5-Course Dinner To Benefit Learning Institute

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A five-course dinner with wine pairings is being organized to raise scholarship funds for the children and adults of the community who will benefit from the programs offered by the new Payson Institute of Learning.

Gerardo's Italian Bistro and Cucina Paradiso is presenting the dinner at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15. Reservations are required by April 7. The cost is $100 per person and seating is limited to 60. To reserve a place, call (928) 468-6500. The cost is tax-deductible.

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Chef Gerardo Moceri of Gerardo's Italian Bistro and Cucina Paradiso will present a 5-course wine dinner on April 14 to benefit the Payson Institute of Learning. Funds raised by the $100-per-couple event will be used as scholarships, so adults and children who need the services of the institute do not need to be concerned about costs.

The evening will feature live music and nonalcoholic wine is available.

The Payson Institute of Learning is a nonprofit corporation. It offers diagnostic and instructional services for children, adolescents and adults. The program is designed to fill gaps in learning that can only be pinpointed through professional assessment.

The board of directors of the Payson Institute of Learning includes Jeanne M. Amundson, June Schranz, Norma Wade, Claudia Bullard and Dr. Gary Anderson. Also on the board are Su Connell, chairman of the Rim Country Literacy program, and, as ex-officio, Alice Natale.

"It is a mesh of local goals," Wade said of the creation of the institute. Among the goals is a drive to help young people and adults with reading and the creation of a resource to develop job skills and job placement.

Wade said the group is working closely with both Sue Myers, superintendent of the Payson Unified School District, and Linda O'Dell, Gila County superintendent of schools.

"We're working to develop a program so teachers can come and get their master's degrees from ASU," Wade said.

"We will bring the faculty and program here to provide access to area educators," Anderson added.

"The program is designed to build up skills quickly," Wade said. In the future, the institute may also present job re-training programs.

Working with ASU's College of Education, the plan is to create a learning center to meet a number of needs:

  • Early Childhood Education. Working with both children and their parents, build a love of learning, reading and social skills in the children.
  • The Learning Center. The center will begin by augmenting reading programs already under way in Payson. It will provide diagnostic testing services and suggest programs to enhance the skills of a student. The center will also help those working with students.
  • New Horizons. A program to cater to adults who might be interested in the following questions: Are you ready for a career advancement or change? What skills do you already have? How can you build on them to meet the needs of today's market?
  • Adult Interest Groups. With the guidance of ASU faculty this program will serve as a foundation for the study of various topics.
  • Teacher Education. Teachers can be trained and certified in everything from early childhood education to career counseling.

Any group, organization or individual interested in more information, may contact Norma Wade at (928) 474-2403.

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