ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Board of Education voted Tuesday to authorize the adult education department to apply for grant funding up to $30,000 that would help pay for English literacy and civics classes primarily for non-citizens.
Hawkins County adult education instructor Lisa Mullins, who is drafting the grant application, told the BOE on Tuesday that the classes would serve about 80 students per year over the two-year life of the grant.
The grant would cover the cost of the classes, which is expected to range between $20,000 and $30,000 annually, and the Hawkins County school system would be committed to contributing a 10 percent match to the program.
Beginning this year, Hawkins County Adult Education has been designated by the state to serve Hancock County as well, and Mullins noted that the grant would also serve Sneedville.
The cost of classes held in Hancock County would be paid from the Hawkins County grant and matching funds.
“This grant would include opening classes for English literacy and civics education for English-as-a-second-language students,” Mullins said. “In my proposal, I have requested to open classes in Bulls Gap, Church Hill, Mooresburg and Sneedville. I would require hiring a part-time teacher for one or more of those locations, and that is in the budget. Also (pays for) books, dictionaries and a document camera.”
Mullins noted that Hancock County’s non-English speaking population is much smaller than in Hawkins County. She said the target communities are in Church Hill, Bulls Gap and Mooresburg.
Mullins added, “The program is for not only English literacy or limited language students, but also for civics education to learn about government processes, how to behave in the United States as an American, and to move toward becoming a citizen.”
Each location would have one two-hour class meeting two times per week for 45 weeks per year.
Mullins noted, however, that Hawkins County isn’t guaranteed the grant.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will award 15 of these English literacy and civics grants statewide.
“A system our size has rarely been awarded (this type grant),” Mullins told the BOE. “It usually goes to a system the size of Knoxville. But this year the all programs were encouraged to compete for that money.”