Gadsden County, FL -- March 12, 2012 --
His students call him Mr. C.
Shukree Cha-Jua has taught people of all ages for more than 30 years.
His latest stop is at the Quincy House, in Quincy, teaching adults. They're lessons he says can educate an entire family.
"The children spend more time with their families than at schools, said Cha-Jua. "How can we embrace the families so they can embrace their children?"
Soon Cha-Jua could have more students.
Monday, Gadsden County Judge, Kathy Garner and Tallahassee Community College had a special announcement.
"It benefits our community and our probationers and their families," said Garner from the podium on the lawn of the Quincy House.
People on probation in Gadsden County will now have the option of completing their GED instead of doing community service.
Martha Chancey works with people on probation in Gadsden County.
"I think it'll make them have more pride in themselves to where they will feel more comfortable moving on," said Chancey.
Census data from 2010 shows, in Gadsden County, 22.9% of adults don't have a high school diploma.
The state's rate is 15.1%
A member of the Florida Department of Corrections Quincy Annex, says a GED can lower someones chances of returning to jail by 10%.
But Mr. C sees a bigger picture.
It's one that includes a better life for the youngest students.
"Children who are read to, read early," said Cha-Jua. "Children who read early tend to continue on with education and be successful."
The journey can start at the Quincy House with TCC.
Workforce Plus and other organizations are also partnering with the program. They'll help provide participants with job skills training.