition specialist at ALC. “Relationships built here are so strong—teachers and volunteers get to know the students and vice versa. We are coming together to work toward a common goal—to get as many students prepared for their GED as possible—and there is such high commitment and energy in the approach that the teachers and volunteer tutors bring. We offer a lot of support and compassion and people are always impressed by the energy that is alive in our center.”

ALC is always seeking more volunteer tutors in any subject. The organization is also collecting books (no textbooks) for its annual October Book Sale, and can always use school supplies (notebooks, folders, pens and pencils) and break room supplies (coffee, tea and paper towels). For more information about the Adult Learning Center, visit alcmilwaukee.org or call 414-263-5874.