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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2008
College Professors Teach ESL at Elementary Schools
Partnerships among College of the Canyons and the Newhall and Sulphur Springs elementary school districts have been forged to widen the reach of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in the Santa Clarita Valley. College of the Canyons professors will teach non-credit ESL classes to the parents of elementary school students on their respective campuses.
"I'm very excited about these new partnerships," said Jennifer Brezina, interim dean for the Noncredit Division and Community Education at College of the Canyons. "By working together," stressed Brezina, "we're able to meet students' needs in a way that none of us could if we were working alone."
This opportunity is made possible through the Even Start Family Literacy program at the Newhall district and the Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) program at Sulphur Springs. The Even Start Family Literacy program helps to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by providing parents, with children up to the age of seven, opportunities to help their children academically and to meet their own language goals. Along with the ESL classes, participants must attend parenting and Mommy and Me classes.
The CBET program provides free or subsidized English-language instruction for parents and community members who pledge to tutor others. Both programs seek to encourage increased English proficiency in the community.
"The Sulphur Springs School District is very excited about our CBET partnership with College of the Canyons," said Marianne Hamor, categorical programs administrator for the Sulphur Springs district. "We have already had a tremendous response," said Hamor, "and are looking forward to continuing our partnership next fall."
To encourage parents to take the classes, the two districts will provide free child-care and necessary books. Free from parenting obligations and extra costs, this ESL program should attract any eager learner.
ESL classes provide non-native English speakers the training to successfully function as students in an English-speaking college. These classes also offer students the opportunity to communicate on a broader scale enhancing their own lives.
Participating campuses are: Newhall and McGrath elementary schools in the Newhall district; and Leona Cox, Valley View, Mint Canyon and Sulphur Springs elementary schools in the Sulphur Springs District.
For information about classes at Newhall district schools, contact Kelly Ferko at (661) 291-4010. For classes at Sulphur Springs district schools, contact Marianne Hamor at (661) 252-5131.