The Adult Basic Skills Program of Piedmont Community College (PCC) held an Appreciation Celebration at Earl Bradsher Pre-school (EBPS) on Thursday, May 15, for graduates and students of the Adults and Children in Education (ACE) class. ACE is family learning program for adults who are seeking a high school equivalency diploma while also gaining skills to help their children with their educational success. In addition, ACE includes skills to prepare participants for college or work. The program is offered through a special grant from the NC Community College System.

Sarah Morrow, ACE Instructor/Coordinator, hosted and facilitated the Celebration program and a reception that followed. Speakers included Heather Bowling, Director of Earl Bradsher Preschool; Debra Harlow, Dean of the Adult Basic Skills Program; and ACE students. Bowling welcomed the Celebration participants, ACE partners, and guests. She also encouraged the adult learners to continue their education and to strive to be the best for themselves and their children.

Shantya Cunningham, ACE student representative, also gave a welcome and addressed the need for ACE students to not give up and to continue learning. She said that they would march across PCC’s graduation stage one day.

Christy Gabriel, an ACE and high school equivalency graduate, told the group, “Because I am so proud of my own children, I saw a need to participate in the ACE class and complete my education.  I wanted to be the best mom for my children. Where do I go from here? This fall, I will be enrolled in PCC’s Nursing Assistant Program.”

Following speeches, Morrow presented ACE graduates with Certificates of Completion or Participation and balloons. Donna King, Motheread® facilitator, presented Certificates of Participation to all ACE students.

Ann Garrard, newly appointed successor to Judy Batten, was introduced as the Executive Director of Person County Partnership for Children. She expressed hers and the Partnership’s continuing support of the ACE class and its participants.

Harlow’s comments at the conclusion of the program included continuing education opportunities at PCC and PCC Foundation’s Incentive Scholarships for the graduates. In addition, she reminded everyone that the ACE students were not the only benefactors of the ACE class: ACE participants’ families, their families’ generations and their community are impacted by these adults’ investment in theirs and their children’s education. Each ACE participant was given a canvas tote and reading materials to encourage their commitment to their own and their children’s continuing education.

Harlow also encouraged ACE participants, partners and guests to promote ACE in Person County for fall 2014. ACE will resume at EBPS on Sept. 8. Contact the Adult Basic Skills Program at PCC for more information at (336)-322-2155.

ACE program celebrants included, from left: front–Trecca McGhee, Christin Tuck, Christy Gabriel, Shantya Cunningham, Sarah Morrow (ACE instructor), Camina Flowers, and Donna King (Motheread® facilitator); back: Tonya Crawley and Jasmine Smith.

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