Pima County’s Las Artes graduates to get GEDs July 1by Pima County News on Jun. 23, 2011, under Pima County, Tucson
Pima County, Arizona – More than 80 ceramic tile murals created by students of Las Artes Arts & Education Center add splashes of color and a distinctive look to the local landscape and beyond.
Their work can be seen along South Tucson’s Fourth Avenue and on benches along Sahuarita’s main drag, from Marana’s Town Hall to a red, white and blue tribute to sports at East Ajo Way and South Country Club Road.
One of their murals – of César Chávez – hangs in the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. Their next assignment: the University of Arizona’s Bioscience Park along Kino Parkway.
But the biggest difference Las Artes makes is in the lives of its students.
The Pima County program housed at 23 W. 27th St. in South Tucson will be awarding GEDs to its latest group of graduates on Friday, July 1, in a 10 a.m. ceremony at Pima Community College’s Downtown Campus.
Traditional school failed to reach these young people. Some are homeless. Some are on probation. Some have been abused. Some have children of their own. Most are high school dropouts.
They get help with those challenges. And the eight weeks they spend working on a community art project teaches them the discipline they need for school, work and life. They learn to be on time, show up every day, follow directions and do their best.
They then spend up to 24 weeks studying academic subjects at the center. Of those who make it to the final eight-week GED unit, 98 percent pass the general educational development tests.
The program is part of the county’s Community Services, Education and Training Department, which helps the students find jobs and financial assistance for job training or additional education through its One Stop employment assistance program.
Las Artes has awarded more than 500 GEDs since it opened more than 15 years ago.
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