Posts Tagged ‘ESL’

Catholic Charities Joins Upstate Rally Promoting Services for Immigrants

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Representing Catholic Charities Community Services and the new Opportunity Center that provides English as a Second Language and immigration legal assistance in Orange County, Catholic Charities Migration Counselor Jessica Lazo joined U.S. representatives, businesses, farmers and community leaders at a rally held in Newburgh earlier this month. Ms. Lazo spoke about services Catholic Charities provides immigrants as others urged Congress to take immediate action to pass immigration reform.

“Now is the time that the House should come together to support a bipartisan plan that will … create an earned pathway to citizenship,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D- Cold Spring. “It’s not a handout but a fair way for hard-working people and their children to become citizens.”

Assemblyman Frank Skartados, D- Milton, agreed.

“As an immigrant who came to America when I was a teenager I have learned to appreciate the value of people who come here to make a better life for themselves and their families,” Assemblyman Skartados said. “The time is now.”

Meanwhile, President of the Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Farm Bureau Mark Adams drew a loud ovation, reports The Times Herald Record, when he said that said the farming industry would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of reform. The industry, he said, needs a “willing legal workforce” or food may be produced offshore.

“It’s good for the economy, it’s good for business and it’s the right thing to do,” Skartados said.

Announcing New Services for the International Community in New York

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

When the New York Times reported that a nonprofit that had served New York’s immigrant and refugee community for 50 years would have to close its doors, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York stepped in to ensure that the critical services provided by the organization could still continue.

This month, Catholic Charities recreated the services that had been provided by the International Center, previously located in Chelsea, to complement existing Catholic Charities services for immigrants and refugees.

The new services, which range from job readiness and skills training, to English language classes, to educational enrichment programs, are currently being led at the Catholic Charities headquarters by four former International Center employees, now part of the Catholic Charities staff: Mira Erickson, Shawn Mullin, Anna Petelka and Elaine Roberts.

One of the most prized services is the “conversation partners” program, where volunteers are matched with students to serve as English language tutors, and as a source of encouragement to continue learning and pursuing their goals.

According to staff, this program “provides an atmosphere of trust and support that … is often not as easy to create in a classroom setting. As in any successful language learning situation, it is a partnership of equals: while the newcomer works on acquiring the language, the volunteer works on developing strategies of engaging in a subtle process of mobilizing, inspiring, monitoring, and guiding.”

Volunteers are a large part of what have made these services to the international community so successful for the past 50 years. Many who received services have gone on to become volunteers, teaching and mentoring future students.

 

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