The State Fair Community College Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program recently received a grant worth over $360,000 to assist in continuing the program's services

According to a press release from SFCC, the grant comes from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with a total amount of $363,066 for fiscal year 2017-2018.

SFCC says the funds are used for ongoing adult education and literacy activities that help to increase a person’s reading, writing, math, and English speaking skills, which are necessary for attaining a High School Equivalency certificate (HSE), transitioning to post-secondary education, and obtaining employment.

The AEL program at the college includes classes to help students increase competence in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehending the English language.

Additionally, the program works with the Missouri Job Centers to provide workforce preparation as needed, and can serve people with a high school diploma who need to “skill up” in math, reading and writing for job attainment, advancement, or to enter a postsecondary program. All of the AEL programs and services are free of charge, but there are testing fees for the HSE exam.

The SFCC AEL service area includes all school districts, in Pettis, Benton, Carroll, Cooper, Henry, Johnson, Lafayette, Saline, and St. Clair counties. The press release says that the program has 20 class sites, serves about 600 students, and employs over 30 staff and instructors.

AEL Program Director at State Fair Community College, Deb Williams, says, "SFCC saw the need for adult literacy services when the college opened in 1968 and started offering evening classes in Sedalia and Warsaw. SFCC was one of seven programs funded with the first MoDESE grant in 1971. Now, we even offer online support for eligible students through MOLearns.”

The grant is for one year, which began July 1st, with the possibility of renewals, said Williams.

For more information about the college's AEL program, call 660-596-7289.

Randy Kirby