Offering free adult education in Spanish to over 100 students each year
The small and mighty team of Lifelong Learning teachers and administrators teach Latinx adults English, Spanish Literacy, Math, Computer Skills, and more. A strong connection with Colorado Mountain College propels students to pursue their GED, higher education, and professional certifications to improve their employment prospects. Lifelong Learning acts as a launchpad for immigrant adults who have big dreams for themselves and their families.
Providing a launchpad for further education and professional advancement
When Parents Learn, Children Benefit
Lifelong Learning was born out of conversations with adult volunteers in our Parent Mentor program. We learned that many adults had attained low levels of education in their home country before immigrating to the United States, and felt they lacked the tools to help their own children in school. Many wanted to improve their Spanish literacy skills, learn to speak English, and become comfortable using computers.
Parents tell us that after the program, they are more engaged in their children’s education. Parents report themes of reading together more with their children, gaining confidence in helping with homework, and learning alongside their children at home. Many find that their children are proud that mom or dad also “go to school,” and feel they are providing a positive example by working hard to achieve their goals.
We know that a lack of child care and transportation can be big barriers to parents pursuing their education. Babysitting services are provided during all of our programs to those who need it, freeing up parents to focus on their classes. Courses are given in easily accessible and safe community spaces in the towns we serve. All of our programs are offered free of charge, removing a frequent barrier to participation. Learn how we identified these barriers using community organizing principles.
We conduct post surveys to learn how Lifelong Learning students feel they change thanks to the program. Ninety-nine percent of Lifelong Learning graduates say they feel confident they can keep achieving. Eighty-two percent say they feel more comfortable in their community after the program. They also report significant gains in their self-esteem, with 87% reporting an increase after the program.
Launching to the Next Level
The Lifelong Learning team at Valley Settlement has developed a strong partnership with Colorado Mountain College over the past several years, and helped develop a hybrid English-Spanish GED course to improve access to this important certificate. The Lifelong Learning team prides itself on instilling good habits of learning in its students, and then helping them move up to taking college courses. Many students later earn their Personal Care Attendant certificate, which improves their employment prospects.
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