Packet Sea Foam: Group prepares people for GED

June 6, 2011 

Thanks to Jeff Bradley of Hilton Head Island for sharing the story of a fledgling effort to give local people a brighter future.

He's involved with the first Hilton Head GED Camp, scheduled for Saturday through July 29. It is to offer free training for 10 men and 10 women to prepare for the state's GED, or General Educational Development test. Those who pass the test earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The camp is designed to concentrate the preparation into a shorter window than the norm.

"We're giving them a venue to get in and get out," Bradley said. "Many people have obstacles that get in the way to completing a 17-week preparation for the GED. We hope this is a potential solution to that subset of folks.

"We hope it will help them along the way."

Jeff is president of the Lowcountry Men of the Church, formerly called the Presbyterian Men of the Church, which is sponsoring the camp.

"It is a pilot program that we hope could subsequently be used around the state to make a big difference not only to individuals and families, but to the whole state if thousands of people are able to increase their earning power and be more productive citizens by having a GED," he said.

The program is offered by a nonprofit organization called Christ Central Institute based in Wagener, S.C. Stu Rodman of Hilton Head Island is active in that organization, as well as the Lowcountry Men of the Church.

Bradley said Lowcountry Men of the Church was looking for another project to add to its two main annual events, the Christian Heritage Breakfast during the Heritage golf tournament, and its Symposium on Ethical Decision Making and Moral Values for college students.

Bradley said the three-week intensive GED preparation program has been done in Columbia, but that one involved overnight housing. The island program is to pilot a day camp approach with no housing, but it will offer transportation, meals and help with childcare for the participants. After three weeks of schooling, the GED test will be administered.

Volunteers are needed, Bradley said, particularly for transportation and food service.

Bradley said the sponsors are searching for students to participate. The local need has been expressed anecdotally, he said, and they are working with the Technical College of the Lowcountry to reach people who could use the service.

Participants must first pass the Test of Adult Basic Education, which the sponsors are to administer Saturday, at First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head. Reservations must be made by calling 843-681-3696.

The camp will take place at the church from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning July 11.

For more information about volunteering, call Bradley at 843-342-6918. To enroll, ask for the GED coordinator or Sam Martin at 843-681-3696. The website is www.gedcamp.org; and the email address is ged.hhi@gmail.com.

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