Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

My wife has recently joined the group of men and women tutoring English, reading, and math to men working on their high school diplomas here at Helping Up Mission. This week we have about thirty-five guys engaged in our diploma classes. Then, beyond class, they meet with tutors who help with particular areas in which they are struggling.

Here in the state of Maryland, we are fortunate to have two complimentary programs available to anyone interested in earning their high school diploma. The old standby is the GED exam (General Education Diploma) with two full days of testing. The other is a lesser-known program called EDP (External Diploma Program) which covers the same subject areas but allows students to complete the requirements as coursework. This way, a man can focus on mastering a few skills at a time in specific areas of study. Once testing out of that area, he can move on to the next section.

Right now we have four men who have just recently sat for the GED exams or will do so this month. We also have eighteen men who have tested into the EDP program and are at varying stages along the way. Today, there are also three who have completed all their EDP work and are just waiting for their diplomas. Special congratulations to Dominic Day, who recently passed the GED exam, and Vondray Little, the first man to obtain his diploma through the EDP.

We are so excited for each guy as he works toward his high school diploma. You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices – they really believe they can get it this time. We are also so appreciative of our tutors, many who have been serving here for as long as six years. We would never have had the successes we have without them – thanks to all of you.

BTW, just in case you were interested:

The highest GED score we have ever had here at the Mission is 3,600 by Richard Julian in 2004. A perfect score is a 4,000, and Richard’s score enabled him to receive a scholarship for part of his college tuition from Maryland State Department of Education.

The fastest anyone has been able to finish their EDP here at the Mission is two months by Steve Beard in 2008. He is awaiting his diploma this month.

Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director

P.S. If you might be interested in investing some regular time down here as a tutor, you can call 410-675-7500 x 159 and say you are interested in helping out (or should that be helping up?).