Youth ESL Teams Up With NY Writers Coalition!

January 28, 2014

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By Jake Karr

AmeriCorps VISTA Youth Program Development Assistant

On Monday, the students from our Youth ESL classes came together for a workshop led by Nancy Weber of the NY Writers Coalition. Their first task: Describe yourself in exactly 6 words!

Here are a couple of our favorites:

“Born Yemen, work hard, go school”

“I am Yemeni, but mixed American”

The ESL program is a new initiative that gives immigrant students in our existing afterschool program the specialized academic attention they require to succeed in school. We know that oftentimes poor performance on homework and tests isn’t indicative of their lack of knowledge, but of their inability to effectively communicate that knowledge in English. We know too that all of the students who come to our center are bright, motivated and curious. So we’re developing a culturally competent curriculum that suits their language-learning needs in fun and innovative ways.

At the moment, the Youth Program runs three small-group classes (Beginner Boys, Intermediate Boys and Intermediate Girls) that meet three times per week immediately following our normal afterschool activities. Staff members collaborate with our dedicated interns and volunteers to provide focused tutoring to 10 youth (and growing). Please be sure to check back on the AAFSC blog for updates as Youth ESL gets off the ground!