Communities Organized to Save Adult School (COSAS) Meeting Notes June 11

Present:  Kimi Honda, WCCAE Older Adult Dept., Marjorie Fujioka, WCCAE Older Adult Dept., Ken Ryan, WCCAE Parent Education Dept., Evelyn Montez, WCCAE ESL teacher,Cathy Bailey, WCCAE ESL teacher, Lisa Raffel, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Kristen Pursley, WCCAE ESL teacher, Ana Turetsky, Oakland Adult School, Maria Alegria, Faithworks and Richmond Vision 2000.

Older Adults:  As the older adult program is not funded for the summer, the older adult teachers and their supporters are scrambling to find donations to keep the doors open.  The older adult teachers have found that raising funds to pay their salaries is very time consuming, so they have decided to volunteer their time. They still need to raise money to cover other expenses.  The City of El Cerrito will give the Older Adult teachers $20 for every volunteer they recruit to staff the city’s 4th of July celebration.  The teachers are still looking for volunteers.

Update to Richmond City Council: COSAS has been invited to present an update on the state of adult education in West County similar to the presentation given to the West County Mayors and Supervisors Association a few weeks ago.  The date of the presentation has been changed from June 15 to July 6, as the City Council has a very packed agenda on the 15th.

State of Adult Education: Due to trends unfavorable to adult education on both the state and national level, COSAS will look into expanding in order to mount a better defense of adult education.  The organization should ultimately include the community colleges, and might eventually grow to be a statewide or even national organization.  Lisa Raffel of Catholic Charities spoke to Margie McKnight, the Co-Director of the Migration Policy Institute, who stated that adult education is in a perilous situation throughout the United States.  Ms. McKnight stated that part of the problem has been a disconnect between adult education and groups working with immigrants.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 16 at 3:30 pm at English Action Center, 2369 Barrett Ave. (corner of Barrett Ave. and 24th St., in the Grace Lutheran Church), in the downstairs classroom.

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