La Luz gets grant for ESL classes
When the Sonoma Valley Adult School lost its funding last spring, La Luz Center immediately stepped in and applied for a grant to continue the English as a second language (ESL) classes for Sonoma Valley residents.
The La Luz Center received a $71,000 grant from the Todd Trust – part of the Sonoma County Community Foundation – to continue these classes for the next two semesters. With the collaboration of Sonoma Valley Unified School District through Principal Maite Iturri, La Luz Center partnered with El Verano School to host two of the ESL evening classes.
Morning classes will continue at Booker Hall. La Luz Center was able to hire back several of the experienced teachers who had had been working with the Adult School and were already familiar with the curriculum.
Maricarmen Reyes Larios, coordinator of educational programs and leadership at La Luz Center, has been instrumental in organizing all the classes. Larios said, “Our mission is to make sure we provide the tools so the students can become active participants who will help shape the economic, cultural and social aspects of our community.”
La Luz Center is devoted to offering courses to the community at little or no cost. All classes began on Sept. 18, and cost $25 a student per semester. There has been a great demand for ESL. Two evening classes meet at El Verano School on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for beginner to high intermediate. Morning classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Booker Hall at La Luz for the beginning to high-intermediate as well, and child care is available for participating parents at low monthly cost of $5 a child .
Although the classes are currently filled to capacity, there will be another semester beginning the second week of January. La Luz Center is also looking for ESL volunteer tutors who can assist students with English lessons and how to use the ESL textbook.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, call 938-5131, ext. 106, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.