GED program to close May 15
The General Educational Development (GED) and Literacy program housed at Community Presbyterian Church will shut its doors for good after Thursday, May 15, the program's founder has announced.
Toni Somers has been the program's driving force since she established it three years ago. She said she plans to end the program because her age (73) and health (she has multiple sclerosis) sap her strength so much that she doesn't have the energy she wants to devote to pastimes she enjoys, like writing and art.
"I basically want to reclaim some of that time for myself," Somers said.
Somers said she is proud of what the program has accomplished.
"I really feel the program has borne wonderful fruit," said Somers, who started the volunteer-operated program in 2005.
"We have had seven students receive GED certificates and have five Yoga class on more who may earn one by May," she said. "In addition, many people in the community have become aware of the need for such a program."
Somers said she might not have decided to pull the plug on the program if it had not been for the fact that there's a real possibility that another Port Aransas entity might start a GED program in its place.
Somers has asked the Port Aransas Independent School District to establish a GED program to replace hers. The PAISD Board of Trustees is considering the possibility.
Four volunteers have worked with Somers in tutoring students working toward GEDs. They are Linda Trepanier, Alice Marks, Sara Maxham and Sharon Morford.
Community Presbyterian Church provided the space for the GED program in the church's Joint Effort Leisure Ministries building. The church's Presbyterian Women group paid the $75 testing fee for each GED recipient. Additional donors to the program have included Kiwanis, Betsy Churgai and Cheryl Marshall of Gulf Waters RV Resort.
South Jetty staff writer Pam Greene contributed to this story.