Giving back: Supporting adult education with A-B Tech

In our new section, local nonprofits tell us about their programs and the volunteering opportunities that are currently available. This week Martha Bell, communications specialist for Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, talks about the critical need for volunteers to assist in the Adult Basic Skills and High School Equivalency Program held at Goodwill in West Asheville.

Mountain Xpress: Tell us about the program.

Ball: Formerly referred to as GED, the Adult Basic Skills and High School Equivalency Program readies students who have not graduated high school to acquire the necessary skills to take the tests to receive a high school equivalency credential. This gives them the ability to find lucrative employment or even enroll in college.

Can you give us some examples of what a volunteer would do?

In this area, volunteers support the instructors with clerical support, in-class and out-of-classroom tutoring, instruction and orientation. Volunteers also contribute their prior experiences to the learning process.

What are the requirements for participating in the program?

Volunteers must be friendly, non-judgmental and proficient in math, English or social studies. They must be willing to commit to at least once a week at two-hour intervals and able to teamwork with staff.

Does A-B Tech have any other volunteering needs right now?

A-B Tech currently has 21 areas needing volunteer support. Among these is the facilitated pet therapy teams on campus. These registered therapy dogs supply emotional support and “stress relief” to students, faculty and staff on a weekly basis. There is also a need for volunteers in Basic Skills Compensatory Education, where volunteers assist teachers in classrooms. Retired special education teachers would be most useful in this program.

Anyone interested in exploring the dozens of volunteer opportunities at A-B Tech should contact the volunteer and intern services coordinator to be matched with a department where their skills and talents will be best appreciated. Active volunteers may also be invited into the Mentor Program. There are 21 areas experiencing volunteer support.

For more information about A-B Tech’s volunteering opportunities, visit

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at Follow me @carrieeidson

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