Newsletter of the Friends of the Community Learning Center
On the Web: www.friendsofclc.org
Please come to our
10th Annual Bridge to College Benefit
Tuesday, June 13
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
2 Education Way Cambridge, MA
Tickets are $75.00
Please consider a sponsorship!
Contact Maria Kefallinou
The Bridge to College Program is a free, comprehensive college transition program that has transformed the lives of many low-income adult learners in Cambridge by preparing them for the rigors of college study. In the past three years, 100% of the graduates of the Bridge to College program have gone on to higher education in pursuit of a better life. Continuation of the program depends on private contributions from generous donors.
This year the Benefit for Bridge will take place at the dramatic new headquarters of Education First in Cambridge, with inspiring speeches from Bridge program graduates and staff and wonderful refreshments. We hope you will join us at this fabulous event!
Sponsorships benefitting the Bridge to College program at a higher level are also available.
Workplace Education Program
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Cambridge Community Learning Center are collaborating to offer a workplace education ESOL class to the employees of the Division of Comparative Medicine. The ESOL course supports students to succeed in acquiring English language skills and developing their academic and study skills to prepare for the first level of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science certification exam. This industry-recognized certification will help the employees to advance on the job and provide access to higher compensation and potential promotions.
Education Career Seminars
In our effort to support our students in their quest for employment, the CLC collaborated with the Cambridge Employment Program to offer seven Career Education Seminars from November through April. These seminars include Resume Writing, Preparation for Online and Paper Job Applications, and Basic Interview Preparation. In addition, staff members from the Mount Auburn Hospital offered a seminar on Exploring Careers in Healthcare.
Senator Boncore’s Visit at the CLC
Senator Joseph Boncore visited our program on March 22nd and we had the chance to talk with him about our program and adult education. He spent time in two classes, ESOL level 1 and the Reading and Math classes of our high school diploma program. In prep for the visit our students worked on questions they could ask the Senator. Our teachers also had the chance to talk about government in class.
Home Health Aide/Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program
In partnership with the Academy of Healthcare Training, the CLC offered a Home Health Aide/Certified Nurse Assistant (HHA/CNA) training integrated with ESOL support. The training ended in February with all 17 students completing it and receiving their HHA Certificate, certificate of completion for the CNA course, a certificate for specialized 12-hour Alzheimer/Dementia training and certification in CPR/AED from the American Heart Association. It was impressive that all students completed the program with almost perfect attendance.
As part of the grant, the CLC partnered with five potential healthcare employers. They agreed to interview our students as CNA positions became available at their facilities. On February 15th, the Spaulding Network offered an “open house” exclusively for our students. Our students were given an overview of the network. Five hiring managers were present from different sites and all students were given multiple opportunities to interview. Our students saw the fruits of their labor paying off and they were looking forward to donning their scrubs and providing quality, compassionate care. At this time, 12 of them have F/T jobs and are beginning their careers in health care at Spaulding Hospital Cambridge. The rest of them are at different stages of interviewing for jobs.
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Newsletter of the Friends of the Community Learning Center
On the Web: www.friendsofclc.org
CLC Programs Help Students with Careers
The Community Learning Center was recently awarded two workforce grants to support integrated ESOL/CNA and Home Health Aide training programs, funded by the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and ACLS. In the very successful Home Health Aide program last summer, all 16 students completed the program earning HHA certificates and nine have been placed in jobs. The CLC is currently offering a new CNA program, four evenings per week. The Academy of Healthcare Training provides the technical training in Malden, while academic and job-readiness classes meet at the CLC in Cambridge.
In addition, the CLC has also received funding to implement a new workplace education program with MIT. This program will assist students in developing their English language skills while earning certifications as Animal Care Technicians. These credentials will enable students to apply for promotions and increase their salaries. With these programs in place, the CLC is ahead of the curve with new trends and drivers in adult education, which is becoming increasingly oriented towards workforce training and job placement.
Maria Kefallinou, the new CLC Director
Introducing the CLC’s New Director
Following Mina Reddy’s retirement, Maria Kefallinou started on July 5th as the new Director of the Community Learning Center. While Mina leaves amazing shoes to fill, Maria comes to the CLC with outstanding qualifications.
Maria was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She studied English Language and Literature and started her career teaching English as a foreign language in Greece. She came to the US in the late 1980’s and earned a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language from U/Mass, Boston. At the same time, she started teaching English as a Second Language at a high school in Boston and then worked as the Director at the Haitian Multi-Service Center. In 2004, she moved with her family to Central MA, where she worked first with Central SABES and then as the Director of ABE at Quinsigamond Community College until June.
Teaching adults is her passion because she believes in the power of education to transform and change the lives of adult learners and their families. She deeply believes that education makes better people, better citizens and better workers. It allows people to offer the best to their children. In addition, most jobs now require a high level of education and skills. Education helps people to become financially independent and sustain their families. Educated adults are powerful role models for their children and their communities.
CLC is a program that looks ahead and is ready to embrace promising and exciting change while, at the same time, it has its roots in reality and professionalism. It is a place that offers growth for both its employees and the Cambridge residents that it serves. Its reputation in the Adult Education field is amazing and the support it enjoys from the City of Cambridge is unparalleled.
Maria said that her goal for the CLC is to work with our team of professionals and prepare the program for the new realities of adult education in the 21st century. This is a very promising time to work in the adult education field. She and the CLC team want the CLC to be the place where our adult learners learn and grow and realize their full potential; to be the place where staff grow and offer their best in an environment that appreciates their contributions and respects their personalities; and to be the place that contributes to the well-being of Cambridge and its residents. “Being part of all this is the most rewarding aspect of my job!”
“I am energized and excited to go to the office every day! I want to thank everyone for making my work days so enjoyable and rewarding! A very special thank you goes to the Friends of the CLC because of their much needed support and help of CLC and our students.”
And a New CLC Assistant Director!
Last spring, the CLC created a new, second Assistant Director position. This means that in addition to the existing Assistant Director position, held by John Galli and focused on administration and program-wide curriculum, the Learning Center will also have a much-needed Assistant Director, focused on integrated training, developing collaborations with community partners and WIOA initiatives. The hiring process of the new Assistant Director is complete and we are excited that Pat Murphy is filling this new position.
Pat has been the Coordinator of the Bridge to College and Adult Career Pathways Programs at the Cambridge Community Learning Center. She has been at the Learning Center for three years, coming from North Shore Community College, where she worked in various positions in Adult Ed for 7 years. She is responsible for collaborations, partner relationships, and transition programs. Sincere congratulations to Pat on her new position, and to the Learning Center for this excellent staff addition!
Help Support the CLC When You Shop on Amazon!
The CLC is now listed with Amazon Smile, a program which takes a portion of a buyer’s purchase (.5%), and forwards it to their favorite charity or non-profit. Your purchases can help support the CLC. To purchase through Smile, log in to smile.amazon.com. Your portion will be paid directly to Community Learning Center, Inc.
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