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15 parents graduate from adult ed program at Alta Vista Elementary

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SARASOTA, Dec. 9, 2016 – Alta Vista Elementary School and Suncoast Technical College will honor 15 adult graduates of the schools’ Two-Generational Program in a ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Alta Vista.

The program offers multiple programs in the Alta Vista Adult Education Center, thanks to an expansion of the elementary school’s partnership with STC. It is open to parents of students attending one of four of the school district’s Title 1 elementary schools: Alta Vista, Emma E. Booker, Gocio and Tuttle. Title I is a federal designation indicating that a high percentage of students at a school are from financially challenged families.

The current group of graduates includes 12 mothers and three fathers of students. This fall the program, which began offering classes in Certified Nursing Assistant in 2013, added a GED diploma (high-school diploma equivalent), an English for Speakers of Other Languages certificate and a Microsoft Office Specialist certificate. Eight of the 15 adult students (all are moms) are graduating with a CNA certificate, four are earning a GED, two are certified Microsoft Office Specialists and one is moving up from the ESOL program to the GED program.

With the establishment in 2013 of the Eagle Academy, Alta Vista became the first school in the Sarasota County School District to adopt an innovative and comprehensive model of approaching education, shifting from a student-focused to a two-generation focus. The new model was the result of a collaboration of partners including Suncoast Technical College, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and individual donors. In the three years since the program was established, 74 adult students have graduated.

Two-generation-focused programs provide opportunities and meet the needs of vulnerable parents and children together. While they were already adept at meeting the needs of children at the school, the school’s adult education program focuses on enriching the lives of parents.

“We are very proud of this program and we’re looking forward to offering more classes this spring to help parents,” said Alta Vista Principal Barbara Shirley. “The two-generation approach has transformed our thinking to include the entire family, connecting students and parents with educational opportunities that promote lifelong success.

“Every child in our school has a better chance of academic success because we engage parents. They’re involved in their child’s learning, but also their own learning. We focus on strengthening life and parenting skills while also fostering career and vocational training. The impact of the two-generation approach has been so much more than we ever dreamed.”

Anyone who would like more information about the Two-Generational Program at Alta Vista Elementary may contact Principal Barbara Shirley at 941-361-6400. Parents of students at Alta Vista, Emma E. Booker, Gocio or Tuttle elementary schools who are interested in enrolling in the adult program may contact Mary Tucker, parent education navigator, at 941-361-6400, ext. 51524, or at 

Alta Vista Elementary School is located at 1050 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota.


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