The Central Virginian

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An ‘ACE’ in the hole for many

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Chris Shultis, ACE volunteer, assists Ray Johnson with a math problem while his wife, Michelle, looks on. Both are seeking a GED to enhance their employment opportunities.

Who couldn’t use an extra $385,000?  That’s the estimated amount that 1 in 19 Louisa citizens who lack a high school diploma could bring in if they earned their high school equivalency credential by passing a General Educational Development (GED) test.

Adult Community Education (ACE) volunteers are ready to provide one-on-one tutoring to GED candidates.  They will work at the student’s pace to achieve this success.

“The big deal this year is the GED, because they’re changing it,” ACE Executive Director Mary Kranz, said.

Beginning in 2014, the tests will require more in-depth knowledge, keyboard entry and an essay.  Those who have achieved partial passes on any of the five tests must complete all tests or start over.

ACE volunteers also assist adults in Louisa County by providing quality tutoring in basic literacy and English language instruction, also referred to as ESOL, in a safe and confidential environment.  The Family Mentor Program grew out of ESOL to help parents do homework with their kids, formulate questions to ask at teacher conference, and read notes that come home in the student’s backpack.

In the last fiscal year, ACE staff and volunteers served 24 ESOL students, 23 GED students and 11 Basic Literacy students for a total of 2,445 instructional hours.

The organization recently received a $5,000 grant from the Louisa County Community Foundation which was created by a bequest from long-time Louisa County residents Ruby and Albert Bazzanella.  The Foundation is focused on improving the quality of life in Louisa and distributes approximately $75,000 annually to that purpose.

The William A. Cooke Foundation awarded ACE a $1,000 grant.  The namesake and benefactor valued education.  He borrowed money to take correspondence courses from LaSalle Extension University in Chicago and passed the bar at age 21.

Cooke labored in tobacco fields and his education enabled him to create a real estate business and law practice, a springboard to his election as mayor of Louisa and appointment as substitute jurist.

To read the entire story, see the May 2 edition of The Central Virginian.