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Celebrating the First Step

At Seeds of Literacy, we aim to be accessible for adults who are often busy being, well, adults.

That means having an open door when adults are ready to begin focusing on GED® prep or literacy skills. Between Seeds of Literacy’s two locations on the east and west sides of Cleveland, we hold registration for new students three times every single week, which is unusually frequent for an adult education program.

We’re a close-knit program, and I get to see and hear new students before, during, and after their orientation and assessment test.

Often, students are nervous — they say they probably did terribly on the test, or that they can’t remember any math.

It’s pretty common that adult students have had bad experiences with education and learning. It takes time, trust, and students proving themselves wrong in the best way possible to counteract all that. At Seeds of Literacy, we set the expectation for tutors that part of their role is to foster positive attitudes about learning.

So when an adult steps off the elevator onto our floor, it’s a big deal.

Last week our Orientation Coordinator met with a student fresh off his assessment test. She went over his scores and they talked about when he’d be able to come to his first class. As he gathered his things to leave the office, he said, “Everything sounds good. I’m pretty excited about this. I’m glad I started this!”

We tend to look for success at the end of the journey — did the student pass the GED® test? Did the student get a job? — but accomplishments can be at the beginning, too. In fact, just beginning in itself can be an achievement.

27 new students took that first step and enrolled with Seeds of Literacy last week. I’m glad we could provide them with a welcoming environment to come in, see where their skills are, and begin their educational journey. With the students’ dedication and the helping hands of staff, volunteers, and donors, I’ve no doubt we can make that accomplishment just the first of many.

If you’d like to be there for a student’s first step and the many after, consider becoming a monthly donor.