Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CSI announces new education initiative

College teams with local groups for low-income education


The College of Southern Idaho has teamed with the Advocates and the Hunger Coalition to start a new “integrated education initiative” to improve educational opportunities for lower-income and economically displaced people in Blaine County.

Jenny Emery Davidson, director of the CSI Blaine County Campus, said the program is made possible by a $40,000 grant from the Wood River Women’s Charitable Foundation.

In a press release, Davidson stated that the initiative is intended to “improve the social and economic health of the community through education.” The initiative includes job, life and literacy classes, scholarships and mentoring support. Also included are basic computer classes, cooking and nutrition workshops, career exploration workshops and a “skills for life” program to help participants improve their long-term employment situation.

“Each of our organizations sees the need for meaningful and specialized educational opportunities to help people improve their quality of life and the options that are available to them,” Davidson stated.

Jeanne Liston, executive director of The Hunger Coalition, stated in the press release that the mentoring and group-effort approach to advising participants “will be what makes this educational effort unique.”

“The mentoring will provide the ligaments that keep people tied to their goals and moving forward with educational plans,” she said.

The press release cited a 2011 report of the Harvard Graduate School of Education finding that the lifetime earnings gap between those with a high school education and those with a college degree is now estimated at $1 million.

Tricia Swartling, executive director of the Advocates, stated that the intent of the initiative is to help people “transform their economic stability.”


Want to participate?

Anyone interested in participating, either as a student or a mentor, in a new “integrated education initiative” for low-income and economically displaced people in Blaine County can contact the College of Southern Idaho at 788-2033, the Advocates at 788-4191 or The Hunger Coalition at 788-0121. Classes are ongoing.

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