A new program, “Distance Learning,” takes instruction to students who cannot attend traditional classes at Santa Monica Adult Education Center (SMAEC), according to Mary Yarber, the program’s Coordinator.
Since SMAEC’s founding in 1993, thousands of students have had instruction in English, parenting, citizenship preparation, and computer literacy at its tranquil garden campus.
“Hundreds more residents would like to take classes but can’t,” Yarber said. “They have problems with work schedules, childcare, or transportation, and many local women follow cultural rules which bar studies at a co-ed campus.”
These students can now check out videotapes and workbooks, view lessons and complete work at home, then meet for review and testing with credentialed teachers.
“We’re offering three levels of English as a Second Language right now,” Yarber said. “This fall we’ll add courses in citizenship, parenting, and high school diploma study.”
All courses and materials are free of charge.
After state cuts in education spending, SMAEC couldn’t fund the program, so Yarber sought seed money from a diverse group of Santa Monicans, including First Federal, activists Patricia Hoffman and Paul Schrade, and immigration lawyer Kevin Levine.
SMAEC Director Stephen R. Martinez said that the program’s benefits reach far beyond the students. “Better workers and stronger families make a richer city for all of us. Students learn skills here which they use to improve our economy and neighborhoods.”For more information on Distance Learning, call (310) 664-6222.