The W.W. Payne Education and Community Center was built to support Rev. Dr. Grady A. Yeargin, Jr.’s vision to provide outreach services to the community. In July 2005, in a meeting with Rev. Dr. Yeargin, Gary Hamiel, Marlene Jones and Patricia Payne, staff from the Baltimore City Community College presented a proposal to initiate a free, daytime GED class for members and community of the City Temple of Baltimore Baptist Church.
The first pre-GED class was introduced in January 2006.
The class was held in the Payne Center on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. BCCC provided the teacher and all instructional materials and supplies, while City Temple agreed to provide a classroom with a blackboard. In addition, City Temple also agreed to:
The largest commitment made by City Temple was the responsibility to recruit and retain 15-20 students for the class. Patricia A. Payne was asked to lead this charge.
The City Temple family has willingly and lovingly adopted this project. They actively participate in the recruitment process. They provide duplicating paper/services, markers, erasers, money, and instructional materials for the program. Members have offered job opportunities, and pertinent information about preparing for the GED examination. When students are ready to take the actual GED examination, the Outreach Ministry has offered to defray the cost for those unable to afford it.
With the support of the City Temple family and other external resources, included but not limited to the Department of Social Services, Social Security, Union Baptist Head Start, Dru-Mondawmin, and the University of Maryland, each semester we have had student participation ranging from 15 to 50 students. There have been several teachers assigned to the program; however, beginning in 2009 when the same instructor was permanently assigned, student retention stabilized significantly. In addition, an average of 20% of the students is promoted to the advanced GED classes, and 100% of those students go on to receive their GED certification.
The success of the day program motivated the administrators at BCCC to invite City Temple to initiate an evening program. Beginning in the fall 2010, City Temple introduced an evening class held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 â€“ 8:30 p.m. The population for this class satisfied the need to serve those who work during the daytime hours.
Both classes maintain an average attendance rate of 20-30 students per class, with an increase of 10-15% of its students promoting to advanced GED classes each semester. This program has attracted students from Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County and Anne Arundel County.
Recognizing the success of this program, in 2011, BCCC expanded the pre-GED classes to three days a week, and introduced a year-round program so that classes would continue during the summer.Pre- and post-testing revealed the need for literacy classes. Many of those interested in obtaining their GED technically did not qualify for the pre-GED class. Therefore, in January 2012, BCCC introduced two BRIDGE classes: one for the morning session and the other for the evening. The BRIDGE classes are currently two days a week. The class size for the BRIDGE class is generally 10-15 students.
With this expansion, coupled with the love and support provided by the City Temple family, the program has the potential to reach even greater heights.
For more information, please contact Pat Payne.