Melissa Ulrey

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Center Offering Free GED Preparation Classes

By Melissa Ulrey and Heather Hourigan

The Shalom Community Center in Bloomington is a haven from harsh winter weather where the homeless community can shower, have breakfast and lunch, receive mail, and now, take adult education classes.

Shalom Community Center, in partnership with Monroe County Community School Corp Adult Education Program, began holding free, on-site GED preparation classes starting January 25.

So far, the class has eight students, but MCCSC Adult Education Director Sherry Dick is confident that community interest will increase as more and more people hear about the classes.

“I think a lot of places word isn’t even out yet about it,” she says, “so we’re expecting that the class will be full in just a couple weeks.”

The classes, which are scheduled to meet every Tuesday and Thursday until May 26, are completely free for students, although, Dick says when students are ready for the GED, they will have to pay a $70 testing fee. In addition, she says the classes themselves will cost approximately 10-thousand dollars.

“This is coming from the state adult education budget that MCCSC gets,” Dick says.

Volunteers In Tutoring Adult Learners –Monroe County Public Library’s adult literacy program– Coordinator Sue Murphy says she knows the importance of adult education. She works with adult community members that need assistance with elementary reading and writing skills.

“The fact that Sherry has organized this class to meet at the Shalom Center,” Murphy says, “just makes it so much easier for these individuals. There are enough barriers for them as it is.”

People interested in taking classes can sign up at Shalom’s hospitality desk.

This story was written for WFIU and is available here on the website for Indiana Public Media.

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IU Professor Examines Education And Foreclosure

By Melissa Ulrey

Indiana University faculty member Ashlyn Nelson and her team of researchers plan to continue work on a study of the relationship between housing foreclosures and student performance.  Nelson says the study will try to determine if there is a connection between student performance and eviction.

“So what we’re doing is we’re tracking students who have experienced foreclosure over time to look at whether or not this affects their academic achievement, their attainment, things like graduating from, the likelihood of graduating from high school, and other measures, like attendance and adverse disciplinary events, like suspensions and expulsions,” said Nelson.

Nelson and her team of researchers from New York University, Northwestern University and the University of Connecticut, will be following kids in the public school districts in New York City, Clearwater and Saint Petersburg, Florida, and San Diego and Fresno, California.

The study is funded by an $800,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

This story was written for Indiana Public Media and can be found here.

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Runway Repair Begins

Here’s a story from Terre Haute, Indiana, where construction workers are starting to drill and fill holes (about 1,100 of them) in an effort to support the airport and runways that lie above vacant mine caverns. In 2004, a ramp collapsed and sank about a foot. This event sparked interest in DNR officials who, in turn, planned and funded this project to prevent a bigger sinkhole from happening.