TIFTON -- An Adults in Motion (A.I.M.) collaborative at R. L. Mack's Head Start program offers an opportunity for parents to improve their own education to better help their children.

Head Start provides the mobile unit and Moultrie Technical College provides the materials for a complete GED study and testing site for parents of children who attend Head Start. The program is not limited to parents of Head Start students.

The classes are held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 until 11:30 a.m., the same hours children are in school.

Jan Gelders, family case manager at R.L. Mack, said offering the GED program at the center will "give our parents a convenient location to work on their GED and at the same time encourage parent involvement in the classroom after the session."

"Having this site will solve child care and transportation problems we hear about," said Liz Keith, who oversees the GED program at Moultrie Technical College's Tiftarea campus. "I would like to see more of these programs implemented."

Parents can ride the bus to school with their children, eat lunch and stay until the bus leaves at 2:30 p.m. -- if they volunteer to help in student(s)' classrooms.

"The main motive for the program is to help their skills so they can help their children," said Keith. "It has a positive affect on their own families."

Carolyn Ellis, who earned her four-year education degree at Valdosta State University, is the site's GED instructor. Ellis owns her own dance studio in Tifton and has been teaching classes there for 25 years.

Keith said program's benefits will be long-ranged.

"It will incorporate parenting skills too because we want it to be a family focus on literacy," said Keith.

Students interested in taking the exam for the first time must take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). This exam evaluates the skills of the person in math, grammar and English. Testing is available at the R.L. Mack site.

To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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