The Crawford County Literacy Council was recently formed to support the county’s Adult Education & Literacy (AEL) classes and English Language Acquisition classes.
AEL provides classroom instruction to adults who want to obtain their high school equivalency diploma. The ELA program provides classroom instruction to non-English speaking adults. In Crawford County, there are more than 3,000 adults between the ages of 18-64 that do not have a high school diploma and approximately 250 adults who solely speak a language other than English at home.
In the year prior to COVID, AEL provided classroom instruction to approximately 45 adult high school equivalency students in Crawford County, 8 of whom completed the HiSET exam. An English Language class is not currently provided, but may be considered in the future. While COVID significantly disrupted the program over the past year, classroom instruction is finally beginning to resume.
AEL classes are held at the First Presbyterian Church in Cuba.
The Literacy Council is seeking volunteers. Volunteers will help identify and recruit adult students for the AEL and ELA programs; serve as classroom assistants and volunteer tutors; and fundraise to provide scholarships to help adult students with the cost of the exam. The high school equivalency exam is called the HiSET (formerly the GED) and costs $98.75.
The newly formed Crawford County committee is a division of the larger East Central Area Literacy Council, which serves Franklin, Phelps, Crawford, Gasconade, and Montgomery counties. All funds raised by the Crawford County Literacy Council are designated for use in Crawford County. The East Central Area Literacy Council and county groups are a 501(c)3 tax exempt, nonprofit organization.
The Crawford County Literacy Council will elect officers for 2021-2022 in May. Current members include Beth Butler, Crawford County Library; Joshua Hemmings, Fort Good Shepherd; Joyce Fields, Hannah’s Ranch; Nick Metts, Steelville High School; and Adult Education Instructor, Linda Moore. Two members of the committee will be appointed in June to the East Central Area Literacy Council Board of Directors.
Currently, the Crawford County Literacy Council meetings are being held via Zoom on the second Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m.