Center Opens Its Doors

9 years 5 months 1 week ago June 28, 2007 Jun 28, 2007 Thursday, June 28 2007 Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:27:02 PM CDT in News

Tiffany Hadley is taking advantage of the Blind Boone Center's free classes.

"When I took the first class, I was pregnant so I couldn't finish it. But this is the first class I can finish," Hadley said.

Hadley is in an eight-week clerical class with five other students. Her goal is to get a job.

"I don't know anything about computers. The clerical class is helping me learn about Microsoft Word and Excel, and how to write a business letter and memos," Hadley said.

Lolita Lucas, project coordinator for the center, said organized classes aren't the only things offered. Other people use the facilities on their own time.

"We have people who come in during the day to use the other lab for GED online purposes, for job search purposes, just to learn to get more familiar with the computer," Lucas said.

New visitors to the center can pick up different leaflets about the services offered, including classes for money management or tips for buying a home.

There's something for Hadley's four kids, too. It's an after school program called Moving Forward.

"It's good. They feed them snacks, they teach them, they have them doing homework. That's my number one thing, homework," Hadley said.

But there's also plenty of time for the kids to play. The center recently got new computers, chairs, couches, and a TV with a DVD and VHS player.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds projects at the center.

The center offers training programs in the following areas:

- Retail sale: learn math, cash register, employer/employee relations, personal presentation, communication skills, human relations, marketing, customer service skills, and more.

- Building maintenance: learn equipment and supplies storage, handling of hazardous and infectious waste, cleaning for hard and carpeted floors, cleaning for restrooms, the chemistry of cleaning, and more.

- Clerical skills: learn to file, word processing, basic math, basic calculator skills, telephone/customer service skills, using the internet for business, introduction to Access, Excel, Powerpoint, and more.

To sign up for a class, call project coordinator Lolita Lucas at (573) 443-2556 Ext. 1274 or go to the J.W. Blind Boone Center at 301 N. Providence Rd.

Reported by: Jessica Daley

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