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Learning center geared toward Thayer community

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Staff Writer

Reporter's note: This is the second in a two-part series about the recent grant to establish a 21st Century Community Learning Center in Thayer.

THAYER -- Thayer High School Principal Kevin Hedden said he thinks community education programs can address the types of services, programs or activities that meet the interests, needs and wants of non-traditional learners. "Community education is a flexible and adaptive approach to serving educational needs and providing needed services and programs through community members," Hedden said.

He said credit and non-credit programs meet the need for both students and industry.

Hedden said activities can include educational, career, recreational, cultural, enrichment and/or other services for all community residents. He said the 21st Century Community Learning Center will benefit the Thayer community in several ways including:

* Intergenerational activities can be a way to use the expertise and support of senior citizens for the benefit of public education. Seniors have knowledge and are willing to serve public education to meet the needs of students, educators and the community.

* Community education can provide many activities to bring parents into the school. Parents need to be involved in the K-12 education of their children. Together parents and teachers can positively influence young people in attitude, behavior and academic achievement while improving schools.

* Partnerships enrich education, open students' eyes to unlimited possibilities and keep businesses and organizations in touch with young people. Partnerships between schools and businesses, civic organizations and community organizations provide an increased awareness of each group's goals and strengthens community pride.

* Schools benefit by the involvement of parents, community residents, businesses, organizations, senior citizens and students who give their time and expertise to support education or services provided by public education in grades K-12. The principal said these volunteers are a great resource for schools in assisting them to meet the academic and attendance standards they have set and will help the community.

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