Help and Learning Continue at Lincoln Center

Long-time Kirkwood location aids hundreds each year; will transition to new 5th Avenue location

For Shandreal Johnson of Cedar Rapids, classes and tutoring at the Lincoln Learning Center were doorways to a new life.

“I am so thankful for all those great people who got me going at the Lincoln Center. They got me going and they kept me going. I earned my GED and now I’m studying Human Services at Kirkwood. It’s wonderful to have new choices in my future,” he said.

Johnson is one of more than a thousand area residents who received GED, adult basic education, English language training, literacy classes and other services at the Lincoln Learning Center. The former Cedar Rapids Community Schools building has been a south side outpost for Kirkwood Community College since the 1970s.

With the recent announcement by United Way of East Central Iowa of its relocation to the new Human Services Campus on 8th Avenue Southeast, the high school completion programs at Kirkwood have begun their preparations to relocate to the former United Way space at the Kirkwood Resource Center.

“Initially, the college anticipated the relocation of Lincoln services in January of 2011. However, renovation work on the former United Way space to better meet the needs of our GED, ESL, and Adult High School students will need to be completed prior to the move,” stated Todd Prusha, Dean of Distance Learning and Secondary Programs at Kirkwood Community College. “We want to reassure the community that Lincoln services will continue to operate at the Lincoln Center until sometime in late May of 2011,” Prusha said.

“We look forward to the opportunities to enhance our program options at the resource center,” said Marcel Kielkucki, director of High School Completion Programs. “The Resource Center location will allow our students access to college-credit offerings that are not currently available at the Lincoln Center, as well as allow us to explore opportunities to partner with other local programs and agencies located nearby.”

Shandreal Johnson admits that his journey to his GED diploma and current college studies was “not like a piece of cake,” but encourages others in need of educational advancement to take the first steps.

“Those people at Kirkwood kept me going and made sure I made it to the next level. They all were a part of my success. It has all worked out for my benefit, and I’m grateful,” he added.

Johnson has another reason for personal pride in his attainment. The Lincoln Center staff has asked him to be a commencement speaker for the Kirkwood High School graduation program in May 2011.

More information on Kirkwood’s Lincoln Center services is available by visiting them at 912 18th Avenue SW, or calling 366-0142.

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