By Mary Spicer
Crawford County Literacy Council Inc. formally welcomed Armendia Dixon as the new executive director of the council’s Crawford County READ Program during a Wednesday-morning press conference in Stone United Methodist Church’s Miller Parlor.
Dixon, a veteran educator and long-time Meadville resident, holds a master’s degree in education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University. Since first joining the county’s READ program as executive director in August 2012, she has spent a substantial amount of time studying the policies and regulations of Pennsylvania Department of Adult Education and meeting with state officials.
A United Way agency, the Crawford County READ Program is now located at Stone United Methodist Church on Chestnut Street at the south end of Diamond Park and in Titusville at 115 Washington St., Suite 309.
In 2012, the agency served 134 learners, including 30 who passed the GED test.
“We consider our program a success when a learner remains in the program long enough to meet personal and professional goals which includes increasing educational functioning levels in addition to passing the GED, attending post-secondary education/training or increasing skills for work. These skills will enable learners to be successful as citizens and parents,” said Joyce Parker, president of Crawford County Literacy Council.
Going into its 28th year, the agency is gearing up for ongoing orientation classes for new learners; the third annual Chocoholic Frolic on Feb. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Meadville Elks Club; and a Be a Learner Open House on March 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Meadville site.
Taking a more long-term perspective, “our next step, in addition to orientating learners and taking them through the steps that would allow them to complete the GED and to better be able to cope with adult responsibilities, will be to help them with their next step,” Dixon told the Tribune. “What can we do to help you get a job? To do your resume? To interview? Whatever it is that’s going to help you do that.
“And what can we do not only to help you get a job,” Dixon continued. “What if you want to go to technical school? What if you want to go to college? Then we’ll help you through that process. That’s our next step. We’re also looking at providing services in the Crawford County jail, because there are so many young people who are there, I’m sure, because they lack those basic skills — the math, the writing, the reading, the English. If they could read and comprehend and have the ability to think through things, they will certainly be useful citizens — and it might deter them from getting into further difficulties with the law.”
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.