The Warner Library’s ESL Program a Success!

The Warner Library is taking pride in successfully completing a series of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs made possible by a monetary award from the Westchester Community Foundation (WCF).

WCF is a non-profit community endowment whose mission is to develop and distribute philanthropic resources throughout the county and to promote charitable giving on behalf of the area’s non-profit organizations. Begun in the Fall of 2005, the library coordinated free English language instructional programs to help improve the literacy skills of the non-English speakers in the villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. For 12 weeks beginning in September 2005 and then again in January 2006, the library has held two ESL programs, on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings. With an initial registration of 38, a qualified ESL instructor was recruited to lead each instructional workshop, and a textbook was supplied free-of-charge to each student for at-home study and homework assignments. Instructor Maria Guerrera says her class was met with much enthusiasm by a group of very committed students who were relieved and delighted when she announced she will continue her program on Saturday mornings in May. In addition, the library held an English Pronunciation Class for the first time on Thursday evenings, and the workshop garnered rave reviews for its teacher, Carol Solomon. The Children’s Room was also able to provide two special programs for children and their families: Rimas y Cuentos para Niños, a program of rhymes, stories and songs performed in English and Spanish, was consistently a delight to all who attended, and The Language of School, an ESL program for children in kindergarten, helped youngsters learn the language necessary for success in school. Participants who attended the ESL programs found the library to be a welcoming environment and the workshops a most enjoyable way to improve English language skills. One of the library’s objectives has been to serve the "underserved" in the community. The library hopes it can continue to help the immigrant and foreign-born residents reach their literacy goals and serve this segment of the community whose unique needs are often overlooked.

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About the Author: Elizabeth Siracusa