Monday, December 11, 2000

Language class to be added

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The Human Relations Department's English as a Second Language program soon will expand to two classes, thanks to a $10,200 federal Community Development Block Grant.

  For information about free ESL classes:
  • The Hamilton Human Relations Department, 785-7396. The new class begins in early January at Jefferson Elementary in Hamilton.
  • Princeton Pike Church of God in Hamilton, 867-1995. Classes begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
        The ESL classes began in September 1999 with a $12,300 grant from the Hamil ton Community Foundation. The nine-week classes have attracted up to 12 people per session.

        “The classes were established to meet a need that wasn't being met at the time,” said Maggie Krey, a coordinator for the Human Relations Department who grew up in Venezuela. “Back in '99, there was hardly anybody that was offering any services to the Hispanics.

        “The classes are important because the (Hispanic) community is really growing, and there's a real huge language gap. People need to learn English so they can go to the doctor's office and the bank.”

        The new ESL class will be at 9 a.m. at Jefferson Elementary in Hamilton beginning in early January. The day has not been set. Day care will be offered.

        John Mahoney, deputy director of the Ohio Municipal League, said the ESL class is an innovative program for cities. He is not aware of a similar city-sponsored program for residents in the state.

        He said these type of programs are usually offered through social service agencies and schools.


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