Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

Learn English on Your Cell Phone

Friday, May 1st, 2015

All immigrants in New York State will have access to a free English program pending the results of a pilot with Spanish-speaking residents. Shutterstock/Rob Marmion

Plenty of politicians think that immigrants should learn English, but now one of them is doing something about it, reports Latin Times.

Catholic Charities is partnering with the New York State Office for New Americans to enroll immigrants in the program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) made his state the first to offer English lessons via cellphone as a part of a pilot program run by the social venture Cell-ED. The first phase of the program, directed at Spanish speakers in selected New York counties, reportedly costs the state a mere$14,000. The program will be free for participants, aside from the cost of minutes and text messages on their phones. Cuomo’s administration hope that the English lessons will help struggling immigrant who hope to improve their English but don’t have time to attend classes in person.

The program, overseen by the The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) and contracted to Cell-ED combines text messages, voice tutorials, and two-way communication with tutors. Pending a successful pilot, all New York state residents will be able to call a Cell-ED number to begin receiving tutorials as well as the ability to send back answers to be automatically reviewed and corrected. While the pilot program is offered in Spanish, the ONA says that other languages such as Mandarin, French and others could be added in the future.

Read the full story in Latin Times.

Happy Endings in Time for the Holidays

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York TimesBy Alice Kenny

Tragedy morphed into a happy ending thanks to Catholic Charities’ intervention,  The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign and support from readers like you.

Last year, The Times shared the profile of Carlos Castro.  As a teenager, he had been stabbed multiple times by thugs who tried to rob him and his friends on a street in Queens.  The lack of oxygen to his brain, a result of his severe blood loss, rendered him blind.

Yet he managed to find some work as a Spanish/English translator.

When the Times published the article about Mr. Castro last year, he and his mother, Ana, had recently escaped living in a miserable room in the city’s shelter system.

Now, thanks to Mr. Castro’s persistence finding new translating jobs,  readers’ generosity and Catholic Charities’ intervention, Mr. Castro and his mother celebrated Christmas in their new, spacious apartment in Queens.

Read Carlos Castro’s story here.

Food Bank Volunteers Train for Food Pantry Safety

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Nearly 40 volunteers from food pantries throughout the Bronx and Manhattan took part on February 14 in the first-ever Food Bank for New York City training hosted outside Food Bank headquarters — and inside Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center.   The food pantry food safety training, offered in Spanish, pulled in volunteers from food pantries associated with Catholic Charities along with other member programs as well.

Attendees that successfully completed this training received Food Bank Certificates in Food Pantry safety, a requirement for volunteer leadership at all Food Bank member programs.

“We are excited to be holding it at a Catholic Charities Community Services location,” said Jeanne McGettigan, Catholic Charities Coordinator of Emergency Food Services, “for the convenience and encouragement of our volunteers.”