Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Works to Address Adult Literacy Crisis

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Georgia’s annual Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is September 8-14, 2019.  This is time set aside to remind us all that reading, writing, and basic math remain an elusive target for 36 million adults nationwide, including many in our community. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is part of a national network of organizations that work every minute of every day to end the adult literacy crisis.
According to ProLiteracy, the leading membership organization advancing the cause of adult literacy and basic education in the nation, more than 36 million adults in the U.S. lack the most basic literacy skills, and 15 percent of Americans without a diploma don’t have jobs.
Wiregrass serves 11 counties in South Georgia including; Atkinson, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, and Wilcox.  The college is committed to meeting the learning needs of adults by helping them improve their reading, writing, and math skills, learning to speak English, and preparing to pass the GED Tests.  Wiregrass offers classes in each of communities at no cost to the student. Students enrolled in the Adult Education classes that successfully complete two of the four GED tests and meet program level Accuplacer scores may enroll in credit courses under the College’s GED STEP UP Program. This allows them to work toward a certificate or diploma while completing their GED credential. In addition, some Adult Education students may qualify for transportation assistance through the College’s Workforce Investment Opportunity Act program (WIOA).
Kelly Peacock, Executive Director for Adult Education at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College states, “Literacy helps families be healthier and safer and provides people sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work, contributing ultimately to the economic growth of our region.”  Last year Wiregrass had 461 adults earn their GED, 196 of those participated in Wiregrass’ free Adult Education classes.