Adapting and Persevering Through the Pandemic

(December 23, 2020) Despite the challenges in transitioning to teaching virtually to students living in communities with pervasive digital inequities, La Casa’s adult education instructors continue to help Greater Newarkers learn English, achieve their high school equivalency, and gain U.S. citizenship.

After being forced to close our doors in March, our English as a Second Language (ESL) and Citizenship Preparation programs were challenged with transitioning into virtual learning . Not only were they forced to learn quickly and use their creativity to keep their students engaged and learning, they also encountered technological barriers given that most of students come from low income communities where access to technology and strong wifi is limited. Regardless, our instructors never hesitated to work diligently to guide our students every step of the way. They have proven to be vital to the success of our programs during this unprecedented time.

Since March, La Casa has enrolled more than ten remote ESL and Citizenship Preparation classes, with more scheduled for 2021. Despite the challenges, the majority of our ESL students have advanced one or even two levels in the English language. We have celebrated with our participants their gains and continuously encourage them to continue with higher education as they advance in their knowledge of English.

Over the last nine months, sevenĀ  Citizenship program participants passed their INS citizenship interview and obtained US citizenship. All have registered to vote and are more prepared than ever to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded to them and their families.

As we end 2020, I would like to acknowledge our ESL and Citizenship instructors who have worked diligently during this pandemic to share their expertise and commitment as educators to enhance the lives of their students.

By Johanna Torres
Program Coordinator, Adult Basic Education Programs
Thank you to La Casa’s ESL & Citizenship Instructors:
Eliana De La Mata
Ingrid Cruz
Caridad Morales Nussa

Emile Doll
Dr. Sayyid Tirmizi
Rebecca Cruz

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