INVERNESS, Ala. (WIAT) – Volunteers at The YMCA in Greystone have started a community outreach program targeted for immigrants learning English. The free Family Literacy Class began in mid October and has already filled with over 50 students.
Friday marked the sixth week of class where the lesson centered on Thanksgiving. The group learned about traditional Thanksgiving foods by both tasting them and expanding their vocabulary in the process.
Juan Moctzuma says he came from Mexico to the United States in 1991 on a working permit. He says he loves America and proudly calls it his second home. That is one reason that he and his wife are working to learn about American culture and understand the language.
“We came to the country for one dream, and this is part of the dream,” Moctzuma said.
Program director, Tanya Hiers, says classes are geared toward conversational English to helps their students become more independent.
“We teach English that they would need in an academic setting at school, the grocery store and filling out doctors office forms. It’s very practical things,” said Hiers.
Moctzuma says the biggest reason he comes to class is to help his children with their homework.
Classes are free and it is not required to sign up in advance. The group meets Wednesday nights from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30p.m at the 5414 Highway 280 YMCA location. Childcare is provided at no charge.
As the class continues to grow, more teaching volunteers are needed. It is not required to know how to speak Spanish.
Coordinators hope to add more literacy classes throughout Alabama YMCA’s in the coming month.
For more information call 205-981-0144