Portsmouth schools awarded adult education grant

Published 6:59 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

More than 1,000 adults in Portsmouth and surrounding cities will have a chance to earn a high school diploma or GED and enroll in college thanks to a $1.17 million grant Portsmouth Public Schools recently received from the U.S. Department of Education.

It is the only K-12 public school division in the state to receive such an award.

This five-year grant will provide services for adults in Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin and Norfolk. Portsmouth’s grant is part of $48 million in grants to 143 colleges and organizations in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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The Educational Opportunity Centers Program will offer educational support to adults who may want to re-enter high school or enroll in equivalency programs as well as provide guidance about college admissions and careers. The program will connect participants with tutors, mentors and counselors who will coach them through the college admissions process, teach them about financial aid and offer guidance on course selection.

The program will be run through Portsmouth Public Schools’ Office of Adult and Alternative Education. That office has assisted adults in the target area with earning their secondary school diploma and GED certificates for more than 30 years. Portsmouth Public Schools also serves as the Virginia Department of Education’s Lead Regional Agency for the Virginia Adult Education and Literacy Program. That program serves residents in six surrounding cities throughout the state, including the four project target cities.

The centers also aim to offer help to students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, including students with disabilities, those who have limited English proficiency, and other disadvantaged groups, such as those who may be homeless, exiting foster care or otherwise disconnected.

To sign-up, contact Melvin Brown, Director of the Educational Opportunity Center, 393-9708, extension 35326, or email him at melvin.brown@pps.k12.va.us.