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Education First

Education First is a GED and job placement program that provides both educational and support services to individuals.  It is currently working with people on public assistance, the formerly incarcerated, and inmates within the Cuyahoga County Jail.

Project Learn has a long history working within the field of corrections. It began its work in the field of corrections in 1983 with a program at the old Mansfield Reformatory.  In that effort Project Learn trained inmates who could read to tutor inmates who could not.  That program remained operational until the Reformatory closed in 1993.

Shortly after that first program, Project Learn began teaching inmates in the Cuyahoga County Jail and has been doing so ever since.  In 1995 – with a Federal Adult Education Demonstration Grant – Project Learn wrote and published a guide to implementing education programs in jails entitled “Volunteer Education Programs in Short-term Correctional Facilities.”  That guide was distributed nationally to other basic literacy programs from 1995-1996.

Project Learn also provided basic literacy instruction to inmates of the Northeast Pre-release Center for Women using a model similar to the one it implemented at the Mansfield Reformatory.  It operated that program from 1991-2005.

Most recently Project Learn’s Education First program became a partner in the Cleveland Municipal Court’s “Get on Track” program.  “Get on Track” is an alternative sentencing program where low-level offenders are referred to Project Learn to pursue their GED in lieu of incarceration.