Successful Program Makes ‘Tremendous Economic Impact’ on Community
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 30, 2017 — Jacksonville Public Library on Sept. 5 will celebrate the graduation of 24 students who have earned high school diplomas and career certificates through Smart Horizons Career Online High School (COHS), an innovative program for adult learners offered at Jacksonville Public Library’s Center for Adult Learning.
The ceremony is the second in as many years at Jacksonville Public Library, and boasts more than double the number of graduates. Family, friends, and members of the community are invited to attend to show support and congratulate students for their hard-earned achievements.
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 5
Reception following commencement
WHERE: Main Library, Hicks Auditorium
303 Laura St. N. – 32202
The private, accredited Career Online High School is made possible by a grant from the State of Florida and in partnership with Gale Cengage Learning. Since 2015 the library has provided 131 scholarships for students. Although program funding was not included in the 2018 State budget, the library is working diligently to include funding in grant applications, and the State Library is expected to absorb the funding for the program in its 2019 fiscal year budget.
CAL Literacy Program Manager Katie Devanny said it’s critical for the library to continue the COHS program, citing the “tremendous economic impact” of earning a high school diploma and the return on investment for a $1,300 scholarship.
“A student who fails to complete high school can cost taxpayers a staggering $300,000,” said Devanny. “Students with high school diplomas and career certification training don’t create this tax burden. They are more likely to contribute to the local and global economy long term. With more than 20 COHS graduates this year, it can add up to millions of tax dollars saved.”
Larry Roziers, retired assistant superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, will provide the keynote address following remarks by Amy Johnson, director of the Division of Library and Information Services, State of Florida; Dr. Charles Moreland, director of Community Affairs for the City of Jacksonville; Jennifer Giltrop, interim director of the Jacksonville Public Library; Ronnie King, chair of the Board of Library Trustees; and Dawt Si, 2017 COHS graduate and Burma refugee.
About Center for Adult Learning (CAL)
Since 1985 JPL has worked to meet the needs of limited readers and English learners through the Center for Adult Learning. CAL provides a community learning environment for adults who are no longer part of the K–12 educational system as well as for adults who meet criteria for the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. Call 630-2426 for more information about CAL or Career Online High School.
About the Jacksonville Public Library
The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 3.4 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 5.7 million times, and over 13,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 630-BOOK (2665) or visit jaxpubliclibrary.org.