Flint and Genesee County is home to hundreds of community organizations that are working to positively impact the residents who live here. This series aims to put a spotlight on some of those agencies and nonprofits.

The Center for Higher Educational Achievement is the brainchild of Dr. Marsay Wells-Strozier, a Flint native whose experience teaching children and adults has given her a well-rounded perspective of the education cycle in families.

“I knew that kindergartners in at-risk environments failed at a higher rate than their peers, but it wasn’t until I began teaching adult education classes that I understood why,” says Wells-Strozier. “There’s a big link between a child’s ability to read and write and the success their parents had in K-12.”

According to Wells-Strozier, if a parent doesn’t understand the basics in math, language arts and writing, how could they know whether or not their child is grasping the material presented during the school day?

It’s with this in mind that she founded the CHEA Adult Skill Center, which provides one-on-one educational training for adults 25 and older. To date, the center is the only known facility in Genesee County to provide remedial training, beginning at the kindergarten level, for adults only.

“Our most popular course is Adult Basic Ed, which is for adults whose reading and math skills are at the K-4th-grade level,” says Wells-Strozier. The course covers everything from phonics and spelling to penmanship and solving word problems.

It takes at least a year for participants to advance from the beginner level through the GED level, or 9-12 grades. But the time invested is worth it, says Wells-Strozier.

“You’re developing transferable skills here,” she says. “That’s going to help you when you’re filling out a job application. And it’s going to help you when your child needs help with their homework.”

Courses cost $10-15 per hour based on placement level. According to Wells-Strozier, the center also offers specialized programming available at no cost to residents living in North Flint.

CHEA Adult Skill Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For more information, visit www.mychea.org or call (810) 265-7766.

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