ASPIRE Program Holds Learning Event for Students, Family and Friends

Maplewood’s ASPIRE Program held its second annual friends and family event on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The event titled, “Fall Into Lifelong Learning” invited ASPIRE students, along with their friends and family members, to Maplewood Career Center for a night of educational fun. Over 40 students attended the event.


Specifically designed to benefit adults, Maplewood’s ASPIRE Program (formerly known as ABLE) has been helping Portage County individuals achieve their educational goals for the past 30 years. The ASPIRE Program, which prepares individuals to enter post-secondary education, training or trade school, offers flexible, free-of-charge courses that are available to students morning, afternoon and evening.

The event, sponsored by the Portage County Literacy Coalition, focused on highlighting educational activities for adults and their children, a meet and greet with ASPIRE instructors and a scavenger hunt for all participants. Visitors enjoyed pizza and snacks and entered to win free raffle prizes, generously donated by the ASPIRE staff.

“This event was esigned for our adult ASPIRE students to show their friends and family members where they are going to school and what they are currently learning,” said Laure Gauntner, ASPIRE Coordinator at Maplewood. “This is a great way to showcase the hard work of our students and highlight the many educational opportunities offered at Maplewood.”

Michael Hinton, Workforce Development Director, gave a brief presentation on Maplewood’s course offerings. Other special guests included: Regina Holliday, GED/HiSET/TASC Proctor at Community Technology & Learning Center of Ravenna and Bill Thompson, Portage County Literacy Coalition Board Member.

“We would like to thank everyone who made this event a success, especially our sponsor, the Portage County Literacy Coalition and the ASPIRE staff,” said Hinton. “The ASPIRE program has made a positive impact on so many lives. It is an honor for us to invite our adult students’ friends and family to Maplewood to see the hard work and effort of their loved ones, first hand.”

Beyond offering test preparation and courses for the GED and High School Equivalency (HSE) test, ASPIRE Programs provides basic skills in: English, math, and reading; computer skills; Medical Readiness; English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); resume/cover letter writing; transitioning into post-secondary, training, trade, or employment; and test prep for RN, LPN, electrician and other professional/career exams.

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