In 1956, the then-appointed Fairfax County School Board appropriated $50 per month to be paid as a supplement to a school administrator to start an adult education program.
Since the schools were still racially segregated, a program for white adults was started at Annandale High School, and a program for black adults was started at Luther Jackson School. The favorite offerings at both locations were classes in sewing including the Bishop Method of Clothing Construction, as well as typing and shorthand.
The inexpensive, evening classes proved popular, and the program grew rapidly. Basic education classes for those adults who could not read and write were added as were night school classes to complete high school and to prepare for the G.E.D.
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a 60th anniversary celebration of the program at the Plum Center for Lifelong Learning on Edsall Road in the eastern part of the county. I was honored several years ago when the Fairfax County School Board chose to name its first full-time adult education center for my work in adult and community education that spanned half the years of its existence.
Starting as a part-time room coordinator in the evenings when I was a half-time intern teacher from the University of Virginia, I was able for reasons too complex to explain here to become an administrator of the program in three years. As many discover in pursuing a career, my good fortune of working in a program that I loved so much was more a case of being at the right place at the right time than any deliberate planning.
As Fairfax County and its school system grew, the adult education program that became known as the adult and community education program grew not only in enrollment but in the variety of its offerings.
With the growth in the number of persons speaking English as a second language came classes in English for those speakers of other languages. Increased educational requirements in a soaring economy resulted in more enrollment in evening adult high school and in vocational education programs.
While the adult and community education program afforded tax-paying citizens an opportunity to utilize the facilities their tax dollars had built, the program at the same time provided support for the school system’s K-12 program.
Students who were unsuccessful in the regular high schools were often allowed to transfer to the adult high school program as an alternative where they were often more successful. Parents could take classes in child development and parenting in order to help their own children. Adult and Community Education (ACE) provided administrative support for after school enrichment classes in the elementary schools.
A catalog of ACE classes and programs is mailed three times a year to Fairfax County residents and is available online at Summer 2016 Catalog.
As its literature promises, “the possibilities are endless.” Endless for career and employment training, learning a new language, personal and academic enrichment. After all, as we have become aware — learning is lifelong.
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The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.
The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.