This year WAEF awarded $16,500 to organizations in our communities to support English As A Second Language (ESL), basic education and citizenship preparation courses. In all instances, dollars were granted to organizations that focused on the farmworker community in their program outreach.
In Yakima, Grace of Christ Presbyterian Church was awarded $2000 and La Casa Hogar $3500. Grace of Christ Presbyterian Church intends to utilize the funds to expand their existing ESL program. La Casa Hogar will utilize funds in their citizenship preparation outreach. Hand in Hand, Missio Dei was awarded $2500 in funding to expand their citizenship outreach program to Quincy. Friends of Buena Library was awarded $3500 for the ongoing ESL classes. The Literacy Council of Chelan & Douglas Counties was awarded $5,000 for their one-on-one and group literacy instruction.
Last summer WAEF elected to expand our service to ESL providers in an effort to increase capacity and effectiveness of the grass roots program operated by dedicated volunteers and staff throughout the fruit growing regions. We launched our first ESL providers' forum in September of 2015. A second event followed in March of 2016 which saw a doubling of attendance.
The ESL providers' forums provide a networking opportunity for providers from across the region to learn from each other, share successes and obstacles and utilize the knowledge of their peers to reach their program goals.
Our third ESL providers' forum will occur on Thursday, September 29th in Ellensburg from 10am-2pm. This third event will again be facilitated by Wenatchee Valley College Director of Transitional Studies Aaron Parrott. This is the second time Mr. Parrott will serve in this role. In addition to facilitating conversation, Mr. Parrott will lead a session on developing custom curriculum to meet participant needs.
All central Washington ESL providers are welcome to attend though seating is limited and reservations must be made in advance by contacting WAEF at (509) 663-7713 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for the Farmworker Education Program is contributed by Chelan Fresh, Costco, the Jim Matson Memorial Fund and Oneonta Trading Corporation.