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Maine Adult Education Association

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Category: News

Announcing our first-ever summer session! [Five Town CSD Adult & Community Education]

By popular demand, we are offering a small selection of summer classes and day trips.  Check out our summer newsletter here.


Posted by Elyse Socker  on June 12, 2019 | Read more in: News

Lewiston Adult Education To Hold CNA Orientation With Spurwink [Lewiston Adult Education]


Lewiston Adult Education is having an orientation for the upcoming summer Certified Nursing Assistant Program with Spurwink on Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m. at the B Street Community Center on 57 Birch St. in Lewiston.

The free classes are scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 25.

To sign up for the open house or for more information, call Lewiston Adult Education at 207-795-4141.


Posted by Michael Reagan  on June 12, 2019 | Read more in: News

Lewiston Adult Education Graduate Shares Story of Perseverance [Lewiston Adult Education]

Lewiston Adult Education graduation 2019 speaker Nasra Houssein celebrates her graduation with Adult Learning Center staffer Barbara McAllister on Tuesday night at the Lewiston High School 


Nasra Houssein praised the people who convinced her to return to her studies during Lewiston Adult Education’s graduation on Tuesday night in the Lewiston High School gymnasium.

The native of Djibouti dropped out of her classes last year because she could not fit them in with her work schedule. She credited Lewiston Adult Education teachers Don Roux and Amy Hatch for their encouragement along with coworkers at Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston.

She returned to her classes after a three-month absence. On Tuesday, served as the student speaker at graduation.

“Without all your help, it would have been difficult for me or anybody else. So thank you all for giving us your time to help us succeed,” Houssein said.

The 30 Lewiston Adult Education graduates at the ceremony received their high school credential by taking the High School Equivalency Test. The HiSET exam has replaced the GED for high school equivalency

Beth Derenberger received the Lifelong Learner Award for her commitment as a teacher and for exemplifying the sharing of knowledge at Lewiston Adult Education. She learned rug braiding from an adult education course in Oxford Hills. After a few years of practice, Derenberger ended up teaching in Oxford Hills and at Lewiston Adult Education.

She taught rug braiding at Lewiston since 2004 and retired at the end of the Winter-Spring 2019 semester.

“I have made so many friends from my teaching. It’s awesome. Students come because they want to come. People come because they’re interested. And that’s half the battle,” she said before the ceremony.

Outgoing Superintendent of Schools Bill Webster served as the keynote speaker at graduation and received a round of applause for his support of adult education. Lewiston Adult Education Director Bill Grant gave retiring teacher Diane Whiting a bouquet of flowers during the ceremony to thank her for her service of more than 25 years.



Posted by Michael Reagan  on June 12, 2019 | Read more in: News

Slime, Planetarium Top Lewiston Adult Education's Programs For Families [Lewiston Adult Education]

Library technician Mary Randall will teach a slime-making class at Lewiston Public Library on Aug. 6 as one of a number of enrichment programs for parents and children featuring local organizations. 

Children will have a chance to get their hands slimy during Lewiston Adult Education's Summer 2019 Family Learning.

Students in Lewiston grade schools will receive a schedule of the free events. The schedule will also be available at Lewiston Public Library.

This summer marks the fourth year Lewiston Adult Education will work with members of 4-H Androscoggin County, Museum L/A, Bates College and Lewiston Public Library to provide activities for children and families to learn more about nature to local history. Lewiston Public Library technician Mary Randall will show how to make slime in her event in the children's' department called "An Evening with Professor Slime." Randall will put on her lab coat and goggles to entertain and explain some of the science of slimy things on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.

Adult Services Librarian Ruby Jones will combine tie-dyeing shirts and astronomical objects in "Galaxy Tie-Dye," set for the library on Tuesday, June 25 at 5 p.m. The focus on the sky will continue with "Seeing Stars" with Nicole Hastings of the Ladd Planetarium at Bates College on Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m.

Laura Personette of 4-H Androscoggin County will host two events at the Adult Learning Center in the basement of Longley School. "Seaweed Filter" will be held there on Wednesday, July 10, at 6 p.m. and "Salt Water Density" will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24. 

Carol Thomas of Museum L/A will present "Spinning and Weaving" at Museum L/A on 35 Canal St. in Lewiston at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14. She will show the work behind making cloth and tapestries while connecting them to Lewiston's industrial past. Her class will be for children ages six and up.

