To provide English as a Second Language classes on site, in a culturally appropriate setting with culturally sensitive staff, for adult members of the Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian and Chinese) community of Worcester who have limited fluency in English, and as a result are having difficulty moving out of the poverty cycle and/or integrating into mainstream society.
Despite a funding cut in August 2011 causing us to discontinue the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program that served over 120+ students in the Worcester community from September 2010 to August 2011. It was difficult for us to tell students that our classes would be closed in the Fall. Our program has bounced back in January 2012 with classes filled to maximum capacity with 60+ students enrolled in two level 1 classes and a level 2 class. Through our new partnership with the Worcester Adult Learning Center (WALC) under the leadership of Adult Education Director John McGovern and funding from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, we are able to continue our ESL program for one more year.
With our partnership and new funding we are creating an education pipeline for parents of Worcester Public School students to begin learning English at our organization and continue their ESL classes uninterrupted by accessing higher level courses at WALC sites all over the community. As the silent wave of Southeast Asian immigrants continues to hit Worcester, the support of our fellow community organizations and local foundations also continues to be felt. Our staff and students would like to give our deepest thanks to you.