Adult Education and Literacy Week (September 19-25, 2021) is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of adult learners, as they gain the skills and credentials necessary to move forward in careers, further education, and job training. Central Vermont Adult Basic Education (CVABE) has the honor of providing adult education and literacy services to residents of Washington, Orange, and Lamoille Counties.
“Adult education and literacy covers a much broader spectrum of instruction and services than many people realize,” says, Carol Shults-Perkins, Executive Director of CVABE. ”We are working with employers to provide specific job training skills. We are helping people with advanced skills from other countries to lean English so that they can work in the U.S. We help people to earn a high school credential. We are teaching grandparents to use computers, so that they can stay in touch with their grandkids via email or video conferencing.” Adult education is dynamic and flexible, and has changed over time to meet the emerging needs of the community and the students.
CVABE’s students are from diverse backgrounds, many from what are considered “vulnerable populations”:
- 100% have “barriers to employment”
- 62% are unemployed
- Over 12% live at 100% of the poverty level or higher
- 60% have at least one disability, ranging from learning disabilities to traumatic brain injury
- 55% are female
- 25% are minorities
- 74% have no high school credential
- At least 13% receive public assistance
“Our learners are working to overcome the challenges before them, so that they can access careers, further schooling, and gain control and independence. CVABE works with each student to develop individualized, goal-based learning plans, which, says Shults-Perkins, “are the foundations for our students’ amazing successes.”
“Adult Education and Literacy Week is a time for us to celebrate the great strides our students take, and their successes,” says Shults-Perkins. “In spite of the barriers that they must overcome, their hard work and diligence pays off. They reach their goals and change their lives.”
- 95% of our students with the goal, gained computer literacy.
- 77% of our students with the goal, gained financial literacy skills.
- 91% of our students with the goal, were active in their children’s education and literacy development.
- 59% of our students with the goal and adequate skills, earned a high school credential.
- 89% of our students with the goal, entered postsecondary education or job training.
- 73% of our students with the goal, achieved one or more career skills’ certifications
- 86% of our students with the goal, improved their work readiness.
- 30% of our students with the goal, obtained a job or a more livable wage job.
- 76% of our students with the goal, retained their current job.
- 93% of our English language learners with the goal, improved their community citizenship skills for daily living.
- 75% of our students with the goal, registered to vote.
- 100% of our students with the goal, voted.
“Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations made the most profound statement about education,” says Shults-Perkins. “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” “This is precisely why CVABE is here, and we invite our entire community to celebrate the amazing successes of their friends, family members, and neighbors this Adult Education and Literacy Week,” adds Ms. Shults-Perkins. “This is social justice and positive change in action.”