Library to host literacy programs


First Posted: 1/15/2009

Free READ and ESI classes to be offered by Church and Community Center

Library. Language. Literacy.
It’s more than alliteration. It’s just plainly appropriate.
St. Pauls’ Annie H. McEachern Public Library, already bustling with activity and usage, will take on another dimension, or two, when it becomes the site of a child/family literacy program and an English as a Second Language program.
The Robeson County Church and Community Center will introduce its family literacy READ (Reinforcing Education And Developement) program beginning in August.
The Center’s English as a Second Language (ESL) classes will begin in July, at a date to be released.
The free ESL classes will be geared to Hispanic adults, 16 and over. They will be held in the afternoons and early evenings, with schedules to be determined by class size and needs. The ESL classes will last up to three months and will introduce Spanish speakers to conversational English, at least at first.
For more information, para mas informacion, please call Alfonsina De Paz at 865-3784.
The READ program will be geared to all children between the ages of 0-5, and their families. It is FREE!
Classes will meet every Monday from noon to 2 pm at the library, according to Liz Host, READ program director. It will run parallel to the school calendar.
“The program is actually for children, but it’s for their families as well. First, because children cannot come without their caregiver, and second, we want to educate families about how they can encourage or promote literacy skills in their children. This program will help prepare them for school, so the transition to kindergarten is made easier,” Ms. Host said.
“One of the main things is to integrate the families of pre-school kids into the community. Often, some people are inexperienced in their communities, and are intimidated, especially those for whom English is not their first language. This program is helpful to make contact, to enable them to benefit more and for them to benefit the community.
“The READ program focuses on literacy and reading. We sit down with the children using children’s storybooks, and with crafts to help develop motor skills. We look at the alphabet and numbers and colors. Another important aspect is to use and encourage social skills, such as listening, taking turns, sharing and making things together.
“We sing, play outside, go on little field trips and have visiting guests and speakers,” Ms. Host said.
“This is a free program and lunch is provided. We would love to recruit people and commit them to staying as their children grow up. We run it in two, 17 weeks stages, August through December and January through June, parallel to the school year.”
For more info about the READ program, please contact Liz Host at the Robeson County Church and Community Center at 738-5204.

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