Friday, March 1, 2013
It is no wonder that local educators have been exploring ways to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking families; close to 30 percent of the population of Hood River County is of Hispanic origin according to the 2010 U.S. Census. In addition, over 28 percent of county residents speak a language other than English in the home.
To better serve people whose first or primary language is Spanish, a new program through Hood River Community Education, will offer preparation for the General Education Development (GED) test in Spanish.
Spanish teacher Gale Arnold will be running the course, which begins April 17 and runs Wednesday nights through June 12. The cost of the class is $25 plus the purchase of a $15 textbook at Waucoma Bookstore.
According to Jean Ewald, GED test administrator for Columbia Gorge Community College, over 100 students are currently enrolled in English as a Second Language classes at CGCC’s Hood River campus, with another 30 enrolled in The Dalles. Many have expressed interest in taking the test.
While many bilingual individuals may already have some proficiency in English, many are more comfortable taking standardized tests in their primary language, notes Daniel Taylor, Jesuit Volunteer Corps member serving at CGCC in Hood River. Taylor has been instrumental in organizing the new course.
The decision to offer the exam in Spanish is in response to requests from members of the community, including prospective college students, noted Taylor.
The GED requires students to demonstrate proficiency in writing, social studies, science, literature and math.
Pre-registration for the class is available online at hrcommunityed.org (search for language classes for adults) or by phoning HRCE assistant Leti Valle at 541-387-5082, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. In person registration is also available at 1009 Eugene Street.
GED test details:
Eligibility requirements for people who wish to take Spanish language GED tests are the same as those for the English version: A candidate must show a photo ID with a birth date, pay the application fee and be officially withdrawn from high school if under 18 – with a completed release (from compulsory schooling) form signed by a parent or guardian.
The cost for taking the GED test, in English or Spanish, is $100 – which covers five individual test components. This may be paid in one payment or divided between a $35 pre- payment plus $13 per test.
Ewald is the GED test administrator at both CGGG Hood River and The Dalles campuses. Testing may be scheduled through appointment only by calling 541-506-6041. The tests are offered in Hood River on Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon in The Dalles.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge