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25 parents to graduate from adult ed program at Alta Vista Elem. Dec. 19

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ServSafe class grads Alta Vista 2-Gen July 2017

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: Graduates of the ServSafe Program in the Alta Vista Elementary/Suncoast Technical College Adult Education Two-Generational Program include, from left, Tania Joseph, Krystal Ramos, Nakiera Keno and Lorena Joseph. Instructor Daniel Freeman is at right.

SARASOTA, Dec. 14, 2017 – Alta Vista Elementary School and Suncoast Technical College will honor 25 adult graduates of the schools’ Two-Generational Program in a ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the school.

The Two-Generational Program offers multiple courses in the Alta Vista Adult Education Center, thanks to an expansion of the elementary school’s partnership with Suncoast Technical College. The program is open to parents of students attending one of four of the school district’s Title 1 elementary schools: Alta Vista, Emma E. Booker, Gocio and Tuttle. Title I is a federal designation indicating that a high percentage of students at a school are from financially challenged families.

The courses include Certified Nurse Assistant, Microsoft Office, ServSafe (food safety), Childhood Development Associate and General Equivalency Diploma. The current group of graduates includes 24 mothers of students and one father. The ServSafe class was taught by Daniel Freeman, the father of an Alta Vista student. Freeman is a graduate of the CNA program; he was in the food industry and was a certified ServSafe instructor and decided to change careers when his father got sick. He graduated from the CNA program in June and taught the ServSafe class of five female students. That course was completed in July; all students passed their exams.

Two-generation-focused programs provide opportunities and meet the needs of vulnerable parents and children together. While they were already adept at meeting the needs of children at the school, the school’s adult education program focuses on enriching the lives of parents.

“We are very proud of this program and our partnership with Suncoast Technical College,” said Alta Vista Principal Barbara Shirley. “The two-generation approach has transformed our thinking to include the entire family, connecting students and parents with educational opportunities that promote lifelong success.

“Every child in our school has a better chance of academic success because we engage parents. They’re involved in their child’s learning, but also their own learning. We focus on strengthening life and parenting skills while also fostering career and vocational training. The impact of the two-generation approach has been so much more than we ever dreamed.”

With the establishment in 2013 of the Eagle Academy, Alta Vista became the first school in the Sarasota County School District to adopt an innovative and comprehensive model of approaching education, shifting from a student-focused to a two-generation focus. The new model was the result of a collaboration of partners including Suncoast Technical College, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and individual donors. In the four years since the program was established, 113 adult students will have graduated following this ceremony.

Anyone who would like more information about the Adult Education Two-Generational Program at Alta Vista Elementary — including parents of students at Alta Vista, Emma E. Booker, Gocio or Tuttle elementary schools who are interested in enrolling in the program — may contact Mary Tucker, parent education navigator, at 941-361-6400, ext. 51524, or at

Alta Vista Elementary School is located at 1050 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota.

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