• January 21, 2020

PBALC expanding with start of spring classes - Odessa American: Local News

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PBALC expanding with start of spring classes

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2020 4:00 am

The Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center is expanding its reach with the start of its spring class session.

In addition to its main location in Midland, the PBALC is offering classes at satellite locations in Odessa and Big Spring. While classes have already started at the satellite locations, registration for classes at those sites is still ongoing, according to Andrea De Jong, the PBALC’s development and outreach coordinator.

“As our organization is new to Odessa and Big Spring, we are still working to raise awareness for our services and grow class attendance,” De Jong said. “At this time, we will be allowing new students to enroll after the classes start and will continue enrolling throughout the session until classes reach capacity. Students are required to pay a yearly enrollment fee of $25.”

Meanwhile, De Jong said, registration for the Midland location will run through Monday, the first day of classes there.

The Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to adult literacy. Instruction is designed for adults over the age of 18 who need to develop their literacy, English language or computer skills.

“The mission of PBALC is to develop the literacy skills of adults so they can achieve their goals, improve their lives and impact our community,” De Jong said. “Our vision is that all adults would be able to accomplish their learning goals, regardless of language or literacy barriers.”

And the addition of satellite locations isn’t the only new thing PBALC is implementing, De Jong said.

“In our Spring 2020 session we are excited to be introducing Voxy curriculum to our students,” she said. “This is a very interactive and engaging online English Language Learning program that our students will be able to access at home through their smart phones and computers as well as in the classroom.”

At the Midland facility, located at 1709 W. Wall St., instruction is offered in English Language Learning, Adult Education and Literacy, and Digital Literacy classes. Instructors work with students to develop their reading and writing, English Language, and basic computer skills in a small group class setting. Classes in Midland will be held Monday through Thursday through April 23.

In Odessa, English Language Learning classes are being held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Wednesday through April 29 at Odessa Bible Church, located at 3901 Penbrook St. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade may attend free Bible classes provided by Odessa Bible Church if childcare is needed. Childcare is not provided by or affiliated with Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center.

Classes in Big Spring are being held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Howard College’s Anthony Hunt Library, located at 1001 Birdwell Lane through May 5. Both English Language Learning and Digital Literacy classes are available in Big Spring.

“Each of our locations will be offering different services,” De Jong said. “Our main location in Midland provides all three services — Adult Education and Literacy, English Language Learning, and Computer Literacy. Our satellite locations are offered through partnerships with other organizations. In the future, we hope to increase our offerings in Odessa and Big Spring, but this will depend on the availability of suitable class locations with the necessary equipment and volunteers.”

And volunteers, De Jung said, are the backbone of the program.

“Our organization is always looking for individuals interested in volunteering with us,” she said. “We use volunteer instructors to teach many of the classes we offer. Our volunteer instructors are not required to have any prior teaching experience and are provided with special training in adult education. We are also in need of volunteers for special events as well as for short-term projects.

“We are an independent organization funded from grants, donations, and various fundraising efforts. Our greatest needs are funding and volunteers.”

For more information about enrolling in classes, contact Hunter Smith, PBALC’s coordinator of students and volunteers, by email at hsmith@pbalc.org, or by phone at 432-682-9693, extension 402. Prospective students may also apply online at tinyurl.com/y3hhjka3.

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