Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded $836,417 in grants to expand and improve English language instruction for immigrants in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
Fourteen organizations received funding to provide English language instruction and vocational language classes in classroom settings or online to immigrants.
“By investing strategically in programs that help adult immigrants and refugees learn English, we’re helping families overcome one of the biggest barriers to participating in their communities, ” said Manuel J. Santamaria, grantmaking director at the community foundation.
The grants are designed to improve coordination between community colleges and adult schools, to provide “anytime-anywhere” programs that use a mix of onsite and online technology to deliver instruction, and to help immigrants acquire employment related language skills.
More than 4,500 students have received ESL or vocational ESL instruction as a result of community foundation funding. Including the latest round of grants, the community foundation has invested $2.5 million in language acquisition since 2009.
The Alliance for Language Learners’ Integration, Education and Success received a grant of $77,950 to establish a new network of community colleges and adult schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties that will coordinate regional initiatives to increase access to and success for students in high-quality ESL programs. It will be the first network of its kind in the region to focus on meeting the needs of adult English language learners.
The Building Skills Partnership received an $80,000 grant to continue providing training for janitors and other building service workers by providing vocational English classes at leading Silicon Valley companies.
Cañada College received a grant of $90,000 to continue a community-based ESL program that allows adult students the opportunity to earn college-transferrable credits. In addition to language instruction, the program offers college level computer training and career counseling.