The Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust has awarded the Learn More Center in grants totaling $37,000 to support adult education programs in Wabash County. Specifically in the GED Accelerate program, adults will be attempting to get their GED in less than four months. The funding also aids student transportation to and from the two education sites, a valued asset in enabling student success.
With this gift, the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust has provided the Learn More Center with $250,000 of vital support for advancing educational opportunities for adults in Wabash County. The Learn More Center provides students a path to attain their goals within an efficient, effective and nurturing environment that provides guidance and mentoring. Support from the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust has assisted many students in overcoming their obstacles of learning differences, transportation barriers, and lack of support from home. Since 2010 alone, the Pauline Barker funds have supported 67 students in attaining their dreams of a GED diploma. The support of the Learn More Center’s Fast Track GED Program has been vital and has led to the new GED Accelerate Program.
Pauline J. Barker, a life-long resident of Wabash, is remembered as the manager of Rock City Café, a position she held for forty-five years before her retirement. Before her death in 1999, she established the educational foundation bearing her name to provide support for basic literacy education, adult education, vocational training and retraining of youth and adults. The Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust is administered by First Merchants Trust Company.
In 1999, prompted by a Lilly Endowment Inc. funding opportunity known as the Community Alliance to Promote Education (CAPE) Initiative, community leaders from the area were convened by the Community Foundation of Wabash County to discuss the future of Wabash County. The purpose of the CAPE Initiative was to create strategic and innovative community-based educational programs aimed at improving educational attainment and the quality of life of Indiana residents. All Community Foundations in the state were invited to submit proposals for $5 million to fund programs to address the specific educational needs of the counties in which they served. With much community involvement over the course of the year 2000 the Community Foundation of Wabash County coordinated the work required to develop and submit the Cape proposal, which was fully funded in December of 2000. The Community Foundation’s efforts revealed the critical need for programs and services to address adult literacy and adult basic education. Funded by the CAPE grant, the Learn More Center was launched in July of 2002 by the Community Foundation of Wabash County. The Center then and now focuses on providing educational services and a learning community to meet the needs of adult learners in Wabash County specifically related to workforce readiness, adult basic education and literacy.
The Learn More Center is currently in a campaign to meet a $30,000 matching challenge grant offer for 2013 by an anonymous donor. This grant will be awarded on a $1 for $1 matching basis through Dec. 31, and will help raise funds to operate the Learn More Center. The Center is funded largely by donations and educational programming is offered at the Wabash Alliance Church in Wabash and at the Town Life Center in North Manchester. For hours and more information, call toll free at 877-363-6128 or visit www.learnmorecenter.org. Services are confidential and are of no cost to students.