Grow, Baby, Grow: Summer Work and Learn, A Youth Agriculture Project

The Tutorial Center’s Summer Work and Learn Program is well under way in both Manchester and Bennington, thanks to a Department of Labor grant has enabled it to replicate its successful Youth Agriculture Project in 2010, which allows The Tutorial Center to employ a team of youth ages 16-21 as paid Crew Workers over the summer.

Part of the SWL crew: Mia Nassavera, Kathleen Ambuhl, and Elyse Hardy

The Tutorial Center is thrilled to have been able create a Summer Work and Learn program in the Northshire area as well as in Bennington. A team of youth are busy tending plots at the community garden site at the Manchester Recreation Area, selling products at the farmers’ market, donating vegetables to local food banks, and participating in job readiness opportunities and workshops. The Transition Town Manchester, an active group in the Northshire, is collaborating with the SWL program to promote and sustain the community garden site at the Recreation Center.

The Tutorial Center has operated popular Summer Work and Learn programs in the Bennington area for the past four years, providing youth ages 16-21 with work experiences in planting, tending, and harvesting crops, selling produce at local farmers markets, as well as carrying out service projects in the community.

This is the fifth year for this Tutorial Center program, which began in 2006 and works in close collaboration with the Vermont Department of Labor and University of Vermont Extension to provide education and job training for at-risk and out-of-school youth. The Vermont Department of Labor funds the youth wages.

Kevin Delaney

Last year’s youth crew workers were enthusiastic about their experiences. “This is a totally new experience for me,” said Keith Bradt, 18. “But I’ve learned a lot and it’s actually fun! I can definitely see how I will use what I have learned in the future.” And Taigan O’Dell, 17, agreed. She can now name all the herbs and flowers on the table and talk enthusiastically about how to grow and use them. Dan Pisciotta, 17, said the best part for him is meeting all the people at the market and being part of a community. “And our bosses rock!” he said.

Rick Heyniger, the 2009 Bennington Summer Work and Learn program’s horticultural consultant, said about the program, “It’s more about the process than the produce.” While the veggies and flowers are a nice product, for many of the youth, the most valuable aspect is the personal growth and the teamwork.

Community members and gardeners interested in supporting the project or making equipment and supplies donations should contact Hilary Batchelor at hilaryb@sover.net or 802-824-4565.

 

Summer Work & Learn Flyer 2010 Manchester

TTC Director Took MORE THAN 81,734 Steps for Literacy!

Go Jack Go, was the chant. And Go Jack Did! On May 20, 2010 Jack Glade, Executive Director of The Tutorial Center, set out on a 38.7 mile Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon Hike, and every step he took benefitted children at risk.

The highly successful Steps for Literacy campaign brought in over $8,800 to build up our S.O.S. Scholarships Fund so that more children will have the opportunity to receive needed academic tutoring and the chance to succeed in school.

You can read all about Jack’s rigorous trek, view his photographs, read about his training progress, and also see his generous community sponsors at the Steps for Literacy website.

Tutorial Center in National Spotlight

DAWSON RASPUZZI

The Bennington Banner

Sunday March 14, 2010

BENNINGTON — Educators from around the country will have an opportunity to learn about an academic program in Vermont that allows high school dropouts the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, at a national conference this week.

Representatives from The Tutorial Center in Bennington and Manchester are in Chicago this week to present workshops on the Vermont High School Completion Program (HSCP) to hundreds of literacy organizations from around the country at the first national conference on adult basic education and literacy.

High school dropouts

The HSCP began in 2007 and is the only program in the country that allows high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 21 to complete their course work outside the school through an adult education center and earn a high school diploma, said Jack Glade, executive director of The Tutorial Center.

“It’s a way for people who are no longer in school to earn their high school credit through an alternative pathway,” Glade said.

Students can earn credits in the HSCP by taking alternative classes at The Tutorial Center, a high school, a college or through internships, Glade said.

“This program is unique in the country and lots of states have expressed interest in it … so we’re going out to bring the country up to speed, speaking on behalf of the state,” Glade said.

In the state, more than 900 students have enrolled in the HSCP since 2007 one-third of whom have earned a high school diploma and one-third of whom are still enrolled, Glade said.

Glade said The Tutorial Center helps about 200 individuals between the ages of 16 and 21 each year, and on average about 15 earn their high school diploma through the HSCP each year, while others earn their General Education Development (GED).

On average, the HSCP takes one year to complete, Glade said.

Glade said both at The Tutorial Center and nationally there has been an increase in adult enrollment in alternative education programs, in part because high schools are contacting adult education centers when students drop out so they can be reeled back in. The increased publicity surrounding the importance of a diploma in today’s workforce has also increased the need for programs like the HSCP nationally, Glade said.

