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October 22, 2008 > Adult school offers "Pathway to Success"

Adult school offers "Pathway to Success"

By Julie Grabowski

Psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm believed, "Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is." The New Haven Adult School fosters this aim by offering several options for personal and professional enrichment. The school serves close to 2,500 students each year in programs such as Career and Technical Education, Health and Fitness, English as a Second Language (ESL), High School Diploma, Driver's Education, Citizenship, and Health and Life Science careers through Boston Reed. On Saturday, October 25th the community is invited to attend an open house to explore what the adult school can do for you.

The auditorium will house displays and information on all available classes with teachers and directors on hand to answer questions and offer advice. Career skills classes are currently very popular with their opportunities for internships and placement with local businesses, but the Adult School is best known for their ESL Program and High School Diploma Program. The school has the highest rate of graduates in the county, with 80 percent of students earning a diploma.

For Marisol Benard the open house is an opportunity to say, "This is who we are, this is what we offer, this is our goal for the community." Benard has been with the adult school for nine years and is the manager of the Even Start Family Literacy Program, which works with young families in the New Haven Unified School District to provide parenting skills, ESL classes, career skills, and preschool activities. "We're your beginning point," says Benard of the program. Whether the end goal is to secure a job or become a positive, active member of the community, Even Start provides the map to help families get to where they want to be. And such is the goal of all Adult School programs. "There is a pathway to success that we offer here," says Benard, claiming they have "a population that stays," following through to the finish line of their aspirations.

Classes are offered at 10 locations throughout Union City and Hayward to ensure a central location for everyone and to better service the community. Prospective students are not required to be residents of Union City, but must be at least 18 years of age. For those concerned about cost or other hindrances, the Adult School happily works with low-income households and other individual needs, even offering free intensive workshops and free classes for seniors. They also support and promote the programs of Fremont and Newark adult schools, collaborating with some classes and sharing teachers, ensuring that students get the training they need.

In addition to the open house a flea market will be set up in the inner parking lot where attendees can browse arts and crafts, toys, books, jewelry, household items and more. Demonstrations of Shito Ryu Karate, Salsa Aerobics, and Tai Chi from Health and Fitness classes provide some of the day's entertainment, and children can participate in games and craft projects and get their faces painted. Class art projects will be on display and snacks will be available for purchase.

Whether it's learning English, job skills, painting or First aid, scrap booking, yoga or computers, the singular focus of the Adult School is simply to be of service to their community. "It's about the people," says Benard, and hopes that they will turn out to see what possibilities await them right in their own neighborhood.

For more information call the New Haven Adult School at (510) 489-2185 or visit them online at

New Haven Adult School Flea Market & Open House
Saturday, October 25
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
New Haven Adult School
600 G Street, Union City
(510) 489-2185

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