RCCC expands learning opportunities

Published 4:59 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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LEWISTON WOODVILLE – Roanoke-Chowan Community College is now offering free high school equivalency diploma (formerly GED) classes and computer literacy classes at the new Lewiston Woodville Educational Vitality Center.

The Center is affiliated with The Bertie County Hive House, and is serving as a Roanoke-Chowan Community College Service Site in Bertie County.

Students can earn a high school diploma or computer literacy certification with no tuition or fees required. The classes are instructor-led with computers available. Basic skills including employability skills, college entry information, job search, and resume builder are taught.

R-CCC instructor Sean Smallwood teaches computer class student Georgia Etheridge, as student Robert Spivey looks on, at the new Educational Vitality Center in Lewiston Woodville. Contributed Photo

The Lewiston-Woodville Educational Vitality Center is located at 121 Main Street in Lewiston-Woodville in the former IGA supermarket. Executive Director Vivian Saunders (also founder of the Bertie County Hive House) opened the renovated center as a service site for students this fall.

“Our new center has something for every generation,” states Saunders. “We are pleased to serve as an educational site for Roanoke-Chowan Community College to provide classes locally.”

The college began truck driver’s license (CDL) classes in October at the center and will begin Nurse Aide I classes in January, 2022.

The newly renovated center includes large educational room, banquet hall, dining room and board room for private meetings, a cardio work-out room, weight lifting gym, batting cage, full basketball court, and picnic area. The center has three transport buses and a van for transporting students as needed.

“We are pleased and honored to partner with the Bertie County Hive Center to establish a community college educational service site at the new Educational Vitality Center in Lewiston Woodville,” states Wendy Vann, Vice President for External Affairs. “This is a great opportunity to bring continuing education classes to students so they do not have to travel far to receive college and career readiness classes.”

The ‘Vitality Center’ is a ‘public-private’ partnership between the Town of Lewiston Woodville, The Hive House as a non-profit agency, Roanoke-Chowan Community College and Perdue Farms, Inc. The town accepted grant funding on behalf of the Bertie County Hive House to build a facility, however, when the old IGA building became available, the decision was made to purchase that property and renovate the existing building, according to Executive Director Saunders.

“On behalf of the ‘big city’ of Lewiston Woodville, we would like to thank Mrs. Saunders and her team for wanting to improve the lives of our citizens by allowing us to be a part of her vision,” states Chris Cordon, Mayor of Lewiston Woodville. “The town commissioners, as well as myself, are so excited about the progress and the movement of the town. This is just the beginning of great things to come for The Hive, R-CCC, and Lewiston Woodville.”

The funding to purchase the property was granted to the town by The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust with renovation funding provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation.

“We are grateful to the Town of Lewiston Woodville for accepting these grant funds on our behalf and making the Vitality Center possible,” concluded Saunders.

The Vitality Center Team includes: Mayor Chris Cordon, Hive Director Vivian B Saunders, Susan Everhart, Hive Grants Advisor, Bertie County Commissioner John Trent, Construction Team Leader, Commissioner Mitchell Gilliam, Commissioner Judy Brown, Commissioner June Jernigan, Commissioner Diane Bazemore, Diane Harrington, James Pugh, Jeff Stalls, former Perdue Complex Manager, Hive Advisory Board Chair Chad Cordon, Vice Chair Latrica Hines, Lisa Long, Claudis Polk, David Perry, Dovontae Harrell, Board Chaplain Dr. Gary L Cordon Sr., and Lewis Hoggard, Director of Bertie Windsor Chamber of Commerce.

An official opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony is planned in the coming months.

To register for the classes at the Vitality Center, contact Tishadda Walton or Tenia Stevenson in the College and Career Readiness Office at (252) 594-8735 or (252) 862-1200. For more information about the Vitality Center, contact Vivian Saunders, Executive Director at (252) 348-2474.