English as a Second Language classes at the library to begin in May

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By Meg Wempe
and Cindi Galabota
Special to The PREVIEW
Have you heard the word? Starting on May 1, the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library will begin English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, taught twice weekly. This program will be offered through the Pagosa Adult Learning Services (PALS).
PALS is a program of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library that offers adult students help with high school equivalency and GED, as well as continuing education opportunities such as applying for college, taking placement tests, FAFSA completion, tutoring and more. In May of this year, PALS is adding ESL classes to its range of community resources.
ESL classes will be taught on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. at the library. There is no additional cost, and no registration is required.
Both of the teachers selected have previous experience teaching ESL. Ellynn Ragone will instruct the beginner class. She has experience teaching in New Mexico at Taos Education and Career Center, as well as in Barcelona, Spain, at Oxford TEFL. Joyce Holdread will teach the intermediate/advanced class and is no stranger to teaching ESL classes. She has over 20 years teaching ESL, with many of them in the Colorado towns of Trinidad and Lakewood. The library is fortunate to have these experienced and certified teachers.
In fall 2018, the library learned that, effective immediately, the Archuleta County Education Center was to stop offering ESL classes for adults, classes that are critical to many in our community. ESL classes prepare students to be fully engaged in their communities by being informed and achieving a level of inclusiveness that enhances their lives. Families benefit when parents become proficient in English, enabling them to participate in their children’s education and social lives.
English-language learners benefit from being able to read or understand safety instructions, road signs, medication instructions, workplace literature and weather advisories. ESL classes help lead to employment, promotions or higher salaries. The community benefits from ESL classes by alleviating the cost of support services and special accommodations for individuals and families with limited English proficiency.
The library was fortunate to receive local funding through the Town of Pagosa Springs and Galles Properties Community Fund grants and regionally from LPEA and the Ballantine Family Fund. Thank you to each organization.
The library’s vision is “Mountains of opportunity to inspire ideas, enrich lives and create community.”
The library is thrilled to provide this vital resource to Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas beginning May 1. We hope you’ll help us spread the word there will be two levels of ESL classes happening on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. at the library, on the corner of U.S. 160 and 8th Street. Again, there is no additional cost, and no registration is required.
A partir del 1 de mayo, la biblioteca celebrará un segundo idioma (ESL) clases de inglés como. Serán los miércoles y el viernes desde mediodía-2 p.m.
Hay ningún cargo adicional en estas clases, y no es necesario registrarse. ¡Esperamos verte en la biblioteca para el continuo aprendizaje del inglés!