Glade will be joined by Janice Leslie and Jan Bopp from The Tutorial Center to present information about the HSCP.

Also attending the national conference co-hosted by ProLiteracy and the Commission on Adult Basic Education will be more than 1,500 education experts; political leaders, including Obama administration representatives; and adult learners to discuss strategies to address funding shortages and increase collaborations as the demand for services grows across the country.

“With record job losses and demand for services soaring, there has never been a more crucial time for this conference. It will bring greater attention to the adult literacy crisis estimated to impact one in seven adults nationally,” Glade said.

Other presenters at the conference will include Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education with the U.S. Department of Education; Jane Oates, assistant secretary of the employment and training administration with the U.S. Department of Labor; Byron Pitts, chief national correspondent for the CBS Evening News, “60 Minutes” contributor, author, and champion of personal literacy struggles; Scott Simon, National Public Radio Weekend Edition Saturday host and author; and David Harvey, president and CEO, ProLiteracy.

The Tutorial Center is a member of ProLiteracy, the world’s largest organization of adult basic education and literacy programs, with 1,200 community-based members in the country.

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at draspuzzi@benningtonbanner.com

The Tutorial Center Brought Best Practices to National Conference on Literacy Crisis

TTC attended first-ever national conference on adult education and literacy to represent state and local needs

Jack Glade, Janice Leslie, and Jan Bopp of The Tutorial Center in Bennington and Manchester presented workshops to hundreds of literacy organizations from around the country who attended the first-ever national conference on adult basic education and literacy in Chicago, Ill., the week of March 15.

“With record job losses and demand for services soaring, there has never been a more crucial time for this conference. It will bring greater attention to the adult literacy crisis estimated to impact one in seven adults nationally,” said Glade, Executive Director of The Tutorial Center.

The Tutorial Center is a member of ProLiteracy, the world’s largest organization of adult basic education and literacy programs with 1,200 community based members in the U.S.  In Vermont, The Tutorial Center is a member organization of LearningWorks, Vermont’s adult education and literacy system. Glade, Leslie, and Bopp presented two separate workshops on exemplary literacy programs offered at The Tutorial Center.

The conference, co-hosted by ProLiteracy and the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE), brought together more than 1,500 education experts; political leaders, including Obama administration representatives; and adult learners to discuss strategies to address funding shortages and increase collaborations as the demand for services continues to grow across the country.

Doing so, they join a roster of presenters that will feature prominent national speakers and advocates who will draw attention to America’s expanding literacy crisis including Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education; Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of the Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; Byron Pitts, Chief National Correspondent for the CBS Evening News, “60 Minutes” contributor, author, and champion of personal literacy struggles; Scott Simon, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host and author; and David Harvey, President and CEO, ProLiteracy.

“This inaugural joint conference marks a historic milestone in adult education, when we bring together top political and industry advocates to try to open America’s eyes to the adult literacy crisis, which affects 32 million adults and their families,” said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy.

Social Enterprise World Forum Tapped TTC Exec. Director

Jack Glade, The Tutorial Center Executive DirectorOur Executive Director, Jack Glade, was very busy this spring recruiting presenters and reviewing nearly 100 proposals from international leaders in the cutting edge movement known as “social enterprise,” as part of his role as program co-chair for the Social Enterprise Summit and 3rd World Forum, held in San Francisco April 28-30, 2010.

“A ‘social enterprise’ is an organization that blends non-profit and for-profit business practices in order to tackle a social problem such as illiteracy, hunger, unemployment, or disease,” explains Glade. Growing numbers of leaders all over the world are seeing social enterprise as an important tool for improving the lives of people living in hunger or struggling with illiteracy.

The Tutorial Center is a good example of a social enterprise, says Glade. The Tutorial Center is a non-profit organization that uses a core of strong business-based practices – market research, client satisfaction, cost-effective services, fee-for-service products, financial management, research-based methods, and focus on outcomes – to tackle illiteracy through high-quality literacy instruction, accessible academic tutoring, work-readiness training, alternative high school education, and college access.

“Our outcomes of helping children succeed in school, increasing the literacy levels of adults, decreasing the high school dropout rate, and helping those who have dropped out to earn high school diplomas and go on to college and jobs are very strong,” he says.

Internationally, there is a growing awareness of how the social enterprise approach often provides higher-impact solutions to social challenges than traditional nonprofit and charity methods. The Social Enterprise Summit and 3rd World Forum engaged non-profit and for-profit leadership from all over the world in building the capacity of social enterprises to tackle the social, environmental, and economic challenges of our time.

Details can be found at www.se-alliance.org or call Jack at 447-0111.