The class at the Ladd Planetarium has no minimum age requirement as long as children can sit in a darkened room for an hour. All the other classes during summer enrichment are for children ages eight and up.

The classes require registration to participate. To register, go to

For more information, contact Mike Reagan at Lewiston Adult Education at 207-795-4141 or email him


Posted by Michael Reagan  on June 6, 2019 | Read more in: News

Biddeford family realizes high school graduation dream together [Biddeford Adult Education]

Four members of one family received their highs school diplomas during the Biddeford Adult Education graduation on Wednesday night. From left are Nicholas Bruns, Tina Bruns, Ashleigh Ouellette and Terry Nowlin. Tina Bruns is the mother of Nicholas Bruns, Ashleigh Ouellette and Terry Nowlin.  Ed Pierce/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — For one Biddeford family, Wednesday evening’s Biddeford Adult Education graduation ceremony is a 25-year lesson in the power of perseverance and a determination to realize a better future.

Back in 1994, Tina Bruns was a student at Portland High School when she became pregnant and dropped out. She stayed home and cared for her newborn son, Nicholas, and then a year later, Bruns gave birth to a daughter, Ashleigh, who was followed two years after that by another son, Terry.

Trying to make ends meet with three young children and not ever really feeling comfortable in the classroom, Bruns gave up on earning her high school diploma and instead turned her concentration to raising her children.

“School just wasn’t for me,” Bruns said. “I was really shy and I just couldn’t make it work no matter what I did.”

Although she wanted the best for her children, as they grew up they all followed her down the same path. Nicholas Bruns has anxiety and always felt uncomfortable in a classroom setting. He never finished high school, and neither did his sister or his brother.

But then something remarkable happened.

“I started attending classes at Biddeford Adult Education in 2012 and came and went a few times before just finally deciding to just stick with it and see what would happen,” said Ashleigh Ouellette, now 24. “I earned my certified nursing assistant certification and set a goal to enlist in the U.S. Army, but to do that, I needed to obtain a high school diploma.”

To support and encourage her daughter, Tina Bruns also returned to classes at Biddeford Adult Education and earned her CNA certification at the same time as her daughter. Both of her sons, Terry Nowlin, now 22, and Nicholas Bruns, now 25, also attended classes at Biddeford Adult Education and it has transformed their lives.

“The people at Biddeford Adult Education are amazing,” said Tina Bruns. “They really are like family to us.”

Nowlin found a renewed interest in school at Biddeford Adult Education.

“I went to a lot of schools and none of them fit me,” he said. “But now I want to go on to college and study video game design. I’d like to go to college in Florida.”

Nicholas Bruns has been attending classes at Biddeford Adult Education since 2016 and said his favorite class was a history course.

“That was fun, but the best part of going back to school was actually doing that with my family,” he said. “The people at Biddeford Adult Education truly are special. They went above and beyond to help us and all I can say is that school is amazing.”

And as the names of graduates were called Wednesday evening at Biddeford High School, all four members of the Bruns family realized their decades-long dream to become high school graduates, thus ending a long journey once considered to be out of the realm of possibility for any of them.

In speaking to all of the graduates who earned diplomas on Wednesday night, Biddeford Adult Education Director Paulette Bonneau said she was proud of their achievements, both personally and academically.

“What this speaks to me is that it takes courage,” Bonneau said. “You made a choice, took a chance and made a change.”

She said that change began when the graduates stepped out of their comfort zone and became active learners.

“I never thought I’d make it or see this day,” Tina Bruns said. “We all got through this together and we’ve truly got something to celebrate. It shows you can do anything you set your mind to do. And if I can do it so long after leaving school, anyone can.”

Her daughter said the lesson that others can learn from their family is really very simple.

“Just never give up,” Ouellette said.


Ed Pierce – 282-1535 



Posted by Anne Beaulieu  on June 6, 2019 | Read more in: Events and News

Lewiston Adult Education Offers Summer Free CNA Program With Spurwink [Lewiston Adult Education]

Lewiston Adult Education CNA students pose for a picture near the end of the Fall 2018 semester. From left to right, Kenzie Lord, Jaime Neagle and Paz Jenkins.


Spurwink Services is partnering with Lewiston Adult Education to offer a Certified Nursing Assistant program free of charge.

The program will include classroom work, skills labs, and clinical experience. Students must apply for the program before June 10.

