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GED Students at OCC Collect Items for Texas School

Donation PhotoOlney Central College’s Learning Skills Center celebrated National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week by helping others.

GED students teamed with OCC faculty and staff to collect classroom items for East Early College High School in Houston, Texas. The dual-credit high school, which serves primarily economically disadvantaged students, sustained heavy damage in the historic flooding following Hurricane Harvey.

The donations included paper, pens, notebooks and even gift cards, which the GED students packed and shipped to assist students affected by the natural disaster.

“It feels nice to help students who need it,” said GED student Gwyn Atkins.

LSC Developmental Support Specialist Lindsey Buck organized the collection after reading a social media post asking for schools to volunteer to be matched with an educational institution affected by the hurricane. Buck signed up and was partnered with East Early College High School teacher Deborah Vine.

In her correspondence, Vine stressed the dire need for items to assist the school’s students who have lost everything. She also expressed her gratitude to OCC for helping.

“Many of my students attending EECHS will receive an associate degree upon completion of high school credits,” she added. “We have a number of students who are first generation to the U.S. or DACA students who want to make a difference.”

GED student Austin James feels a special connection to the city. He was visiting friends in the Houston area shortly before the hurricane and his girlfriend’s brother-in-law is stationed at Ft. Hood.

“Texas is a great place and it’s great to be able to help the students out there,” he said.

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy. In the United States, 36 million adults struggle with basic academic skills, making it difficult to function effectively as workers, parents, citizens and consumers in today’s society. Nearly 30 percent of adults with household incomes at or below the poverty line do not have high school credentials.

OCC’s Learning Skills Center is working hard to assist local residents. The LSC provides free classes and books to assist students who want to earn their GEDs. Classes begin every eight weeks and are offered in the day, evening and online to ensure everyone who wants to earn a GED can.

Past graduates have found better-paying jobs, earned their associate’s degrees at OCC and completed their bachelor’s degrees at a four-year university.

OCC is now registering students for GED classes. The next eight-week session begins Oct. 16. For more information, contact Buck at 618-395-7777, ext. 2265.

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