The G.E.D./Realityhouse Program Info Page
The G.E.D./Realityhouse Info Page
What is the GED?
The GED is a high school equivalency test, administered a few times a
year. It consists of grammar, vocabulary, composition, basic math, social
studies and the sciences. In order to pass, a student must prove
competency in all of these subjects by obtaining a minimum required score
in the individual subject matters and a minimum required score overall.
What is Reality House?
Reality House is an outpatient drug recovery center just west of
Broadway on 125th street on the Upper West Side. It caters to adults who
sign up for treatment or who are assigned there by the judicial system.
offers both group therapy, the individual attention of a counselor, AA and
NA meetings, day care facilities and an educational center. Most patients
are recovering from heroin and crack addiction, and Reality House provides
a methadone substitution treatment.
What do volunteers do exactly?
We, as Columbia volunteers, work primarily with the educational
department. For at least one hour a week, Columbia volunteers go to
Reality House and hold tutoring sessions or teach small classes to the
students. There is little or no planning involved. Students approach us
with their questions generally under the subject heading of English or
Most tutoring occurs in a one-on-one basis. A few tutors will teach small
classes in literature, English composition, the social sciences and math.
Volunteers are required to attend monthly meetings
and are strongly encouraged to attend Reality House events (2 per
How is the educational department organized?
Reality House has a full time teacher (Sherell Mims) who is in charge of
the G.E.D. classes. She creates the lesson plans, teaches and takes care
of all of the administrative duties. The students are divided into three
according to level: G.E.D. 1, G.E.D. 2, and basic education. Typically,
only the G.E.D. 1 class will take the exam. The students have an average
of four hours of classes in a week. Because of the limited class time,
our work as volunteers is critical.
Will I go there alone?
Not if you don't want to. If the volunteers request, we try to pair them
up with other Columbia students tutoring at the same time.
How did the Reality House tutoring program originate?
The G.E.D./Realityhouse Program is a volunteer community service
at Columbia University
operating under the umbrella of Columbia's Community Impact Organization.
The program in its current form was founded by Josh Mandelberg (CC'96) and
Isabelle Regent (SEAS '97) as an outgrowth of a previously existing
childcare program (P.A.C.E.). Its current coordinators are Rekha Reddy
and Cori Newhouse (CC '98).
If you are interested in joining the program, learning more about our work
or asking questions of one of our coordinators, feel free to send us an
email by clicking here.
You can also call coordinators Cori Newhouse 853-7445vor Rekha Reddy
Click here to return to the G.E.D./Reality
This webpage was designed by Rekha Reddy. If you have any
questions/problems with this page click here.