STORY BY EMILY REED
What started as a temporary venture for Tamera Hinton and Rhonda Joyner in August 2018 to facilitate GED classes for the community, quickly turned into a more permanent solution.
“Once we initially started teaching the classes, we went from five enrolled students to over 20 enrolled students in a matter of a couple of months,” said Hinton. “We saw the dire need for this class to the community, so we gave our all to see it prosper, grow and help others meet their goals.”
Initially, both Hinton and Joyner served as facilitators through a local nonprofit organization, but the two left the organization in 2019 after resigning from the board of directors and decided to continue offering the classes to ensure all of the students were able to finish what they had started.
“After we left, many students reached out to us asking if we could do private classes,” Hinton said. “After some thought and prayer, we decided to continue facilitating the classes.”
The state of Alabama requires four core classes be taken on the GED exam including math, social studies, science and language.
“The purpose of the GED classes is to assist those in need of a hands-on classroom experience where they have resources and teachers to help guide them through the lessons and retain the information needed to pass the state GED exam,” Hinton said. “The class is designed to benefit not only those seeking to obtain a GED, but anyone also taking the SAT or ACT as well as anyone just needing tutoring on high school and lower level college courses. We actually had a student that attended Troy University in the math class last year.”
Hinton said the availability of the classes is an important resource to the community because there are often many people who have had to quit school for various reasons and need a GED for better opportunities in the workforce or to attend college.
“We offer more than just classes,” Hinton said. “We really care about the people we help in our classes, and we have created a small community of friends that are there to help each other and support one another.”
While the GED class offerings is not something new to the Chilton County area, Hinton said the benefits of receiving a GED differ from person to person.
“The main goal is to finish,” Hinton said. “Once people finish and pass the tests, they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. For many, the benefit of getting the GED is that it allows them to apply for more sustainable employment or a promotion in their current job or to pursue a college degree.”
The classes are free and similar to a traditional classroom setting. During the outbreak of COVID-19, the classes are being offered online, twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
When classes resume to a regular schedule, they will be held at the Chilton-Clanton Public Library, 100 First Avenue in Clanton, in the conference room.
Classes are free, and individuals are required to bring whatever helps them succeed, Hinton said.
“We provide everything they need, textbooks, notebooks, writing utensils, and other learning tools. We mostly use our own financial resources to provide for the classes,
but we do accept donations from friends and family that want to help us.”
For more information about the classes, visit Facebook at RESET GED Prep Class.