PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 29-year-old woman who gave up booze and a 40-year-old man, a former prisoner, attended Chrysalis, Antioch College’s Bridge Program, which provides free humanities courses to low income adults.

Participants are recruited from shelters, rehab programs and adult day centers; admission is only the ability to read a newspaper in English. The content is art, literature and philosophy requiring students to take three writing courses to help them gain confidence or a voice.

The college pays tuition, books and supplies; at each class students receive bus tokens and meal vouchers for the campus café. More than 500 students have completed the program and many go on to community colleges.

While the Bridge Program is not for job training, Terry Moore, who attended at 50, says it helped him to write invoices on his job and James Bottom says the program, described in The Chronicle of Higher Education, made him think about “what I could have been.”

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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