The Community Education Newsletter
October 12, 2020
Staff Spotlight | Marilyn Lydic
Technology coaching--a role Community Education put into place after switching to online learning--is one of Marilyn Lydic’s most rewarding and challenging positions of her 21-year career. Primarily an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, Marilyn has been tapped to assist students as they acclimate to a new way of learning.

As student advisors and teachers talked and worked with new students, they quickly discovered that students faced many challenges with technology, from turning on a device and keyboarding skills to accessing Schoology (a learning management system) and checking their IU13 student email account. IU13 Community Education lent 125 Chromebooks to students with no technology at home and the majority of those recipients needed assistance with using this new device. 

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Refugee Center and Community School
The Extraordinary Give
The Refugee Center and Community School will be raising funds for students and families at Reynolds Middle School during this year’s Extraordinary Give. Please mark your calendars for November 20th and get ready to Give Extra during Lancaster’s largest day of giving!

Note: Donations made on ExtraGive will come with a Thank You message from LLEF.
Secret Angel
We know that this year our families and students need our support now more than ever. We also know that virtual learning and COVID have made it extremely difficult for us to properly identify the students who need our support the most as we have done in past years

That is why this year the Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds Middle School fundraising efforts during the Extraordinary Give event will be focused on ensuring every student at Reynolds Middle School receives a gift this holiday season through our annual Secret Angel Project.

This program started 15 years ago to ensure students with the highest needs received some of the basics during the holiday season. Once we meet our fundraising goal, the rest of the funds will be used for integration efforts to connect refugee and immigrants with much-needed services and ensure a smooth transition to life in the U.S.

Mark your calendars for November 20th for this 24-hour live day of giving and help us ensure our students and families' needs are met!
High School Equivalency (HSE)
CareerLink Services
CareerLink’s WIOA Program Manager, Angela Mayo, visited a high school equivalency (HSE) Zoom class this week to detail the personalized services that are available to students virtually. Students can take advantage of many free offerings, starting with career navigation, which includes assessments to determine the best career path, guidance on overcoming obstacles, and support in the job search process.

CareerLink also offers Career Connections, recruitment services, Metrix online learning, and occupational skills training. Angela relayed that the virtual networking sessions have been very popular, with participants commenting positively on the community of people supporting each other in the job search. 

IU13 Community Education students were glad to learn that CareerLink’s services have been uninterrupted during the pandemic and that they can be utilized at no cost.
Thank you, CareerLink!
HSE Students Empowered to Vote
This month Student Advisor Rebecca Loewenstein-Harting is visiting all High School Equivalency classes to help students feel empowered to vote in the upcoming election. After discussing the importance of voting and encouraging students to make their voices heard, Rebecca provides them with links to all the information they need. 

These include PA Voter Services, where citizens can register to vote and request mail-in ballots, and websites such as and Vote Smart to help students make informed choices. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and Rebecca also has them complete a survey so that she can follow up with anyone needing additional assistance. She hopes all students who are eligible to vote will do so in this very important election!
Attention Students: HiSET Testing Now Open
After waiting almost eight long months, students can now register for HiSET testing at the 1 Cumberland Street building in Lebanon! Normally, HiSET test sessions are held twice a month--once in the morning and once in the evening. Due to the pandemic, the March test sessions were cancelled and plans for future test sessions were put on hold. Many students had to delay their plans for entering postsecondary education or careers because they could not obtain their high school equivalency diplomas without taking the HiSET tests.

Students resumed their tests on an October 1st morning session and an October 5th evening session. The Lebanon IU13 staff wish all of our students testing in October the best of luck!

Visit The HiSET Exam for details about the test and registration. Lancaster locations available through Milagro House.

English as a Second Language (ESL)
ESL - Level 2
In ESL 2, Kevin Boll’s students are hard at work learning to communicate about money and shopping for clothes. Students practice asking and answering questions such as “What is the best way to pay? Cash, check, or charge?” and “Is it better to spend more for high quality items or spend less for low quality items?”

Students practice idioms as their grammar focus, vocabulary, and daily writing such as learning how to write a check.

One recent activity involved each student being given a clothing word and a material word. They sent emails to a classmate using the word they had and had to find their match. For example, the word “jeans” had to be matched with “denim” and the word “sweatshirt” with the word “cotton.” Students used the same activity to practice matching idioms with their definitions.
ESL - Level 4
During week two of the fall session, students in Shelby Miller’s ESL 4 class spent time getting to know one another and learning about each other’s cultures. They used class time to read and discuss special holidays in the US that are not typically celebrated in other countries, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. 

The last hour of Zoom class each day was spent as review/growth time. Students used a graphic organizer to share information about a cultural holiday from their country and learned how to create a short presentation using Google Slides.

At the end of the week, students presented their cultural holiday projects, while other students listened for specific information and asked follow-up questions. 

A few examples:
South Korea
Teacher Assistant - Micro-credentials
The new virtual Fall 2020 cohort of Teacher Assistant Training is well underway with a group of six students finishing their first PaTTAN training video on understanding disabilities.

The course began September 15th and continues through December. At the end of the course, participants will apply to become paraeducators in schools across Lancaster and Lebanon counties.
Tim Talk
IU13 Community Education Program Director
Tim Shenk's head shot
IU13 Community Ed. has been awarded a $250,000, 2-year grant!
The Department of Homeland Security is contracting with IU13 to provide citizenship classes to 210 students through 14 sessions in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. The goal is for students to pass a mock interview and achieve a score of 90% on a written citizenship test. Grant partnering agency Church World Service (CWS) will provide eligibility screening to 440 clients and complete Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) for 250 eligible clients. Of those clients, 225 (90%) will pass the exam and become U.S. citizens. With the exception of 2015, IU13, in partnership with Church World Service, has received the grant every year since 2010. The program administrators, case managers and teachers are excited to launch another 2 years of exceptional citizenship services in the Lancaster and Lebanon communities. 
Contact Information:
For more information about Community Education visit our website
or call
Lancaster 717-606-1708
Lebanon 717-450-1525

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