Tama Education Center to open Sept. 9

TAMA – Adults in the Tama area looking for English as a Second Language and GED courses will soon have a place of their own in the town.

Iowa Valley Continuing Education is opening the Tama Education Center at 215 W. 9th St. in Tama on Sept. 9.

The center mirrors the adult literacy programming offered at the Iowa Valley Education and Training Center in Marshalltown. Mary McCann Fuchsen is the adult literacy instructor for the new Tama center. She has spent the past few years as a vocational trainer for Iowa Valley.

“There have been people in the Tama area commuting to Marshalltown and there is a need for a center in Tama,” McCann Fuchsen said.

Iowa Valley is renting space on the second floor of the South Tama Partnership Center in an agree with the South Tama School District. The facility will feature two classrooms, an office and will have six laptop computer systems for testing.

“It’s ready to go,” McCann Fuchsen said of the facility.

McCann Fuchsen has reached out to the Meskwaki Settlement to try to encourage their people to enroll and also expects the proposed Iowa Premium Beef plant in Tama to create more demand for ESL classes.

She said it’s possible to expand programming in the future to include citizenship, computer skills and job searching classes.

“Whatever the community decides the need is, we will adjust,” McCann Fuchsen said.

State legislators approved $10.5 million in funding statewide to go to adult basic education programs like this new one in Tama. Previously, places like Iowa Valley received no money from the state for these programs.

“That was very exciting,” McCann Fuchsen said. “This idea has been in the works and that money helps.”

This funding allows the facility to keep tuition as low as $25 per quarter.

The ESL classes will run from 9 a.m. to noon and the GED, or high school equivalency classes, from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the facility.

A student informational meeting will be held at the center from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 3.

For more information on the center call 641-754-1348.