About 250 people were in attendance for the Maplewood Career Center's Adult Basic and Literacy Education recent graduation, held at the school in Ravenna.
Doris Schoning, coordinator of the ABLE program and director of the Portage County Literacy Coalition, welcomed the GED graduates, their guests and friends.
The evening started off with a round of introductions and speakers that included Randy Griffith, Maplewood superintendent; Sarah Lawry, representing U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown; and State Rep. Kathleen Clyde.
Schoning presented an "Outstanding Partnership" award to Dee Gillespie, manager of Goodwill Industries in Kent, and an award to Patti Akers, one of the volunteer tutors, for her dedication and commitment to the ABLE reading students.
Continuing Education student Fiona Harris and three GED graduates, Shannon Bernard, Kayla Harper and Hannah Kascle, shared their comments.
The PCLC provides awards in literacy and scholarships every year to ABLE students. Laure Gauntner, PCLC president, presented awards to three literacy students this year, including James Howerton, Heather White and Shirley Goslin.
Schoning presented the Helen Jane and Don M. Wilson Jr. Scholarship to two ABLE students.
The first award was given to a student who is starting college at Kent State University in the medical field, Amanda Griffith.
The second award was given to a student who is currently attending Kent State University and continuing her education in computer sciences, Fiona Harris.
ABLE Director Dan Rogge called students up to the stage to receive their certificates. Many thanks were given to all who have helped in making this event a success, including the Portage County Retired Teachers Association for taking the time to make cookies, which they served with cake and punch.
ABLE classes are free. Anyone who needs a GED, is interested in brushing up on English or math skills, or is transitioning into post-secondary education, training, or trade may call 330-235-0020 for more information.