Archaeologists estimate each pyramid on the Giza Plateau required 30 years to reach completion. The same is true of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Washington Monument, Herod’s Temple, and of course, the Durango Adult Education Center! Building anything meant to stand the test of time takes more than decades. We at the DAEC know firsthand that dozens of volunteers, hundreds of students, thousands of donations, and tens of thousands of hours logged by teachers are also essential components.
To celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we plan to highlight our growth, accomplishments, and future (as well as the people behind those feats) in iterations of three: 3/30/300/3,000. For instance, over the coming months, we will share the top 30 ways you and anyone in the community can join in the celebration. We’re calling it the 30-for-30 Challenge.
How many will you do?
No. 30 Clap Your Hands
Attend a GED Graduation ceremony. Most graduates overcome tremendous obstacles to earn their high school equivalency diploma. We honor their tenacity at a special ceremony each May and December. The May 2017 ceremony is Thursdsday, May 25th, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Durango Public Library.
No. 29 Touch a Mouse
Or a tablet. Or a smartphone screen. Or any device that allows you to “like” us on Facebook. Rest assured, we won’t drown your feed with look-what’s-on-my-plate snapshots. We will promote relevant and timely information for our students, teachers, supporters, as well as anyone with an interest in and passion for education issues. In other words, our Facebook page is a hub for our online community, just as we are an integral hub to the actual community.
For instance, in La Plata County, one in every five adults you see is in need of our services. In Montezuma County, where the DAEC will expand its services in Fall 2017, that figure jumps to one in every four. That means over 13,000 individuals need our services to obtain a high school diploma equivalent and/or improve their English fluency.
No. 28 Eat a Delicious, Nutritious, Totally Local Meal
The Durango Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association chose the DAEC as its beneficiary at this year’s Taste of Durango on May 21st, 11-3 p.m. The event is not only the premier food festival, but also a vital way of fundraising to end hunger in the region.
Most adult learners are low income. Regular access to nutritious meals is scarce, which only compounds the challenges of mastering new skills and information. As a caring learning community, the DAEC provides daily hot meals to all its students, which in turn, makes for a robust, engaging, and effective classroom experience.
No. 27 Flaunt Your Super Cape
The services we provide may contribute to more local resiliency than most people realize. For instance, by boosting the technical skills and practical knowledge of adults, the DAEC strengthens the local workforce. When individuals are elevated from minimum wage to a living wage, the tax base stretches farther and support services are less strapped. Also, wherever education is paltry, incarceration (and its costs) is flush.
When inmates participate in adult education, the likelihood they will repeat criminal offenses drops by 29%. In other words, extending adult education services to inmates makes a community safer, which is why the DAEC instructs an average of 10 inmates per day at the La Plata County Jail. This means when you make a cash donation to the DAEC, you can brag across your social media circles about what a superhero you are!
No. 26 Gossip at the Water Cooler
Many people who donate to the DAEC also challenge their employers to match the gift. These businesses form a select and prestigious circle, including the Payroll Department, Inc., Texas Instruments, and the Pew Charitable Trust. So the next time you’re hanging around the water cooler at work, let your boss know you value adult education and the sweeping benefits it provides.
Stay tuned for more creative and fun ways you can support our caring learning community as it fills educational gaps with post-secondary education, the skills and knowledge needed for livable wage careers, and social and economic mobility.