Seven Azusa organizations will be opening their doors to help adults improve their English skills this Fall. The Azusa City Library, Azusa Hispanic Foursquare Church, Canyon Christian Fellowship, Dalton Elementary School, Foothill Family Service, Lee Elementary School and Neighborhood Homework House have all come together to develop a community-based English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) program called Grassroots ESL. Trained volunteers will provide tutoring to small groups of 3 – 7 adults, at a variety of schedules offered at the seven sites.
Volunteer tutors are essential to the program’s success and are being recruited now. Volunteers will receive training to teach ESL, and will be supported with materials, encouragement and opportunities for continued training. They will tutor 1 ½ hour sessions twice a week. “We encourage English language learning to promote civic participation and to increase community cohesion,” says Reed Strege, City Librarian. “We recommend that adults who are seeking formal language classes enroll at the Azusa Adult School or Citrus College. Our role is working with those who cannot attend classes daily or who feel more comfortable learning in a small, informal environment where they already spend time, such as their church or their child’s school.”
The Azusa City Library is leading the collaboration, supported by a Library and Technology Act grant administered by the California State Library. Individuals interested in becoming volunteer ESL tutors can learn more by contacting Cathay Reta, Adult Literacy Coordinator, at the Azusa City Library, (626) 812-5266 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first training workshop for ESL tutors will be held on Saturday, September 28 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. On the same day, from 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon, training will be held for volunteers interested in tutoring basic reading and writing skills to English-speaking. Registration is required for both workshops.