Adult education center getting new home -- and new name

WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Lexington Two’s adult education program is getting a new home -- and a new name.


The new Lexington Two Community Education Center -- which operates in conjunction with Lexington Four adult education -- will move to the current BC Grammar School No. 1 site at 114 Hook Ave. BC Grammar is moving this summer to the new Riverbank Elementary.


The move comes as the program wraps up its latest session, awarding more than 100 adult learners with their GEDs or high school diplomas. Some of those students will participate in a graduation ceremony set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31 ata Airport High School.


The community education center hopes to settle into its new home by mid-August.


The adult education program includes a number of classes  -- all free -- for students who left school without a diploma. In addition to GED preparation and high school diploma completion, the adult education program offers WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate preparation, academic refresher and English for speakers of other languages. Services also are available to help with employment, training and college admission.


The move to the new location will offer room to expand. Current plans call for a family resource center for adult education students and families of the STAR program, along with more ESOL programs, with possible child care in the future.


Faculty and staff at the center pride themselves on making school a comfortable place where students feel like part of a family, said Christy Henderson, Lexington Two’s director of adult education.


That’s exactly the experience Joao Dasilva had in the district’s program.


Dasilva did not have a high school diploma, but had his sights set on a career in technology that required college courses. He enrolled in the Lexington Two adult education program, using the flexibile morning, afternoon and evening classes to work around his job.


Today, Dasilva is enrolled at Midlands Technical College, taking courses in network systems management.


The staff is really prepared for the struggles concerning those of us who were out of school for a long time,” Dasilva said. “It is not so easy to restart, as many of us are not sure of ourselves, are insecure about our goals, our potential, and need a bit of a lift to our low self-esteem.”


Dasilva said faculty and staff in the program were a big support in helping him succeed at the college level today.


“They helped us on our education journey with events like ‘supper and share,’ lectures with professionals in different fields and creating a very friendly environment where you feel like you belong,” Dasilva said.


The Lexington Two adult education program, currently located at Pair Education Center, works in partnership with Lexington Four’s program, housed in the Early Childhood Center in Swansea. Earlier this year at the SC Office of Adult Education awards luncheon, the adult education program brought home four awards for the highest number of Career Readiness Certificates awarded, highest number of GEDs awarded, test percentage award and performance measure award.


Students like Dasilva are proof that the program works.


“Anyone can succeed in this program,” Dasilva said.


Information about adult education offerings can be found on the website, www.lex2.org.