L-R: ACM Adult Basic Education Program Director Melanie Chapman, ACM Adult Basic Education Program Instructional Assistant Deborah Miller, Dylan Redman, Samantha Vega, Deynate Jamieson, Legislative Assistant Cortney Segman from the office of Congressman David Trone, Emily Keller, and Kevin Manson.
ADULT BASIC EDUCATION ADVOCATES VISIT CAPITOL HILL TO TELL THEIR STORIES
CUMBERLAND, Md. (Sept. 26, 2019) – As part of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, seven local Adult Basic Education program students, graduates and staff visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, to meet with members of Maryland’s federal delegation to advocate for program funding.
Deynate Jamieson, Emily Keller, Kevin Manson, Dylan Redman and Samantha Vega, all Adult Basic Education students and graduates, met with legislative assistants from the offices of Congressman David Trone and Senator Ben Cardin.
The group shared their personal stories to describe the impact of Adult Basic Education
(ABE) programs in Allegany County and the surrounding region. Manson is currently
working on obtaining his GED. Jamieson is a student at ACM while Keller will attend
ACM in the spring. Redman and Vega are both currently juniors at Frostburg State University.
They traveled with Melanie Chapman and Deborah Miller, program administrators and
staff from the Adult Basic Education program within Allegany College of Maryland’s
Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development.
The program advocates prepared for their Capitol Hill visit by working with Vega, a Coalition on Adult Basic Education national ambassador, to develop their two to three-minute personal story to share with lawmakers.
Locally, the ACM Adult Basic Education program serves adult learners 18 years and older who wish to earn a Maryland high school diploma, improve their reading, or gain work-ready skills. Classes include: Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult and Family Literacy, General Education Development (GED), External Diploma Program (NEDP), and Workplace Skills – ACT WorkKeys, ABE Program Support Instruction, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Online learning options are also offered. There are no fees for the classes and support services are available.
National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need for and value of adult education and family literacy. Its goal is to leverage resources that support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills.
Approximately 11% of Allegany County’s population struggle to read, write, do math and use technology above a third-grade level. Within the county, nearly 26% of adults who lack high school credentials live at or below the poverty line, according to the US Census Bureau.