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Open house at Archuleta County Education Center

You are invited to join with us at the Education Center as we kick off another great year of educational opportunities in Archuleta County.

Make your own ice cream sundae while you learn about all we plan to offer during the 2012-13 school year on Wednesday, Aug. 29 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Meet our GED instructors, English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, after-school program instructors, other support staff and many of the members of our board of directors.

If you or another adult you know would like to sharpen English language skills, there is opportunity to do so in Pagosa Springs. Stop by on Aug. 29, see the ESL classroom and interact with the instructors, Roz Marshall and Susan Lawrence. They are eager to share some of the things they have in store for their adult students this year. Shopping in a grocery store is easy. But suppose you have to ask for help? Suppose you have to call for an appointment or go to the emergency room for medical attention? All these situations are a bit intimidating for anyone, but especially if you do not know our local language. Even if you had considerable formal training in English, jargon, accent and culture can still be a barrier to easy communication. Classes are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 p.m., with free childcare by appointment.

GED has a new look this year. The classroom has been freshly remodeled and equipped with upgraded computer software. Familiar faces — Mark Wardell, our GED instructor for five years, and Joe Granias — are returning to help assist with GED test preparation. There will be a new, computerized GED test introduced soon, which is said to be more challenging. Mark and Joe want to encourage as many students as possible to complete the current program and avoid complications in transition into the new style of testing. GED test prep is offered Monday through Thursday, from 3-7 p.m., with extended hours to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday nights. Free child care is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, by appointment.

Our after-school programs for K-8 are also gearing up for a great new year. Once again, we will offer academic assistance after school on site at the elementary and middle schools. We strive to have a one-to-three teacher/student ratio with licensed teachers in leadership. We also enjoy employing high school students as assistants in the classroom. Elementary students will report to Room 11 at dismissal for a light snack and wiggle time before settling into homework or refreshing concepts covered that day in class. Pickup is at 5:15 p.m., sharp. Middle school students will do the same on their campus in a room yet to be determined. Both programs will start up mid-September under the leadership of Jenna Gregory and Lucille Stretton.

Other programs that will be promoted at our open house are our perennial favorite First Aid/CPR classes that will be offered once a month throughout the year. Also, we have a wide variety of computer classes for beginners and experienced users. In addition, we will inform our guests of the Jewelry Making classes and a class in avoiding IRS pitfalls in this volatile time for retirement investments.

Please come and enjoy the evening as you make your own sundae in an atmosphere of lifelong learning.

For more information, visit our website at www.archuletacountyeducationcenter.com, or stop by at the corner of 4th and Lewis streets.

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