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February 2016 Newsletter

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bringing it Home with the Parent/Family Relationship

The importance of a good education is undeniable, and a sturdy foundation is key to developing a viable and rewarding pathway. When we discuss the development of these core building blocks, we often default to the idea of children. However, one in six American adults has less than basic literacy skills - that's roughly 36 million people ( Adult illiteracy is not isolated from children's literacy. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand.

This gap in skills plays a large role in the family home. It can be reflected in expectations and parent involvement. Low-skilled adults generally have lower expectations towards education not only for themselves, but their children as well. Additionally, they will have a more removed relationship with their children's education. By furthering their own education, they can turn this relationship around and better their own lives, as well as their children's futures. Read more about the parent/family literacy relationship here.

As a result of increased education, adults benefit personally and professionally. In 2012, Iowa established the Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) program. The PACE program assists eligible Iowans along the path of securing gainful, quality employment that can support a family livable wage with career training and employment services. Learn more about the PACE program below.

PACE Program

The Pathways for Academic Career and Employment program (PACE) was established by State Code 260H and passed into law during the 2012 session. The PACE program provides funding to each community college in Iowa for the development of projects that will lead to gainful, quality, in-state employment for members of target populations by providing them with effective academic and employment training and customized support services.

Individuals included in target populations meet one or more of the following criteria:

Are deemed by definition to be low skilled
Earn incomes at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level
Are unemployed
Are underemployed
Are dislocated workers

Eligibility for PACE is based on an assessment and intake process with a Pathway Navigator. Potential clients are then deemed eligible on a case-by-case basis. Read more >>

Coordinator Spotlight:
Meet Pamela Woolridge

Pamela Woolridge
Adult basic education administrative program coordinator
Western Iowa Tech Community College

How long have you been a coordinator/instructor for adult education?
I have worked at Western Iowa Tech Community College for a total of 25 years as of this past January. I started working here as an instructor for adult basic education for 19 years and then was promoted. I have been the adult basic education administrative program coordinator the past six years.

Tell us one thing you enjoy about your position.
The thing I enjoy most about my position is that it gives me the opportunity to work with world cultures and diversity. Currently, we are preparing for our annual Festival of Nations that will happen April 20, 2016. Our adult basic education and global education students provide food and entertainment and share their cultures with our community.

Tell us about yourself.
I am married to a wonderful man named Carlos Perez, who came from Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. He came to live at the YMCA for a short time where I was working, and that is how we met 27 years ago. Next month we will have been married 24 years. We both work in schools, so we have a great understanding of working and getting along with people. We do not have any children of our own but have enjoyed working with other people's children through the YMCA Youth Program and soccer and the Red Cross Youth Education and swimming.

My mother and I share a 10-year-old tea cup poodle, who is about six pounds of white fur. His registered name is Budd E. Buttons, but we just call him Buddy. He lives with my mom, but I cover most of the expenses, walking duties and vet visits. He provides a lot of joy for the both of us and has quite a personality. He goes to the nursing home with my mom as she provides fun and entertainment dressed as a clown for the residents. They are quite a pair.

In my spare time, which I don't seem to have too much of these days, I enjoy music and travel. I have been very fortunate over the past few years to travel with the college to Turkey, Greece, Italy and Paris. My music involves playing the guitar, piano and saxophone. Recently, I joined the bell choir at church. I also enjoy singing karaoke and sometimes perform at the nursing homes. I sang twice for our GED Graduation at WITCC.

Why did you choose your profession?
I chose my profession because I wanted to help people. I love to teach people things they don't know and find difficult to learn. I look for a way to make things simple and easy to learn, and I assist students to acquire this knowledge.

What was your dream job growing up?
Growing up my dream job was becoming a teacher. Many of my family members were teachers including my father, who taught math, which seems to be difficult to most people. However, I love it. My greatest joy was to teach a math pilot and have students say, "This is fun and easy!"

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I look forward to all my traveling and vacations. I have been to all 50 states and 21 countries. My goal is to get to Australia someday. I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Mexico, where we visited family and took a quick trip to the beach for four days. It was fantastic!

 Beatriz's Story

Beatriz Castro grew up in a small town with no high school. She decided to stop her education and work to help her mother. Now married and with a family of her own, she decided it was time to finish her education.

 Inspire Success

Your Future Starts Here Iowa wants to help people share their stories. As an adult, it can be a daunting task to earn your HSED, start an ESL program, further your education or begin your career, but now, more than ever, is the time to start. Share your story and encourage someone to forge their path today!

 START TODAY · 1.800.316.6850 ·


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