Anita St. Onge, Executive Director of PAE, and Elizabeth Love, Assistant Director of PAE, presented an overview of Portland Adult Education to the Portland Board of Public Education Business Meeting on June 21, 2022.
Watch the full recording here.
The Portland Phoenix recently published this article about PAE classes during the pandemic:
For Gail Burnett, who teaches English as a second language at Portland Adult Education, communication with her students was already sometimes difficult before the coronavirus pandemic. Relying entirely on virtual learning has made the language barrier more pronounced.
“At the beginning of the semester, I had students who I had never met. I have students who I’ve never seen in the flesh,” Burnett said last week. “At one point I said ‘look at the bottom of the screen,’ and after a while (a student) said, ‘what’s a screen?’” She discusses the challenges with finding a path through the pandemic with her language-challenged students.
Read the full article here.
Try to type a resume or a three-page essay on a phone while sitting in a bus stop
outside a library with free WiFi. PAE students did this when COVID-19 abruptly
closed school in March. In April, we scrambled to provide devices and internet
access to students completing diplomas and certificates during our spring term,
but we could not meet the need for all students. Thirty percent of our 1,200
registered students stopped attending school, citing technology challenges as the
Our students have urgent needs to earn credentials and build skills. Consider
- A former nurse with a public health degree improving English for
employment in the U.S.
- A foreign-trained engineer adapting to make personal protective
- A single mother working at Dunkin’ Donuts to fuel essential workers and
support her son
Education is not a basic need like food or housing, but without education, these
students are stuck. Without internet access and devices, they land on the dark
side of the digital divide.
The pandemic is teaching us just how much we need certified nursing assistants,
teachers, interpreters, lab technicians, and engineers. PAE students can’t afford
to delay preparation for these careers. With illness threatening all of us,
particularly our most vulnerable populations, our state can’t wait for the skills,
courage, and perseverance of this potential workforce.
PAE’s fall term will be online, and we invite you to ensure that adults who work
through weekends at hospitals and manufacturing plants, braving outbreaks and exhaustion so they can study during the week, will be able to take classes safely in their homes.
Your gift of $235 will buy a chromebook or $180 will purchase a student (and family)hotspot through the end of this year. We need to raise $106,000 to ensure a successful 2020/2021 school year. This is the first time we have made a second appeal to you during the year, but education is essential, especially when our community and economy are at risk. Whether or not you work from home now, you see how critical it is to have internet access and a computer. Thank you for joining us to guarantee access to technology. Equity is impossible without these tools.
Please donate what you can by choosing COVID Technology in the donor designation box on the right side of this webpage.
Rob Wood, FPAE Board Chair