Pine River Learning Center hosts open house

Jonathan Quintana looks over experiment books inside the Pine River Community Learning Center’s STEM room during the center’s open house.
Mike Mitchell, Pine River Learning Center’s board president, grills up hot dogs for guests.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

On Thursday, Sept. 29, the Pine River Community Learning Center hosted an open house meeting throughout the day, inviting members from the community to share the afternoon with Pine River staff members over an open grill of hamburgers and hot dogs. The open house was put together to spread the word about the learning center’s various education programs.

“We wanted to do a reintroduction of who we are and what we offer,” stated Cecilia Robbins, interim director of the learning center. “We have new programs and staff members, and we want people to know that we are here to offer educational aide.”

The Pine River Community Learning Center has been in existence for 30 years and offers programs like the KET Fast Forward, which is a take home GED that can be done online, as well as a STEM program that focuses on the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The center also offers an ESL (English as a Second Language) Program and a Family Literacy Program that promotes at home reading and writing. The learning center is additionally partnered with Utah State University where online classes are streamed directly to students.

“The best part of the Utah State University program is that it gets people’s feet wet, especially those who feel hesitant on where to start,” added Robbins.

The Pine River Community Learning Center is associated with the Southern Ute Education Department and works with the organization to provide an array of opportunities for the membership, other Natives and employees to enhance their education and employment level.

The director and staff have stated that they will continue to communicate and collaborate with the students to help them progress and remain consistent with program policies and educational institutional expectations.

“Students have come to us and ended up going all the way through college with the courses they’ve been aiming to study,” commented Mike Mitchell, Board President of the learning center. “We like being here for the community, and we hope we continue to be recognized for what we offer.”

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