Pre-GED Class: Getting Prepared

  • Students learn math skills from teacher Carl Kaiser during the Spring 2017 session.
    Students learn math skills from teacher Carl Kaiser during the Spring 2017 session.

While for many people, education is difficult to access, through Samaritan Ministry's Pre-GED classes participants take a big step in reaching their educational goals.

Our Pre-GED (general educational development) courses started in 2008 and are supported by the Corina Higginson Trust and the generous donors of Samaritan Ministry. 
 
The Pre-GED courses are part of a continuum of opportunities that allow students to continue their education with the goal of receiving a Certificate of High School Equivalency. Students may start at the Washington Literacy Society, then join Samaritan Ministry's Pre-GED classes, and finally attend the Academy of Hope, which offers the GED exam itself. No matter where a person is in their education, there is a place for everyone in these courses. 

"The Pre-GED course is designed to prepare and strengthen students' literacy and math skills in preparation for the GED test," says Annette Carver, head of Samaritan Ministry's Pre-GED courses and Lead Caseworker in our NW office. "Overall, our goal is to improve literacy in the Washington, DC area," she explains.

Offered for 6 to 8 weeks each, Pre-GED sessions are composed of English and grammar from 10-11 AM and math from 11 AM-12 PM, with a break in-between. The class size is typically four to eight students. Classes are free and open to everyone. Students must be at or near the 8th grade reading level and know the basics in reading and writing. The spring session ended in early June. The next session begins September 12.

The Pre-GED courses have positively affected participants' lives. "I am learning, that's for sure!" Wayne Hall, a Pre-GED student, said enthusiastically. "Paul and these guys explain to you what you did wrong," said Peter Clark, another student.
Samaritan Ministry volunteers Paul Brady and Carl Kaiser teach, respectively, English skills and math skills.

Teachers and students interact in a close-knit setting, laughing and smiling around a table. Before class, there is lively discussion and tasty snacks, such as nuts, cookies, and juice from a communal basket. One can feel the warmth of community in the room as well as instructors' passion for teaching the pre-GED students.The GED exam itself is offered online. "It's very frightening if you have never taken the GED test before, especially on the computer," Annette comments. Fortunately, Samaritan Ministry also offers computer courses in preparation for the GED. Participants can learn how to use computers in order to take their GED tests. They learn how to use technology as a tool for education.

The Pre-GED course's content is not just review -- it is empowerment for Next Step Program participants. Moving forward and equipped with the knowledge needed to pass the GED, these participants are satisfied with themselves and their newfound abilities.

- by Kara Thompson, SMGW Summer Intern

For more information or to register for any range of dates, please contact Annette Carver, Lead Caseworker, NW Office, at acarver [at] samaritanministry.org.