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What if you couldn’t read well enough to help your child with homework? That is the situation “Rosalita” found herself in, with a son at Webb Middle School. She enrolled in Webb’s daytime ESL class, studying for 16 hours each week. Over two years, she has completed ESL, coursework from Mexico through our Plazas program, and is now enrolled in GED Prep classes in Spanish. Rosalita ‘s confidence has expanded, and, most importantly, she is able to help her son. 454 students have enrolled in AVEY Adult Academy classes this year, completing 13,650 hours of study. ESL, GED, school completion in Spanish, parenting, computers, financial literacy, nutrition and cooking, exercise and more, totaling 19 different courses across seven sites. In addition, 1,281 parents attended AVEY workshops, many done in partnership with other agencies.
Why is adult education important in a community school? In addition to research that has shown that parents who are involved in their own education are more likely to support their children’s education, we have found that adult education is key to increasing family stability. As parents gain skills, they are able to access more jobs, increase their family’s income, and gain professional confidence. Stable families, in turn, stay in one school and allow students to from strong relationships and thrive.
As AVEY continues to expand coordinated adult education across northeast and central Austin, we are grateful for a grant from the United Way for $25,000 to increase 2-gen classes in the Dobie/Rundberg area, starting in July. We are also grateful to the many partners who provide our classes, including ACC, the Mexican Consulate, Phoenix House, AISD Community Ed, and the HEB Foundation.
(Update-January, 2018) Austin Voices is working with 12 community schools in north Austin to blend their adult education classes into a regional Adult Academy that includes over 45 classes and workshops this Spring for adults and parents. Classes range from ESL, GED and Computers to exercise classes, financial literacy and parenting classes. Austin Voices is partnering with the following organizations to bring classes to multiple sites:
- Foundation Communities (Financial Literacy)
- Lifeworks (Real Talk)
- Phoenix House (Strengthening Families)
- ACC (ESL GED and Computer Literacy)
- Center for Child Protection (Parenting Classes)
- Mexican Consulate (Plaza Comunitarias-School Completion in Spanish)
- Central Texas Food Bank (Benefits Enrollment-SNAP/Medicaid)
- Travis County Underage Drinking Prevention (Parent Classes)
- Austin Public Health (Diabetes Management)
- Austin Community Law Center (Free Legal Services)
- BASTA (Tenants’ Rights)
- AISD Adult Education (ESL)
On Saturday, January 13 and Saturday, January 20, Austin Voices held Adult Education Fairs to at Lanier High School and Webb Middle School to register families for classes at the network of Adult Academy Schools. Parent Support Specialists at partner campuses are also helping with registration and coordination of classes.
Read more about AVEY Family Support Programs