Our Fall 2018 session will run from Tuesday September 11 through Thursday, November 15th. Classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 AM until 11 AM and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM.
In 2003, our congregation became aware of the need for an ESL program to serve the residents of Eastern Sussex County. We spent that year securing funding, studying other successful ESL programs and building excitement for this ministry within our congregation. English classes began in January 2004 at the church, and over the years, have been supplemented at various times by health fair activities, seminars/workshops on immigration and taxes, workshops, as well as programs about vital community resources. In addition, the program has periodically offered pre-GED classes, citizenship classes, and basic computer classes. Individual students often receive help, as needed, with supplemental food, housing, solving utility issues, obtaining a driver license, immigration information and referrals for medical problems.
After starting with two teachers, a handful of church volunteers and 40 students, the program now averages 150 to 200 students a year. While the students represent over 20 countries, most use Spanish as their first language. Students are assisted by over 40 volunteer teachers who come from all backgrounds, e.g., teachers, doctors, nurses, and engineers. Most are now retired, and many do not have a teaching background. Learning levels are structured from beginner to advanced. At higher levels, writing and speech are emphasized. Some teachers provide extra tutoring and/or act as conversation partners. Prospective students are interviewed during registration periods to determine their placement level. The interview consists of a verbal and writing placement tests to determine the student’s current capability with English. The students are placed in one of four levels. They select the morning and/or evening sessions. .
Child care is offered at no cost so that parents are able to attend classes. Our child care program provides a learning environment for the children. In addition, it provides a yearly book fair for children.
The program is supported by the Church and funded by grants from the Arsht-Cannon Fund, Harry K. Foundation, Gannett Foundation and SoDel Cares, along with individual and local business donations.
If you are interested in volunteering for this ministry (office work, kitchen help, childcare, ESL classes, donation of food, etc), please contact the LCOS office at 302-515-4385, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.