Applicants must have their high school diploma or successfully completed the HiSET exam, have a valid driver's license, and must pass an extensive background check. They also must get a minimum score with the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) and go through an interview process.

The classes will begin on June 25.

For more information, contact Lewiston Adult Education at 207-795-4141 or visit the Spurwink website at:


Posted by Michael Reagan  on June 4, 2019 | Read more in: News

Lewiston College Transition Program Has June Start [Lewiston Adult Education]

College Transition Program instructor Amy Hatch congratulates Chantal Kalau during CTP graduation in May.

Anyone looking to jumpstart their college success can sign up for Lewiston Adult Education's Maine College Transition Program.

The College Transition Program is a free, 12-week program that is set to start on June 6. It is designed for people who live or work in Androscoggin County and are planning to enroll in college in the next 12 to 18 months. It provides a comprehensive review of reading, writing, and math in a college-style setting.

 College Transitions is specifically designed to prepare adults to succeed in college. Students will enter college proficient in completing assignments, time management, note-taking, test-taking, working with instructors and peers, and managing the additional responsibilities expected of college students.

The Winter-Spring College Transition Program ended earlier this year. Students received certificates during a May graduation ceremony.

The next College Transition Program will be held at the B Street Community Center on 57 Birch St. in Lewiston. The B Street Community Center is part of Lewiston Adult Education.

For more information or to register, contact the B Street Community Center at 207-753-6420 or contact Amy Hatch at



Posted by Michael Reagan  on May 22, 2019 | Read more in: News

Lewiston Adult Education Graduation Set For June 11 [Lewiston Adult Education]


A graduate enters the Lewiston High School gymnasium during Lewiston Adult Education's commencement in June 2018.

Lewiston Adult Education will hold its graduation on Tuesday, June 11, at 7 p.m. at the Lewiston High School gymnasium.

Nasra Houssein is scheduled to be the student speaker. The event will also include awards for current students at Lewiston Adult Education.

Students who have successfully completed their HiSET exam between July 2018 and June 2019 can attend graduation. Those who have not received an invitation or have additional questions can contact Lewiston Adult Education at 207-784-2928.


Posted by Michael Reagan  on May 16, 2019 | Read more in: News

Lewiston College Transition Program Celebrate Graduation, Get Advice For Future [Lewiston Adult Education]

From left to right, Nasra Houssein, Tim Blanchard, Yussuf Mohamud, College Transition Program Instructor Amy Hatch, Chantal Kalau and Malumba Ndoluvua celebrated the end of their work as students in Lewiston Adult Education's College Transition Program on Thursday.

The five students in the College Transition Program at Lewiston Adult Education celebrated the end of months of classes on Thursday and got lots of advice and encouragement for the next stage of their educations.

The free, 14-week program reviewed reading, writing and math skills in a college-style setting at the B Street Community Center on 57 Birch St. in Lewiston. The work included an expanded focus on time management as well as finding and applying for scholarships.

College Transition Program Instructor Amy Hatch told the students how proud she was of them at the start of the celebration.

"It shows hard work does pay off," she said. "You made it to the end."

Hatch awarded certificates to the graduates. They were Nasra Houssein,Tim Blanchard, Yussuf Mohamud, Chantal Kalau and Malumba Ndoluvua.

A number of previous College Transition Program students gave advice based on their college experience and talked about future plans, including working to get a master's degree in business administration. While they all had different major and paths in college, they emphasized perseverance and the importance of asking about scholarships.

One piece of advice for scholarships was to save what students had written on applications. Scholarships tend to ask applicants similar questions and holding onto what was they had answered before could save time.

Hatch stressed the importance of applying. Sometimes scholarship money does not get given away because no one has applied, she said.


Amy Poland, professional development coordinator for adult education at the Maine Department of Education, speaks to students on Thursday.

Students received pieces of advice from a former College Transition Program instructor who now works for the Maine Department of Education. Amy Poland, professional development coordinator for adult education, began her remarks post-secondary education by saying, "Don't be afraid to ask for help."

"No one is going to advocate for you. You really have to do it yourself," she said.

Her other advice included:

-- "Anticipate obstacles. Make sure you have a plan B."

-- "If you say, '"I'll try' you already put up a little barrier."

-- "Find the successes as you go."


Posted by Michael Reagan  on May 9, 2019 | Read more in: News