Because our community classes were popular and effective in 2013-2014, East Bay ESL plans to continue to offer free classes next year. Classes are based on community need, so our offerings will change slightly, but classes will still be entirely free for students and offer free childcare.
In 2014-2015, we will run a weekly citizenship prep class as well as a transitions class that will coach students through the move from Family Literacy ESL to GED, work, or community college ESL classes. The transitions class will focus on the writing, presentation, and math skills necessary for more advanced academic classes.
If you want to support these classes, here are a few ways you can help.
Buy a Ladies of Literacy calendar for 2015 or one of the other community class products. Profits from these products will fund our community classes.
Host a house party. Invite a few friends and host a house party/fundraiser. If you would like to hear from the teachers, students, or volunteers in our classes, contact us.
Donate to our classes. Our goal for the year is $6,000. You can help us reach our goal here or sign up to receive updates over summer.
Thank you for your support of immigrants in our community!
As you saw earlier this week, community classes have started in West Oakland. Citizenship Prep students and Beginning ESL students meet weekly, bringing with them great drive and enthusiasm for learning.
Over the year, students have made significant progress. Despite backlogs on the government’s end, two students have passed their citizenship exam. Beginning ESL students have moved from letters, sounds, and sight words to simple sentences and questions. Students have gained independence and basic skills which help them navigate American life.
The classes also have other impacts on the community. They bring together women from different countries who normally don’t interact. Women from Yemen, Eritrea, Mexico, and Guatemala come together to learn, but they leave with friendships across language and traditions.
Classes will continue until the end of May. Your donations allow these classes to continue. If you want to support the classes, please donate here.
How has learning English influenced your life?
Are there opportunities you have now that you did not have before you could understand the language?
Immigrants in Oakland are facing a major problem. Budget cuts have eliminated almost all free Adult ESL classes in the city. The six remaining classes are only available to parents of Oakland School District students.
While there are still some options for people who can drive to another city for class, there are also many people who are being left behind, without access to English classes they can afford. The people most impacted are already in a fragile position. They are women with young children who need child care to attend class. They are the elderly who don’t drive. They are women and men with limited or non-existent reading skills.
As an answer to this issue, in September 2013, East Bay ESL opened two free community classes with free child care in West Oakland. One serves adults who want to prepare for the US citizenship exam. The other class teaches basic English to women with limited literacy skills.
These classes have been popular and influential. They reach immigrants who would not have access to school without them.
Of course, East Bay ESL needs to hire qualified staff and provide supplies, so I’m asking for your help. If English has been important to your success, would you lend a hand to low-income immigrant women who need your help learning the language?
By donating to the community classes, you guarantee the program will continue through May 2014.
Every donation, big or small helps. Donate here now.
East Bay ESL is an English language school for adult students in the San Francisco East Bay.