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Rio Salado College Celebrates National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

Rio Salado College Honors National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week


In 2010 the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution to designate a week in September as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. According to the National Coalition for Literacy, the annual event’s mission is to "raise public awareness about the need for and value of adult education and family literacy" and to "increase financial and societal support for access to basic education programs for U.S. adults with low literacy, numeracy, and digital skills." This year’s AEFL Week falls on Sept. 19-25.

At Rio Salado, we’ve always been firm advocates for the value of Adult Education. We proudly serve our Maricopa community as the principal provider of Adult Education programs for MCCD schools. We offer a range of award-winning programming that includes:

  • GED® test preparation 
  • English language/ESL classes
  • Career training. 

"Adult education is a critical partner in the workforce system and the programs offered across adult education programs are crucial to helping all Arizonans achieve economic and social mobility," said Elizabeth Cole, director of outreach & partnerships and community development. "Adult education creates a more educated workforce, which supports the economic vitality of our communities and state."

Our Northern location, which works with many of our Adult Education students, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary; our Surprise location will be commemorating its 25th anniversary this fall. As of this writing, Rio Salado continues to be the largest provider of Adult Education in the state of Arizona, earning the Arizona Department of Education Adult Education Program of the Year Award three years in a row.

Accolades only tell a fraction of the story—the real proof of our commitment to uplifting and educating working adults comes from our alumni, from the students who mastered essential career skills and improved their circumstances by learning at Rio Salado. Students like Vera Batista Cespedes, who came to the states from Cuba to further her medical training. "The teachers give their best in classes.” Or Rio graduate Jennifer McDaniel, who earned her high school equivalency diploma in 2020: "Without Rio's classes I wouldn't be where I am today."

Rio Salado also offers an Adults Achieving a College Education (AACE) program that is a college-to-career preparation program for students enrolled in GED® test prep and higher-level English language courses. "I would recommend this program because there is so much support for students," said AACE alumni Peter Chacon. He's far from the only one to sing the program's praises: several other AACE graduates shared their experiences about the program in this video.

"While Adult education offers foundations in reading and math, as well as assisting immigrants and English learners improve their English proficiency, the reach of adult education is much broader," Cole said. "Adult education classes also incorporate workforce preparation activities to ensure learners acquire the competencies employers value: critical thinking, digital literacy, self-management, and other employability skills to ensure their success in the workplace. Adult education also helps prepare diverse learners with college and career readiness skills that lead to employment or the transition to post-secondary education."

Want to learn more about Adult Education and how promoting it can lead to healthier, more vibrant communities? The Coalition on Adult Basic Education is presenting a series of panels and Facebook Live events next week that should be of interest to educators and adult learners alike. Follow along with all things AEFL Week on social media with the hashtag #MoveAheadWithAdultED.

If you’re interested in pursuing Adult Ed classes at Rio, talk to our team at (480) 517-8110 or by filling out this Request For Information form.

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