EDUCATION FUNDING

Keystone Opportunity Center received a grant of $438,206.00 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Adult Basic and Literacy Education to fund education programs through 2022.

Keystone is one of 32 statewide recipients of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Adult Basic Education Direct Service Grant.

This grant program is aligned with the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the PA Adult and Family Literacy Education Act. It provides a combination of federal and state funds to schools, colleges and local agencies so they can provide education that will assist adults in attaining a high school equivalency diploma, as well as developing literacy, math, and other skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency. The grant also assists English Language learners with reading, writing, speaking, math and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Keystone’s education department will serve 400 students per year in this grant, an increase from 352 in the 2017-2018 academic year. Education offerings include English as a Second Language, College and Career English, Basic Reading, Basic Math, Pre-High School Equivalency and High School Equivalency, along with Distance Learning. New for the upcoming 2018-2019 program year, Keystone will add basic math and basic reading morning classes to its offerings.

The Open Link, a subcontracting agency of Keystone located in Pennsburg, PA, will also provide High School Equivalency classes. If students are unable to attend class or need additional support, Keystone also offers one-on-one and small group tutoring through Keystone’s volunteer tutoring program.

“Education is the cornerstone of economic self-sufficiency,” said Arlene E. Daily, Executive Director of Keystone Opportunity Center. “We at Keystone are here to help people get on their feet; providing the education needed to access a job that supports a household is a critical component of that work.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those without a high school diploma had a 6.5% unemployment rate compared to the average rate or 3.6%, and their median weekly earnings were just $520 per week vs the average of $907 for all workers. https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm

All Keystone Opportunity Center classrooms are staffed by paid instructors, along with volunteer classroom aids. Students interested in learning more about Keystone’s education offerings can now call a new, dedicated hotline to access live information regarding educational offerings and make inquiries about registration and orientation.

Keystone plans to double its volunteer tutor program this upcoming year. Volunteering to help those with their most basic educational needs is very rewarding. Those interested in serving as a volunteer tutor can sign up online at https://keystoneopportunity.org/volunteer/.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, Keystone will offer 12-week sessions in the fall and two 9-week sessions in the winter/spring.

Keystone also offers morning and evening citizenship preparation classes funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Senior Citizen ESL class funded through grants from the Harleysville Rotary and Friends of Trish Sneddon.