Staff at Norwich Transition Academy (students 18-21 years old) recently celebrated their annual holiday tradition. On the last full day before break, they shut down all their sites and spent the morning accessing various shopping areas (such as Best Buy, Target, Crystal Mall, etc.) to help the students complete their shopping. Students brought their lists and staff members helped them determine where to find the items at the best cost. Following the shopping, they all headed to the Seasons Buffet at Mohegan Sun to enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet. This is a perk that Mohegan Sun provides as a benefit for their year-round partnership. It was a great day and all were able to relax from the normal routine. Here is what students/staff members enjoyed most about the day:

Tyler Palmer from Norwich says, "I like spending time with people, relaxing ... but I would rather be working."

Calvin Sands (Norwich student), "Easy! The food! My one complaint is that I filled up too quickly."

Tom Dufort, director, says, "I really enjoy spending time with the NTA students and staff in a casual, fun environment. Many, many thanks to the folks at Mohegan Sun for the access to the buffet."

Norwich Regional Adult Education

(NAE) is a collaboration of 12 districts including: Bozrah, East Lyme, Franklin, Ledyard, Lisbon, North Stonington, Norwich, Preston, Salem, Sprague, Stonington and Voluntown. We have sites in Norwich, East Lyme and Stonington.

NAE has so many great programs. Some program highlights:

-This year NAE is partnering with Otis Library to provide an Adult Education teacher to teach citizenship preparation classes at the library.

-NAE provides a family literacy after-school program, housed at Uncas School, which offers adult education classes to parents of ESOL students, helping them to learn skills to support and advocate for their children in the public schools. (Photo)

-In coordination with EASTCONN and Thames Valley Council for Community Action, we are providing an Out-of-School Youth program to eligible students ages 17-24, which offers them the opportunity to earn a customer service and sales certificate, as well as job coaching and paid internships. Two students, Ash Hunt and Nicole Johnson, just became the first students from our program to earn the customer service credential.

-Norwich Adult Ed provides the National External Diploma Program as another way for adults to earn a high school diploma. This is a unique program for mature adults who have had work and life experiences.

-They are providing a new program at Thames River Family Program for mothers who reside there, to provide them access to ESOL or GED/ABE classes.

-The High School Credit Diploma program works with students in their last year of school on transitions skills to college and/or post-secondary training.

Continuing Education and Enrichment

Classes are going to be offered starting in March at Teacher's Memorial Global Studies Magnet Middle School. Offerings will include such things as: bus tours, cooking classes tied to the world market, and workforce readiness classes such as introduction to Microsoft, etc.

For questions, please call Adult Education at 860.823.4299.

Sarah J. Herrick is the Norwich Public Schools' Business Office administrative assistant.