Black Diamond Gala Scheduled for January 21
An opportunity to teach a parent, reach a child, and touch the future.
(The following was sent in a press release by Sherry Perry, Executive Director of the Winder-Barrow Coalition for Adult and Continuing Education.)
After earning her GED, Linda* is now an operating room technician, and two of her children are graduating high school this year. Rene’* is now a nurse. Maricella*, an English as Second language student and GED graduate is now a college student, soon to have a degree in accounting. David* has earned a GED diploma after several starts, completed all levels of the welding program, and has recently been hired in his field at top salary. Irene earned her GED and is now an advocate for citizens in need of adult literacy instruction.
What finer testimony can there be to the importance of adult education and its impact on lives than that of students who have successfully completed the program? The adult learners noted above are all members of the Barrow County community and represent the more than 10,000 students supported by the Winder-Barrow Coalition for Adult and Continuing Education (WBCACE) since 1993.
The WBCACE is dedicated to raising the educational level of Barrow’s citizens leading toward an improved workforce and strengthened economy.
Barrow County became Georgia’s 7th Certified Literate Community through the work of the WBCACE. On November 10 we celebrated the milestone of reaching 10,000+ adult learners in less than 20 years and re-committed ourselves to Barrow County’s education and workforce development efforts.
Since the early 90s, the Winder-Barrow Coalition for Adult and Continuing Education has rallied community resources to support adult learners as they seek to improve education and employment opportunities. The community has responded by making donations, donating time, space and materials, helping the Coalition to secure grants, and supporting the Black Diamond Gala (formerly the Literacy Ball).
Funds secured by the community in less than 20 years have equaled approximately $1.8 million dollars. Most of these funds went directly to the adult literacy classrooms, and some went into the community to support efforts in the school system, to establish classes off site, and to support literacy efforts for all ages.
It the beginning there was one teacher who met students in their work places or at the library. There are now 12 GED classes and 7 English as Second Language classes meeting in Winder, Auburn and Statham.
At its first adult honors night, Barrow County graduated its first 3 GED diploma recipients. In the years that followed, the Literacy Coalition and Lanier Technical College became partners in this endeavor, and now we see upwards of 700 students per year. More than 120 earn the GED diploma annually.
To keep this momentum going, we need you to help us reach the thousands more who are in need of adult education services. There are many opportunities for you to directly impact the lives of others through adult education. Volunteers are vital to the program and serve as tutors in math, reading and English under the guidance of lead instructors. Others serve as members of the Board of Directors while some serve on the fund raising committee to organize the Black Diamond Gala, Barrow County’s premier dinner-dance benefit. Given your skills and interests, in what capacity would you like to volunteer your time?
Call Sherri Perry Executive Director, at770-868-4089 to become involved.
To assist us with funding, please join us at our 19th annual Black Diamond Gala, a black tie optional affair, to be held Saturday, January 21 at the Winder Community Center. Dinner will be catered by Cornbread and Caviar, and Johnny’s Pizza will offer a cash bar. Atlanta’s Band of Gold will provide live music. Tickets are now on sale for $75 each. Sponsorships are available for $200, $400, $600, $800 and $1,000. A portion of ticket purchases and sponsorships are tax deductible.
We hope you will join us as we work together to teach a parent, reach a child, and touch the future...
(*The names of students have been changed.)